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Aug 28, 2007 09:03 PM

Ann Arbor Wine Store

Does anyone have a recommendation for a really good wine store? I am looking for a place with knowledgeable employees who will chat with you about the meal you plan on serving and offer specific suggestions.

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  1. Village Corner at the corner of South U and Forest is the premier wine store in Ann Arbor. Their selection is unrivalled and the wine staff is very knowledgeable. As a corollary, if they don't know the answer to your question they'll tell you so. Village Corner is the only wine store I've found in the area with a decent selection of Madeiras. I just love me some Malmsey. The student counter help can be a little hard to take. Just keep an open mind. They were, after all, recently children. Village Corner will deliver to your house.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Summerfield

      When did the VC gentrify? I remember it as a hippie/bum joint that you hit when you're in need of malt liquor and Boone's.

      1. re: misseatalot

        Well, to be honest, it is still somewhat of a dump, as far as that goes. But I think that it was around 1980 that they expanded their space and stocked up on wine from every region imagineable. They have a wine club and sponsor epicurean events centered around food paired with wine. The hippy/bum milieu has transmogrified into a pierced/tatooed/punk/bum tableau behind the counter. You still can get malt liquor and Boone's.

    2. Is the Merchant of Vino store on Plymouth Rd. still there? Loved that store for the hugh selection and low prices. Haven't been there in years.

      3 Replies
      1. re: davebough

        Merchant of Vino is long gone. I liked that store as it certainly did have some good bargains, but it really was more of a wine warehouse. The Village Corner's selection is certainly more...nuanced.

        1. re: Summerfield

          Bella Vino has replaced Merchant of Vino. Their wine selection is quite good at reasonable prices. Can't comment on their wine advice; I've never asked for it. I buy whatever looks interesting and affordable. They do have case discounts on their regular priced wine.

          I used to go to what is now Morgan and York when it was the Big Ten Party Store. They had knowledgeable staff, great selection and good prices. I'd wind up buying a case of assorted wines I'd never tried before. I suppose I should go and check out M&Y and see for myself if the tradition lives on.....

          1. re: bellmont

            I'll have to check it out if I'm up that way. I usually go to VC or to Tippin's (on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd at Pleasant Lake Rd) which is close to where live. If you haven't been to M&Y since the takeover from Big Ten Party Store, you're in for a surprise vis a vis the physical layout of the store.

      2. Morgan & York is the new king of A2 wine stores. Run by 2 Zingerman acolytes. Up on Plymouth Rd. MUST SEE.

        1 Reply
        1. re: g rote

          Uh, Morgan & York is on Packard Rd., east of Stadium, not on Plymouth. If you want really good chocolate to finish off your perfect meal, that is indeed the place to go.

        2. No complaints about either VC (parking is challenging, though--try the garage on Forest) or M&Y, but for a lower-key experience try Everyday Wines in the Kerrytown shopping center on N. Fourth Ave. downtown. They specialize in moderately priced wines.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jim M

            I was looking for a Priorat in Everyday Wines. They didn't have one. VC did. Anyway, it seems like a nice store. But I think that VC is the place to start. M&Y refuses to carry the lower-level ports my wife and I like to drink. The deli aspects of the store are nice, though. You can't beat the cashews there. Keep in mind, the OP was specifically querying about "...knowledgeable employees who will chat with you about the meal you plan on serving and offer specific suggestions". That's VC all the way.

          2. There's only one wine store in Ann Arbor, and it's the Village Corner. It's not only the best wine store in Michigan, it's as good as any wine store in the country.

            It's different from other wine stores in the country. Yes, it's a Mom and Pop, but the staff actually knows and cares about wine, they have many thousands of bottles, all selected by them, not some anonymous wholesaler, and they specialize in value and selection.

            Oh yeah, and they have the lowest prices around too. I hope they don't read this. If you want to learn about wine, they'll teach you too, try for a start. If you just want the best deals, you want the Ann Arbor Wine Club, which is a Village Corner function. Tastings/sales every two months. Ck it out.