Maple Lake Wine & Spirits: Your local go-to source for spirits, etc.


Maple Lake Wine & Spirits is located at 901 East Hwy. 55, next to Cenex Lake Region Co-op.

The store features a wide variety of wines, including many that are Minnesota-made.

Store Manager Carole Bestland welcomes one and all to Maple Lake Wine & Spirits.

Carole assists customer Ursula Heifort with a few holiday purchases. (Photos by Katie Friedman)
 
 
Maple Lake Wine & Spirits has just celebrated its fourth anniversary in a new building at 901 East Highway 55, next to Cenex Lake Region Co-op, but its history goes back much farther than that. Prior to moving across the highway on November 15, 2010, the municipal liquor store had been located next door to H&H Sport Shop for 15 years, and previous to that, operated from a downtown location where both on and off premises sales were offered. Its most recent incarnation is the store’s biggest yet, with many more products in a much larger space. 
 
Owned by the City of Maple Lake, Maple Lake Wine & Spirits exists for the benefit of Maple Lake’s residents, turning 100 percent of its profits back to the community’s General Fund, helping to keep the cost of running the city to a minimum for its taxpayers.
 
Store Manager Carole Bestland, who oversees five employees and all of the store’s operations, is a friendly and familiar fixture in the shop where she has worked for the past 36 years. Happy to be working in her new, spacious surroundings, Bestland says the new building has brought in more business, as annual sales figures continue to rise. 
 
But it is not just the building that brings people in, or for that matter, that keeps them coming back. Monthly wine specials and periodic beer sampling events have been popular with local consumers, as has the store’s wide variety of Minnesota wines and craft beers. Recent anniversary drawings for prizes have also been a big hit with everyone who stops in. Bestland strives to honor customer requests whenever possible, and gift cards are available in any amount.
 
Join the club
 
But without question, the store’s Wine Tasting Club is its most well-received institution to date. For a membership fee of just $25 per year, club members receive discounts of 15 percent off the first five bottles they purchase, 18 percent off six bottles or more, and 20 percent off cases of 12 bottles or more.
 
The Wine Tasting Club, which now boasts upwards of 130 active members, meets about once a month, and Bestland says anyone is welcome – including those who might be “just visiting,” for a $5 charge. The club meets at various locations, and past events have included such local hosts as Irish Blessings, the American Legion Club and The V by HH, as well as Millner Heritage Vineyard and Winery in Kimball and Reichel’s Event Center in Annandale. Depending on the venue and the event, either dinner is served or hors d’oeuvres are featured. 
 
Upon joining, members will receive a membership card with a bar code for identification, and will be notified of future tasting events. Interested connoisseurs can drop by to sign up at the store or go online at mlwine-spirits.com.
Maple Lake Wine and Spirits is open Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
 
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