The simple goal at The Wine Consultant is to forage, assess, procure, and then share our wine discoveries reflecting the diversity of wine produced from distinctive places throughout the world with a preference for “severe” terroir farmed organically, versus modern “spa” viticulture. The store’s central location in California gives us countless opportunities to source the west coast for new wines. Travel exploration is very important component of the business model; spring or summer in Europe, and winter in the wine producing regions of the Southern Hemisphere. We admire and respect traditional, minimalistic, non-intervention winemaking and sustainable, organic-biodynamic farming practices. At the same time, we understand and appreciate when modern techniques and approaches can produce a ‘better’ wine, but without compromising the ultimate expression of origin or terroir.” We like to call it REAL wine!
As the name suggests, The Wine Consultant offers a range of consulting services including business start ups, marketing strategies, menu planning, cellar design, inventory management, software design, and insurance appraisal. The brick and mortar store at Greenback Lane offers an on going selection of current release and library wine that meet our ideals.
Reminiscing, Eric says, “Maybe it was during my teen years when I would awaken very early on Sunday mornings to sample the dregs of left over wine bottles from my Mom’s elaborate dinner parties?…. I don’t quite know what started it, but somewhere in the growing up process, and helping to pay my college tuition, I fell in love with the hospitality side of fine dining. My first job as a restaurant wine buyer was 1974. My passion to learn and experience the world of gastronomy became obsessive. For nearly twenty years, I collected wine, and honed my skills as a professional waiter, maitre d’ and sommelier.
In 1990, Eric Stumpf opened The Wine Consultant, a specialty fine wine merchant and tasting bar in Citrus Heights, a suburb of Sacramento, California. He continues his journey as an ardent student of wine, assessing hundreds of wines weekly to determine the store’s always changing, cutting edge selection of inventory. Don’t miss signing up for the weekly email newsletter he authors.
Eric met Renee Kroeger at a charity wine tasting in 1996. A fifth generation Fair Oaks native, Renee worked at Fountain Square in Citrus Heights for over twenty years, her family’s retail plant nursery and collection of high-end gift shops and galleries. Before joining Eric as a full-time partner at The Wine Consultant in 2002, Renee worked two years in outside sales brokering wine to restaurant and retail merchants. Eric and Renee were married in 2004. Renee has an excellent and sensitive palate, and lends her expertise to decisions made on inventory selection. She also does much of the store’s grunt work, and is in charge of all wine shipments. Renee is an accomplished home chef, cook book collector, avid gardener, tropical plant aficionado, and farmers market devotee.