Valentine’s Day Wine from House of Pure Vin

"You know trends when you see it," Regina Gaines, one of three co-founders of House of Pure Vin, tells BLAC in the midst of a busy day. "I saw a pulse was happening downtown. Every time I came downtown, there was something different."

Downtown Detroit is trending. And so is wine. Enter House of Pure Vin, the latest addition catering to thirsty yet discerning Detroiters whose palates are a little more sophisticated.

Alongside Vertical Detroit in Harmonie Park and Motor City Wine in Corktown, House of Pure Vin offers wines from across all regions, with a special emphasis on Michigan wines. "You’d never know Michigan 170 vineyards and makes $300 million a year tourism," Gaines says. "There's really no knowledge of that on this side of the state."

Gaines has worked in liquor-brand marketing throughout the majority of her career, helping launch Moet, Hennessy, Tanqueray and Remy Martin offshoots here in Detroit and across the Midwest. She even briefly owned a tequila company.

Wine is the natural next frontier, something Gaines realized after spending time at her uncle’s vineyard in Texas. "We’ve already went through the vodka craze, champagne craze, tequila craze, so what’s next?"


Watching her uncle and his staff go through the entire winemaking process – from picking the grapes to barreling to marketing – brought her back to Detroit, where she partnered with Terry Mullins and Andrea Dunbar to open House of Pure Vin on Woodward Avenue. The trio brought in Claudia Tyagi, a master sommelier who also is one of a handful of female sommeliers in the world.

The wines range in price from below $10 to more than $100, but Gaines emphasizes that "you don't have to be expensive to be premium." Some of the best wines can fall in the $10-$20 range.

"We wanted upscale with a blue-collar feel," Gaines says, name-checking fine shops like the now-defunct Jacobson's but also being conscious of Detroit's manufacturing foundation. "Sexiness was missing. My contribution was to bring something sexy to Detroit."

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