The OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar began as a vision to turn generic liquor stores into upscale wine and craft beer specialty stores – a place where customers could enjoy high-quality, self-service wine tastings by the ounce, weekly tasting events, Boar’s Head Deli, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, craft beer on tap, and artisan cheeses. All while maintaining accessibility to all levels of tastes.
“We are not wine snobs," says owner Julie Lim. "We believe a good wine is a wine you like. Our atmosphere is more casual, like a Starbucks for wine, as opposed to a wine bar or lounge."
Since 2009, OC Wine Mart in Irvine has been accomplishing that vision, and as a result, plans to fulfill the same mission – “on steroids” – at its new Yorba Linda Location.
The Yorba Linda store is a renovated neighborhood deli and market, which spoke to the owners as the perfect place for their new location.
“Having lived here for over a decade, we realize there is not much going on in this ‘land of graceful living,’" says Lim. "When we were looking for a second location, we decided to wake up the sleepy town of Yorba Linda.”
In addition to their unique self-service wine tasting system, allowing customers to taste before committing to buying a whole bottle, essentially taking the guesswork out of buying wine, OC Wine Mart takes pride in other qualities setting them apart from other tasting rooms.
The OC Wine Mart offers catering, corporate gifting, custom gift baskets, and a delivery service, making it the “administrative assistant’s best friend,” says Lim.
Lim is ecstatic about the current success of the Irvine location and is looking forward to new successes at the Yorba Linda store. Plans for a third location in Aliso Viejo are also in the works.
“It is a labor of love for my husband and I," says Lim. "He recently quit his medical career as an orthopedic surgical physician’s assistant to pursue his passions of wine, cooking and farming."