wine in Astoria
does anyone have a suggestion for a good wine shop in astoria? i've tired of the selection at the liquor store near my apt (28th ave and steinway)
Get thee to:
Grand Wine and Liquor
30-05 31st St
Astoria, NY 11102-1851
Cross Street: 30th Avenue
Best wine shop in Astoria/LIC by far.
I'm interested in everyone saying Grand is a great store. Their selection is extensive but I've never found an excess of information available to me about the wines. Rarely does anyone come up to me and ask me what I'm looking for and if I need help picking - they don't even seem approachable.
People that really like it there - what's been your experience about that? Has the staff seemed really knowledgeable? Have you had to approach them for help yourself? Do they seem passionate about wine?
I almost always have people approach me offering help when I go there. But, more often than not I don't take them up on the offer because I either know what I want or want to guide myself to something. Honestly, I don't like the wine stores where the staff is all in your face trying to tell you what to buy. Wine is intensely personal for me so I enjoy the no pressure staff at Grand Wine. That said, I have seen them helping plenty of people, but I think they only have a lot of staff at certain times of the day, it seems highly variable to me.
I agree that the staff there is not super knowledgeable, but what I love about Grand Wines is their unique Eastern European/Greek representation.
Get over to the Modovian and Hungarian section for some really great INEXPENSIVE wines, and their Greek selection is the best I've ever seen.
There's no other liquor store like it, for better or for worse.
Last weekend we went over there to pick out a case of wine for a party at a restaurant. We had a general idea of what region & variety we were looking for (though not particular makers), and it was a good thing we did. My experience pretty much mirrored what you describe. We were amazed by the # of choices -- for example it seems like there were a dozen or more Pinot Grigios from the Veneto region -- but found no help in winnowing them down. We practically had to tackle a salesperson, and in the end, her recommendations were based on what's been popular w/ past customers. ("We sell a lot of Cavit" - hey, at $6 a pop, I'm not surprised!) She was quite frank about not having particular knowledge of the wines they sold - she said they just sold too many different wines for that. Not the answer one wants to hear, but perhaps to be expected. From what I could see, the prices were quite reasonable.
In the end, we followed our own instincts, based on the homework we had done, design of the label(!) and price.
Also, probably my fault for relying on overheard info - she had been helping another couple just before us who were buying the same types of wine for a party, and mentioned to them something about a 10% discount on cases. I should have asked if that applied to mixed cases. (It doesn't.) Never assume.