Curating Cabernet & Community: How Argaux Is Revolutionizing the Experience of Wine

Argaux co-founders Arden Gilfillan and Margaux Reaume say their story began with friendship. The epicurean duo met in college, bonded over a deep love of cooking and a shared birthday, and started co-hosting elaborate dinner parties for friends. The get-togethers soon generated incredible buzz, and Arden and Marguax – who were so close they earned the nickname “Argaux” – found themselves dreaming up plans for a potential business. 

They became Certified Sommeliers at The International Culinary Center, then took their dinner parties to the next level, with Margaux serving as Chef and Arden as Sommelier. It wasn’t long before Argaux evolved into a thriving business, offering customers authentic wines hand-curated from artisan winemakers around the world. Today, Club Argaux allows members to uniquely access boutique wines, sommelier services and Argaux special events, with thoughtful shipments for a like-minded community of people looking to try something new. At the one-year anniversary of Club Argaux, I asked Arden and Margaux to share their story and all things wine! So, grab a glass, open your favorite bottle (check out Argaux’s selection of reds here) and read on …

You’re celebrating one year of Club Argaux. What does this milestone mean to you?

We’ve built our business on a commitment to quality product, service, and community. The launch of Club Argaux one year ago is a reminder of this commitment. It allows our team to continue investing in talented small producers from around the world, and celebrating their craft through unique content and storytelling. We are building a community that believes wine can be a cornerstone for a happy and healthy life, when produced with low intervention winemaking techniques, responsible farming practices, and consumed moderately. Club Argaux is Argaux, Argaux is Club Argaux. When we toast to this milestone, we’re toasting to the journey and to the next chapter. The best is yet to come.

Can you tell us a little more about the transition from hosting private dinner parties to launching Argaux?

The ‘dinner party’ is what inspired the original business concept. When Margaux and I met, we instantly bonded over our love of cooking. So, when the company started, we actually catered the majority of our events. Margaux would cook and I was the sommelier. When we acquired our license to sell wine, we shifted our focus. I think we always felt like our approach to wine, and what it means to us, could reach a greater audience. This inspired us to curate our online wine shop with these harder-to-find hidden gems and create wine tasting and gift sets that bring the original Argaux experience to doorsteps nationwide. When you open an Argaux tasting or gift set, our hope is that it inspires a memorable moment with friends and family, or maybe even a dinner party.

What do you look for in the wines customers can shop on your site?

We have boxes that the wines we source need to check from “classic in style” to “hidden gem” but the backbone of our approach to sourcing is small production, responsible farming/low intervention winemaking, and family-owned. These are wines you may not think to buy on your own, and they tend to be harder to find. It’s our hope that we can be a resource for wine you can trust and that our services – like our sommelier concierge via SMS – can help you discover new favorites and create a personalized experience.       

When planning an event, what’s the very first step in pairing wine with the perfect dish?

Text your Argaux sommelier 😉. When planning an event and trying to pair wine with the menu, it’s important to consider the most prominent element of the dish you are trying to select wine for. Is the dish acidic, fatty, or spicy? This will help you select the perfect pairing. You want a wine that will compliment and not overpower. A wine pairing can be a mirror pairing or a contrast pairing. Think Champagne and fried chicken (contrast) vs. Cabernet and steak (mirror). 

What are some food and wine pairings you’re loving for fall?

Anything Pinot Noir and mushrooms! Or speaking of Champagne … Champagne goes with everything. For Thanksgiving specifically, Riesling and turkey …yum!

Beyond pairings, what are some wines you recommend as we enter the cozy, sweater-weather season of fall?

I recommend trying our Club Argaux Fall Six-Pack that includes a Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Pinotage and some other super fun seasonal selections with recipes to pair.

Anything else wine-related you’d like to share with our readers?

If you need assistance with gifts for personal or professional reasons, check out our 2023 Holiday Gift Guide here.