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Discount wine & beverage store?

Please forgive me, I know this isn't strictly chow related, but I can really use a little help. I've volunteered to arrange the beverages for a small (100-150 people) benefit event and my budget is very tight. Any suggestions on the cheapest place to buy wine, beer, and soda? And maybe juice? Preferably in Manhattan, and hopefully someplace that will deliver. I was thinking Trader Joes, but maybe there's a better option. Thanks so much! I really appreciate any advice!

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  1. Note that in NY, you need two places. Wine and spirits require a liquor store. Beer and soda can be bought in any grocery or supermarket or from a Retail Beverage Distributor.

    By far the cheapest Wine and Liquor store is Warehouse Wines and Liquors on Broadway near Astor Place. I'm pretty sure they deliver, but I don't know if they take phone orders.

    For beer, I believe the consensus Manhattan place is New Beer Distributors at 167 Chrystie St.

    12 Replies
    1. re: bobjbkln

      /\ I was going to recommend that.

      On the other hand, maybe it's worth for the OP to rent a car and go to Bottle King in NJ.

      1. re: nokitsch

        Thanks! I would love to go out to NJ... but I don't drive!

      2. re: bobjbkln

        It's worth noting that a lot of the wine at Warehouse is pretty lousy--as is much of the stuff at Trader Joe's. You'd do better to go over to Astor Wines or PJ WInes. Not only will both places have decent wines under $15 (most wine shops will), but they will have knowledgable people on staff who can help you put together some cases. Cases, of course, are almost always discounted, so you shouldn't have to worry about Warehouse WInes or the universe of Yellowtail/Rosemount/plonk that show up too often at parties in order to avoid spending a fortune. Astor is selling a special case of wines that benefits some charity and they deliver it free anywhere in the city. It's $150.

        1. re: jasmurph

          I'm not a wine expert by any means (I love under-$10 wines), but considering the limited budget, I'll echo the suggestion of Warehouse. Sure, a lot of the bottles they sell are ridiculously cheap (and perhaps taste correspondingly), but $12 there is going to get you a lot farther than say, $12 at Astor Wines. At the low end, I'm sure the wines overlap at Warehouse vs. another pricier wine store, but with much less of a markup. And Warehouse is the cheapest place I've found so far for hard liquor.

          I like Trader Joe's. Sure, you're not going to get high-end stuff, but the $8 bottle there is probably going to taste better than the $8 bottle at Astor.

          1. re: janethepain

            I'm wondering if you might point out a few examples of wines that cost $12 at Warehouse that represent a better value than can be had at other wine shops. I find that about half the wines there are from Palm Bay Imports, which seems to specialize in finding European wines that cut corners in production in order to assemble American tasting wine with foreign names and low prices.

            1. re: jasmurph

              Warehouse has some decent wine there but you really have to search. My recent experience is that random tries are not good at least half the time. For that reason I don't buy wine there much anymore. But they often have great prices on liquor.

              Astor is pricey unless you get whatever is on sale--and they usually have quite a bit on sale. Their selection is solid, staff knowledge is hit or miss.

              PJ will deliver free to the 5 boros and they have an outstanding selection at the best prices. Great staff, too. For budget wine they have some respectable stuff from Argentina called OX that is $6 a bottle (and after 12 bottles there is usually a 10% discount, even mixed cases). They can help you pick lots of wines for less than $10 a bottle and most are excellent.

              Beer distributors will do soft drinks, too, I would call New Beer on Chrystie to see if they deliver.

            2. re: janethepain

              I've actually had some trouble with Warehouse Wines. I've gotten 2 bad bottles (wine), and have never gotten a bad bottle anywhere else. Also, I sometimes notice that they're selling wines that are way out of their drinking window...e.g. a few '99 Pinot Noir bottles that are just going to be bad news to someone who doesn't necessarily know. I agree there are some finds, and they seem to have a decent French selection, but on the whole I prefer Astor (even if they are a bit more pricey).

              1. re: randymac88

                I got a bottle I didn't like (wine was bad?) once at Warehouse and returned the second unopened bottle with no problems and a full refund. Otherwise my experiences have been good.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  Totally - I returned both bottles and exchanged them. They definitely took them in back and scrutinized them a bit which I didn't really appreciate, but they did take them back apologetically. I just feel like there's a lot of people who wouldn't necessarily go to the trouble. Not to mention, it sucks when you're sitting down to a nice dinner and you open your nice bottle and it's corked. I don't think they store their wines well.

                  1. re: randymac88

                    Because of the storage issue I'd be careful about any bottles at Warehouse more than a year or two past release. Have had a few older bottles that were ok, though. The place you really need to watch in this regard is Crossroads on 14th. They have some great older bottles (e.g. Germans) but the storage is abysmal.

          2. re: bobjbkln

            Warehouse Wines is my favorite. And if you buy a case or spend $100 they deliver. Phone orders, but no credit cards over phone (this is annoying!). Good selection and good prices. Very good wine consultants as well.

            I am not a fan of Trader Joe's Wine Shop but did pick up a bottle of Marques de Riscal rioja reserva 2002 for $12.99 recently.

          3. I used New York Beverage for delivery for a party we had once and it worked great! They have a very good variety of beer (bottles, cans & kegs), along with sodas, ice and cups. No wine, though.

            www.newyorkbeverage.com

            1. I'll agree with those who said to be careful about Warehouse. While I've found some great bargains there (e.g. some very good grand cru Alsace bottles) most of the stuff is dreck (e.g. the Burgundy section) and the prices not anything to get excited about.

              Astor is a good all around shop with fair prices. PJ's up in Inwood has pretty good prices as does Garnet on Lexington at 68th. Many places have some sort of case discount....

              1. Although Crossroads (14th Street @6th Ave) is not a discount store, they ALWAYS have a section priced at "6.99 a bottle, Buy 3 get one free.) Altho they do bring in wine to sell at that price point, I almost always find hidden gems (end lots or messed up labels) of much MUCH better wines in that section because they've become "odds and ends."

                They also have an excellent selection of moderately priced, very good quality wines at all times.