I'm in Highland Park and my local Rite Aid has a large selection of wine. Anyone have any recommendations for wine that is $20 or less and came from Rite Aid or a similarly bizarre location? If not, why don't we start a little catalog right here! In fact, it might be worth listing any heinous bottles as well.
My two favorite wine stores in NJ are in Springfield and Marlton, opposite ends of the state. Even if you don't visit their stores you can sign up for their e-mail alerts and then shop for the wines locally. Or you can have them ship to you.
Both stores have great inventory of wines from around the world in all price ranges.
There are many other high quality stores but the above are my favorites.
i remember that rite aid used to stock columbia crest riesling in their cold case. decent wine for around $14. great match for spicy food, like thai thai.
Current NJ law doesn't allow liquor licenses to be held by grocery or drug stores (or for one entity to own more than two licenses)- the law was changed sometime in the early 1960's IIRC (there's a move to repeal it, backed by the big chains like Wegmans).
There used to be a number of stores which held licenses before the change and those were "grandfathered" in. Besides the one in Highland Park (I remember it being a "Drug Fair", opposite the original Pino's, on Raritan Ave.), there was a drug store up in the Elizabeth area with a license, as well.
In East Brunswick, on the corner of Ryder Lane and Milltown Rd., there used to be a small "Foodtown" that not only had a liquor license, but was also a sporting goods store. One of the few places in NJ that one could buy a canoe, some ammo and a case of beer along with your groceries. (I think there's one of those ugly, giant chain drug stores on that corner now.)
When I moved to Elizabeth in '85, there was a place on Morris Avenue in nearby Union called (I think) Metro Drugs and Liquor - it was and remains the only such combo store I've ever seen. I was told it was originally a pharmacy that had an alcohol license during prohibition and that was how it became both a drug and liquor store.....
I know about Rite Aid as it's one of the few places you can buy liquor 'n wine in HP. that said, I buy most of my wine from Costco in Edison.
Ive been told (have not been myself yet) that Trader Joes in Westfield has a great selection with the best pricing in the State. Same for NY.
Call Gary at Wine Country on Rt. 22 in North Plainfield. He recommended a terrific red, Granfalco Tuscano Rossado(sp) for an upscale Italian dinner party we recently held. Got raves from many...