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Where Do You Buy Your Wine in Burlington, VT?

Greetings, fellow 'hounds!

My husband and I like to travel to NH to stock up on wine, but we've noticed recently that the prices aren't as competitive as they once were. On a recent trip, in fact, we noticed that the prices were comparable to Hannafords! We were thinking that we would like to stop taking these trips, and just shop locally.

Where is a good place to stock up on wine? Who has a good selection and decent prices? We've ventured out to several different places, and so far we like Cheese Traders the best.

Any hidden goldmine we haven't heard of yet?

Thank you in advance!

Katie

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  1. Here is my advice in Burlington (in no particular order as all have strengths/weaknesses):

    1. Beverage Warehouse (Winooski); a great selection and the owners (Jen and George) are knowledgeable. They have a wine club that will net you 10% off (even single bottles) but may be an expense that can be avoided (I think it is $35/year and includes a weekly email newsletter). They have tastings every 6-8 weeks and have quite a bit of high end wine with a over 90 pts / under $20 section.

    2. Cheese Traders: Good staff, wide selection and discounts for 6 bottles (5%) and case (10%). Their prices, I think, are just a bit higher that some other stores. Also, beware of the "blowout wines". They often are cheap for a reason (even if you are familiar with the particular brand, some have been discounted due to issues with handling and can have flaws). Their summer "garage sale" can yield some bargains and the store (as you know) has some nice food products.

    3. Richmond Beverage: A smaller store but a good overall selection and the owner (Craig) is knowledgeable. They offer a 12% case discount and sometimes run extra specials.

    4. 5 Corners Beverage (Essex Jct.) : The slection is improving here but the best approach here is to order by the case from Duncan (owner) and the resulting prices will be the lowest in the area.

    5. Costco: decent selection but a find they are either extreme high end or very mundane. Worth a look.

    6. NH: We buy in NH when the wine is on sale AND they couple it with a case discount (sometimes as high as 20%). The result can be a significant savings. You can sign up for their email newsletter which will give you a heads up on specials.

    7. Supermarkets: The best deals are when they are discontinuing certain SKU's. They discount the wines heavily and I have seen some real gems through the years. I find Grand Union and Price Chopper to be the best choices.

    13 Replies
    1. re: TonyO

      What a terrific reply, Big-O.
      If I lived in the Queen City I'd print this out and keep it in da Avalanche!

      1. re: Harp00n

        I'm just a wealth of info ! You can fit a lot of wine in an Avalanche !

      2. re: TonyO

        Tons of good info. Work takes me up to Williston pretty often, so I'm thinking about hitting one or two of these places next time I'm up there. I especially like the description of Beverage Warehouse. Since moving to VT, I've really been missing my phenomenal local wine shop in CA and they can't ship wine to VT. They do a fantastic newsletter w/reviews, etc. and I still read it at www.realvino.com.

        Since I'm in SE VT, I'm just across the Connecticut River from NH and often hit the NH liquor store in Keene. So how do I sign up for the newsletter?

        Thanks!
        Bri

        1. re: Bri

          I'm sure if you emailed Jen/George at :

          beveragewarehouse@beveragewarehousevt.com

          and explained that you live outside the area and were interested in their store/specials they would send you a copy. There is an annual fee for the club ($35 I think) whih is worth it if you buy a lot of wine (and there are some local bonus uses at restaurants). Feel free to mention my name.

          1. re: TonyO

            I'm sorry, my post was vague about who I wanted to e-mail. I was responing to this from your post:

            6. NH: We buy in NH when the wine is on sale AND they couple it with a case discount (sometimes as high as 20%). The result can be a significant savings. You can sign up for their email newsletter which will give you a heads up on specials.

            I wanted to know how to sign up their the NH outlet e-mail newsletter...

            Thanks for the other info as well though!

          2. re: Bri

            FYI, some wineries can ship to VT. Generally it is those that do not have ditributor networks but I have bought wine from some that do (not sure how they get around the legalities).

            1. re: TonyO

              One of the best wineries that can ship to Vermont is John Anthony. They make a Syrah, Cab Sav, and a Sav Blanc that are all excellent (and priced at about $50, $40, and $20 respectively). A bit pricey (except the Sav Blanc) but the quality is excellent and they are very nice people (must be a small operation as the owners often answer the phone). I had the 2004 Cabernet last night and it was excellent. I have never seen their wines in retail here in VT. Their websit is www.javwines.com

              1. re: TonyO

                Correction, it is www.javwine.com (no "s" after wine).

            2. re: Bri

              The Wine Country can ship to VT now, the home age of the website has the restricted states litsed VT is not one of them.

              1. re: bubbles4me

                Oh my goodness, you're right! I never bothered to check the restricted listing to see if it changed. Thanks!

              2. re: Bri

                I believe it is marketing@liquor.state.nh.us I hope that works.

              3. re: TonyO

                Great reply. Another option is City Market (a.k.a. Onion River Coop), which often has good deals, especially on under $15 bottles. A little farther from Burlington, in Waitsfield, is one of the best grocery store selections around at Mehuron's Market. Its a locally owned IGA with a surprisingly good range and decent pricing.

                1. re: TonyO

                  Wanted to make sure you guys knew about Bottle Shock -
                  opening today in Burlington, Portland, etc.

                  Great movie for wine lovers.

                  t

                2. Katie:

                  There is a terrific wine shop in Vergennes (a much shorter trip than NH) that stocks some terrific wines, varied in both price and style. One you may want to try is the 03 Juan Toro. Excellent with any red meat! Enjoy.

                  BBB

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bigbadbill

                    I second the Vergennes Wine & Beverage shop. They have specials plus buy 3 or more bottles of wine, receive the case price for each. (11% off). Also City Market for the odd special and PC have some amazing bargains if you keep a regular eye out for them. Looking forward to scoping out Winooski next time I'm up there though. Thanks, Tony!

                  2. Wine Library in NJ is one of the best wine stores in the country for both selection and price. They ship to New England (including VT) and shipping rates are very reasonable. No affiliation. Just a very satisfied customer. In fact, NJ is home to quite a few excellent wine shops that have no problem shipping to New England. Check them out.

                    www.winelibrary.com
                    www.garyswine.com
                    www.canalsliquor.com
                    www.stirlingfinewine.com

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: FoodieJim

                      Wow!! Thanks, guys!! I'm pretty excited to go shopping. I'm in the middle of this intensive summer class that ends Friday, so I think that would be a good day to start, lol.

                      FoodieJim, I have an aquaintence who also buys all his wine from NJ. He told me he never has a problem as well (and it even says "wine" all over the box when it is delivered.) The only problem he said is you have to be around to sign for it, and he sometimes take days off from work to do so. That's why I haven't explored NJ just yet!

                      TonyO, you are the best. You're always full of great information plus you crack me up. :) I think my husband and I will try Winooski this week and see how that goes.

                      Thanks again, everyone... I will keep y'all updated!

                      Katie

                      1. re: katiepie

                        Good Luck ! Also, when we have wine shipped, we have it shipped to my wife's workplace. That solves the problem (assuming you or your husband have an employer that can receive shipments).