Hello! We’re Emily Ristow and Max Dunn, owners of Clarity Wine Shop in downtown Spooner, Wisconsin.
Clarity was born from a deep passion for wine and desire to create a space to bring interesting, lovely, and (above all) delicious wines to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Every wine was selected for a reason. That reason could be telling the story of a recluse farmer in Slovenia; highlighting a vibrant natural wine's unique flavors; or just showing off how utterly delicious a twelve dollar wine from Southern France can be. A bottle of wine is always a story of some sort, and we’re excited to share these stories with you.
Where did the Clarity story begin? We’re both Wisconsin natives (Emily from Sheboygan and Max from right here in Spooner) who met in 2014 in Ashland, Wisconsin. After dating long-distance for over a year Max moved to Milwaukee to be with Emily, who was working as a clothing designer for Harley Davidson at the time. Max got a job working for Valentine Coffee Co, a coffee roaster whose owners were veterans of the Milwaukee wine scene. A monthly wine club with coworkers and the exposure to interesting wines set the ball rolling for Max and a trip to Napa Valley in the fall of 2017 exposed Emily, the detailed designer, to the artistry of wine.
Soon after, in 2018, we moved to Oakland, California, and while we didn’t work in wine we were surrounded by it. Max spent many afternoons working remotely from one of the many wine bars walking distance from our apartment (shoutout to Bay Grape and Ordinnaire). We both went on frequent trips to wine country, developing a deep love of Sonoma’s wine and coastline and Napa’s hot springs. Unfortunately, a few years into living in California a certain pandemic happened and turned our world upside down. After five months of long walks through the Oakland hills talking about our future, we made the decision to move back to Wisconsin and landed in Max’s hometown of Spooner.
Almost two years (and lots of yearning for the wine selections we enjoyed in Oakland) later, the opportunity to bring the selection here ourselves popped up and we decided to take the plunge: thus, Clarity Wine Shop was born. We thank you so much for finding us and we are thrilled to share our love of wine with you, your friends, and your family.
Max and Emily