12.05.2019 Autumn

Argaux is Your Secret Sommelier

Marissa Stempien
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When you literally rosé all day, you need to know your stuff. Domaine du Gros ‘Noré Bandol Rosé? Von Winning Pinot Noir Rosé? Storm Grenache Rosé? If you’re looking for a new favorite wine then you’ll want to get to know the ladies at Argaux because co-founders Arden Montgomery and Margaux Reaume really know their rosé.

And their reds. And their whites.

Let’s just say when it comes to wine, they make your brunch buddies and self-professed wine expert friends look like total amateurs. From college roommates to business partners, these two #girlbosses are taking on the wine industry, glass in hand.

Half membership club, half personal sommelier, Montgomery and Reaume created a business with Argaux that allows wine lovers to broaden their horizons — and improve their dinner parties — one bottle of wine at a time.

Based on exploration, the two entrepreneurs personally curate a collection of wines each month that are delivered to your door. The changing theme is based on flavor profiles, travel destinations, or even special requests from members. While you can change your order based on your taste preferences and favorite wines, the membership allows you to try almost 50 different wines throughout the year. For true wine connoisseurs, this is the stuff dreams are made of. 

Since their college days, both women were big dreamers. They loved to spend their free time sipping wine and envisioning fantasy businesses. “The ‘business meetings’ started in college,” Reaume laughs. “I say it that way because these meetings really just consisted of the two of us going to a restaurant, ordering a bottle of wine (or two) and discussing our farfetched ideas.” With similar passions and interests they became fast partners. “We instantly bonded over our shared love of cooking and entertaining. Our junior year we moved into a house together and started throwing monthly dinner parties. We would make an elaborate meal, invite a group over, and break bread.”

These successful early dinner parties influenced the two women to further pursue their love of wine though the Intensive Sommelier Training program at the International Culinary Center post graduation, earning them their Level I and II certifications. “It wasn’t too long after we passed our exams that we started throwing private, in-home wine tastings. After one of our dinner parties and a couple bottles of wine, a friend nicknamed us Argaux,” Reaume explains. “From there the company grew completely organically based on the feedback we received from our clients. Soon, our in-home wine tastings became wine dinners, chef collaborations, wine club, gifting, retailers, importers, and distributors.” 

Of course, starting a business isn’t all wine tastings and endless parties. Especially when you’re a pair of young woman trying to break the stubborn glass ceiling of the wine world. 

“The wine industry is male-dominated and still, to this day, we come across people who don’t take us seriously and underestimate us and our company,” admits Reaume. “But we thrive on that, it only makes us work harder.”

And it seems that their hard work and determination has paid off, because even after long nights, stressful starts, and early setbacks, they have managed to wrestle their way to the top. “Starting a business is definitely difficult. It consists of long hours with no immediate return,” says Reaume. “However, we were really lucky to have some incredible mentors from the start.”

The co-founders decided early on that the wines they selected would only come from the most responsible wineries the world had to offer. Indeed, at Argaux, members get four new wines a month from wineries that are organic, sustainable, biodynamic, and who only offer small production batches. “As a whole, all the wine we represent is small production, family-owned, and responsibly farmed. We want to work with passionate winemakers that believe in quality over quantity,” Reaume notes. “We believe that the winemaker should be able to touch every grape. Once the quantity gets too big the quality and consistency of the grapes vary and in come the additives. I don’t want to drink powdered tannins and chemically-induced flavors just because someone else is trying to cut corners… do you?”

When you are a member of Argaux you have access to a sommelier in your back pocket. “We have a ‘Somm Hotline,’ a number that our members can text whenever they want to re-order, ask a question, change their preferences, etc.” explains Reaume. This means you can call or text when looking for the perfect gift, choosing the right dinner pairing, or even if you have questions about trying new varietals. “We are our members’ one-stop-shop for all things wine-related.”

Marissa Stempien is a freelance editor and writer that prefers a rosé to a red. With a degree in English Literature and a minor in Asian Studies, she has written on travel, fashion, beauty, technology, culture, and food, and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. Find her on social media at @paperandlights.

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