Good Wine Merchant in the Triangle???
I moved to Chapel Hill from Boston over a year ago and I still haven't found a decent wine shop. I'm not a huge fan of places like Total Wine that claim they don't have to give mixed case discounts b/c their prices are so low to begin with - not so if you ask me. Back in Boston I found a merchant who would have monthly specials on wines from differnt regions from around the world. They'd give 10-15% off on any mix and up to 20% off on the monthly special. Does anyone know of a shop in the Triangle that has a similar deal? With 7% sales tax, the 10% case discount at places like Whole Foods doesn't really cut the mustard.
What merchant was that ? I can't recall the prices, but I used to buy my wine at Brookline Liquor, Wine Cask (Somerville), Wine Emporium, or the Marty's/Blanchard's. After moving down here, I thought the wine was comparable or better in price, at places like Total Wine. Granted, I really wasn't buying by the case, so I can't comment on price comparisons there.
Wine n Things in Raleigh offers a 10% case discount, but I've not been there, so don't know what the base prices are.
We are big fans of the Wine Merchant at Ridge Rd. SC in Raleigh and there is also one in Cary. They give case discounts have good sales, etc. They also have good regular and advanced tastings, as well as a great wine class. Another great store (although I haven't been everyone else raves about it) is Carolina Wine. They have a huge climate controlled store, knowledable staff and great prices, according to my wine-loving friends. (We are lazy wine-lovers and go to WM cause its closer!). Carolina Wine definately has discounts. Check out www.carolinawine.biz.
What about Southern Season in Chapel Hill? I think 10% is about all you will get as a case discount in the Triangle.
Try Fowler's on Duke St in Durham. They don't have a huge selection, but it's well chosen. The wine manager told me, as she gave a distributor a cold hard look, that she drinks a lot of bad wine so her customers won't have to. Website shows 15% case discount.
Go to A Southern Season in CH for the fun Fridays Uncorked to taste 5-6 wines for $10-20 in a cocktail party setting and talk with the young wine manager. Not sure what their discount is. Tremendous selection.
I think of Total Wine as the Wal-Mart of wine - big stores, many items, efficient sourcing & distribution, poor service. You can get some very good wines at very good prices if you know what you want and you shop carefully.