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Aug 26, 2007 10:11 PM

Durham Wine Shops

In the spirit of my other topic on cocktail and wine bars, I'll also need a local wine shop that can provide me with interesting bottles. I'm willing to do the Total Wine thing for staples (though the lack of case discounts hurts me because I'm used to 15-20% mixed case discounts at home), but is there anywhere in Durham I can pop into for an interesting bottle or two. Making these cool discoveries is contingent on having a smart buyer/owner and engaged staff, so those are my other two criteria.

I don't really want to have to trek out to Raleigh to check out this Carolina Wine Company place that people like. And even A Southern Season is a bit of a hassle to get to with 15-501 traffic.

A local joint in Durham would be nice. Suggestions now that Fowler's is kaput?

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  1. The Raleigh Earthfare is not so far from Durham. They, at least the Asheville location, give case discounts. Pretty sure it applies on mixed cases too. Some of their locations have periodic wine tastings with a larger discount offered on the items tasted. Pretty good selection & when on sale you can do well!

    1. The place in the old Fowler's space seems to have a decent selection but I didn't really have much time to poke around.

      Also, for an interesting bottle or two, the Durham Foster's Market on 15-501 business (and next to Guglehupf!) would probably do the trick. Their selection isn't huge but it is eclectic.

      1. I haven't been there yet, but I think Wine Authorities on University by Thai Cafe may be what you're looking for.

        1. Stay away from Earthfare if you're looking for a buyer that knows what the hell they're talking about. I'd agree with anne-- Craig and Seth at Wine Authorities, when they open, are gonna have the market cornered on smart, interesting stuff, and they know as much as anyone around. You are psyched that those guys are opening in Durham, Bryan, trust me. That said, until they open, you can take erwin to whitfield, and turn left on 86 at that light, and you'll be a block from Chapel Hill Wine Co. From Duke campus it's 15 minutes, and only a 1/2 a mile on 15-501 (exit at 751, and go around the rotary to the top of Erwin).

          2 Replies
          1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

            I was going to suggest the same. And from there it's only another 10 minutes to Glasshalful in Carrboro.

            1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

              I'd also like to put a plug in for Chapel Hill Wine Company. Yes, it may be a bit far, but they are really very excited about wine, and not snobby, which my limited budget appreciates (and if you go via Erwin Road it's lovely drive). Also, you can pay for a 6-bottle reusable bag (I can't remember how much) which gets you a 10% discount every time you use it, and they track your purchases, which I love because then I often buy a single bottle to try, and then want to go back and buy more.

            2. I am very excited about Wine Authorities. I'll probably just end up hanging out there on my off days. Until then, I'll check out some of these suggestions.

              5 Replies
              1. re: BryanZ

                I've been stoked about Wine Authorities for a few weeks now. Anyone have any news on when they might actually open?

                I'm really fed up with one local place I had been frequenting, and can't hardly wait for Wine Authorities. (As if advertising a champagne's connection to a Jay-Z video wasn't enough to scare me off, recently he was informing customers that Icewine is made from grapes affected with Noble Rot and frozen on the vine. Half right, no?)

                I've been to Parker and Otis twice now for wine, and it seems promising. They're definitely aiming for selections you can't get at the supermarket, and would like to offer wine classes at some point (but that's definitely still in a wishlist state of existance right now).

                There's a continuing ed wine class at Duke starting in October (five Wednesday evenings 6:15-8:15) - I have been so dearly wanting a true class that I bit the bullet and paid for it. I've heard from others who've taken similar classes from this instructor and it looks to be quite promising. (course #11170, if you're interested)

                1. re: abowes

                  Can you give me more info. on that Duke class? For purely selfish interests I may be able to finagle myself in using some kind of discount or something.

                    1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

                      hm... from what I found online, it seemed to be two different things.

                      1. re: abowes

                        actually... i stand corrected. hopefully it'll let me remove my original post... oops!