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Why Albertsons Has Become a Wine Destination

Grocer to offer Napa Valley Wine Academy certification nationwide to associates
Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Why Albertsons Has Become a Wine Destination
The Wine Cellar within the Albertsons Market Street Store in Meridian, Idaho.

Albertsons Cos. and the Napa Valley Wine Academy (NVWA) have teamed up to further elevate the grocery retailer's wine program.

NVWA has developed a proprietary certification program for professional wine stewards at Albertsons. The Albertsons beverage stewards can take the courses online while on the job to earn two different levels of certification: Wine 101 and Wine 201. The company is sponsoring the rigorous courses, which are on par in terms of depth and complexity with other recognized wine certification programs.

"Our stores have become a destination for customers seeking wine, beer and spirits," said Albertsons Cos.' Master of Wine and Group VP Wine, Beer and Spirits Curtis Mann. "By educating our beverage stewards with an advanced certification program developed by one of the top wine academies in the country, we are providing the tools that our alcoholic beverage professionals need, to help customers as they navigate hundreds of wine brands while shopping our aisles. Many of our stores have more than 1,000 different wines on the shelf, and it is our job to help our customers find the right bottle for every occasion."

The courses are asynchronous, and can be accessed at any time.

"Napa Valley Wine Academy has developed a great way for Albertsons Cos. to increase the confidence of our beverage stewards, as well as our customers who can trust the wine and food pairing recommendations they receive while shopping our stores," Mann added.

Napa Valley Wine Academy is America's Premier Wine School and the two-time winner of the WSET Global Wine Educator of the Year, having won in 2016 and 2019, making it the most awarded WSET wine school in the world. The Academy is based in Napa Valley, Calif., with locations across the United States and online. 

In April, Albertsons Cos. introduced a line of sustainable wines that bolster its own brands wine offerings but also its portfolio of sustainable private brand products.

Kalyana wines, crafted from select vineyards in California, come to the retailer with a 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2018 Pinot Noir and a 2019 Chardonnay. The vineyards and winery are certified sustainable by the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, an organization with more than two decades of experience identifying and promoting sustainable wines in California.

Kalyana sustainable wines are found at Albertsons' various banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw's, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Haggen.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. Albertsons is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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