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A new specialty store recently opened in Itasca, and those who love a good glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir will be delighted to hear the news. Wine With Me is located at the west end of the old Village Hall building in Itasca, and owner Mark Hadfield couldn’t be happier about the arrangement. “I was originally looking to buy a wine shop, but I couldn’t find anything I liked—then I found this site,” he says.

With a view of Springbrook Creek and the park, the setting is truly unique. “If you come and see this location, you’ll understand that we’re going to be a little bit different,” he says. Itasca’s Riverwalk lends additional atmosphere to the area, and the natural setting provides a gorgeous backdrop for the shop.

Hadfield is the perfect person to be at the helm when it comes to this kind of endeavor. He grew up in the restaurant business, where he worked for many years. A friend then introduced him to selling wine, and during the years that followed, he developed many contacts in the industry and traveled to countries such as Europe, South America and Italy. He says, “I have 18 years in the business and what I wanted was to create a place where the atmosphere feels like home.”

He points out that one of the things people do when they have guests over is offer them something to drink. Inspired by that type of hospitality, Wine With Me will offer customers a sample when they come into the store.

One of Hadfield’s main priorities is to create a setting where people are comfortable and can learn about wine without feeling intimidated. A 15-seat, copper-topped wine bar provides an area where customers can relax and choose from 40 wines that are sold by the glass. Those hoping to learn more about wine will find that Hadfield and his other employees are happy to talk with them about topics such as sweetness and acidity to help them find tastes that they enjoy.

The store carries over 600 different wines from around the world—200 of which are under $12. There is an entire section of the store called “Wine Every Night” that is devoted entirely to $12 wines. Small batch spirits and hand-crafted brews are also available. “We’re making an effort to include both local and regional beers,” says Hadfield. The shop also carries champagne.

In addition to wine, there is an array of items and accessories available for purchase including gift baskets, glassware and corkscrews. There is also two separate room at Wine With Me that can accommodate groups of up to 12 people for private functions or events.

Hadfield mentions that he will be holding classes as well as focused tastings throughout the year. “With my past years in the business, I can bring in various wine makers and others in the industry,” he says, adding that he also intends to explore relationships with various restaurants in the community.

When asked what his favorite wine is, Hadfield is unable to choose just one. “It’s impossible, because the enjoyment of the moment, the food and friends all influence that,” he says.

One thing is clear about Hadfield—he is eager to share his love of wine with others in Itasca and the surrounding area, and is happy to have found a home for his dream. He says, “We’re so ecstatic to be joining the community here—and everyone has been so helpful.”

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