Wine lovers rejoice! This guide will help you choose the best place to buy wines in the USA. From coast to coast, we’ve got you covered.
Small wine shops are great places to buy good wines and get great wine information from friendly and knowledgeable staffs. Shops offer wines at varying price ranges too!
The occasional wine buyer is most likely to grab a bottle of wine at the local supermarket as they complete their food shopping. This is the most accessible and quickest way to bring a bottle of wine home and is fine for buying a wine that is already known to the wine drinker. What about buying an untried wine or shopping for a bottle of wine as a gift, wouldn’t the local wine shop be a better place to shop?
Small Wine Shop or Supermarket, Mega Wine Store
Alcoholic beverage laws in the buyer’s local area may dictate where and how the wine drinker can buy wines. Some states regulate wine less strictly than other states, allowing wines to be sold through a variety of sales venues. Large wholesale stores, supermarkets and small wine shops all vie for the wine drinker’s business. There are pros and cons to each store type and the buyer’s needs dictate where they shop.
In recent years, many large supermarket chains have realized increase wine sales are possible by having knowledgeable staffs on hand to provide buying information and selection tips to the shopper. This approach helps the chain compete with the small wine shop’s friendly personnel. What the wine drinker usually misses at the large chain is the opportunity to expand their knowledge and find hidden wines gems from smaller vineyards. Supermarket chains are most likely to sell only widely distributed, big name wines. This distribution process seriously limits the wine selections available to the wine buyer, usually offering only large quantity processed wines.
Another aspect to consider is how the supermarket handles and cares for the wines. Have the wines been standing upright for months instead of being stored and presented in a manner that keeps the cork in contact with the wine? How long have they been in the supermarket distribution cycle or sitting on a warehouse dock in the heat? Avoid buying bottles that look very dusty and avoid the discount wine bin in a supermarket, as this is where the older wines and slow sellers reside.
Small Shops Can Offer Excellent Selection
Small, intimate neighborhood shop or the mega-wine store can offer an overwhelming selection of wines. The small, local wine shop has a knowledgeable person, usually the owner that loves wines and wants to help others gain an appreciation of wine. They enjoy talking to customers and sharing their knowledge.
The small shop is often perceived as having a more limited selection than the mega-wine shop, which isn’t true. Jason Bursey, an owner of Ashburn Wine Shop in Virginia reports that his shop, “stocks about 900 labels on average, all of which I have tasted before stocking.” Does anyone need to choose from more than 900 wines that are personally selected from nationally distributed wines, which also include regional and smaller vineyard selections? A clear advantage of this shop would be the care and attention given to the wine buyer’s selection.
Wine buyers are often concerned with the perception that the smaller shops charge more for wine than their Mega Store competitors. According to the Ashburn Wine Shop, their average bottle price is currently in the $10 to $12 range, which keeps them competitive with the large volume supermarket and mega-wine stores, as well as add value to the buyer. Of course, the small wine shop stocks a wide price range of wines. Additionally, local wine shops will special order your favorite wines.
Regardless of where wine is purchased; the supermarket, mega-wine store, or neighborhood wine shop ask for a volume discount on half and full cases of wine, it’s a standard in wine buying and give the buyer extra value. Here’s to good wines and good service!