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Mar 9, 2009 01:27 PM

Pennsylvania liquor store bargains

I'm always looking for good QPRs and thankfully we do have the Chairman's Selections in the specialty liquor stores here in PA. I'm wondering what bargains you have run across in your regular liquor stores? They seem pretty limited here in Southwestern PA. BTW, I've been drinking a lot of Spanish wine these days, but they are VERY limited in the smaller stores. Thanks for any and all suggestions!

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  1. I feel for you. My brother lives in Philly, and several times I have combed the PLCB listings, and shook my head. Not much selection, and overpriced.

    1. OK .. the lack of response (thanks for the sympathy Maria!!) shows how difficult it is to buy decent and reasonably priced wine in PA. Please PRIVATIZE!!!!

      6 Replies
      1. re: olivertwist

        Jump in a car and head to Moore Brothers in Pennsauken, NJ or Claymont, DE. You actually get to talk to people who know something about wine and they have wines in all price ranges (not below $11-12, though).

            1. re: Buckethead

              Oops yes, forgot that. Ohio or West Virginia then.

              1. re: maria lorraine

                My sarcastic heart goes out to you. As a resident of Ontario with parents in Pittsburgh, I have a shoppinglist when they come up because of the great deals you have at tghe PLCB!
                I'm on a PA mailing list through a specialty store that sends out offers once in a while. Some are laughable but once in a while a really good one comes through. I'm building my collection of grand cru white burgundies through this.

              2. re: Buckethead

                Sorry about that. I guess I'm a little too Philly-centric.

          1. Are you in Pittsburgh? I'm in CA now, but I attended Carnegie Mellon for graduate school. I'm now in the wine business, and of course have wine coming out my ears, but I definitely recall those days contending with the state stores. Eh gads.

            If you are in Pittsburgh, make friends with the guys at Dreadnought, on Penn Ave in the Strip District, and ask their opinion. They have some good stuff.

            As far as the state stores, the best one by far is the one in Fox Chapel. Their staff should be able to guide you there, as well. Before I moved to PA, I had worked for about 5 years in the wine industry, and heard many horror stories from pros and civilians alike about the state stores in PA. In my experience, especially with the "specialty stores," it's not that bad. Although collecting and getting precisely what you want is basically out of the question - and forget trying to actually acquire anything that got any press - you can usually find something, at least, in any of the major categories. You may not find Sankt Laurent Ice Wine or old-vines Pinot d'Aunis from the Coteaux du Loir, but you can find burgundy, bordeaux, barolo, CA cab.

            Otherwise, yeah - go to DC or Cleveland, or somewhere else, and go hog wild!

            You can also get mail order from many retailers in other states - Hi-TIme Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA is one exceptional example. I think they will ship to PA - go to their website and sign up for the newsletter.

            Happy hunting!

            2 Replies
            1. re: georgempavlov

              I am in Pittsburgh and thanks for the tips. I frequent the Fox Chapel store and there's also a new specialty store in East Liberty that is very nice. I always forget about Dreadnought! I have to get there soon.

              I have been able to find some decent wines, but the pricing is unbelievable. It really would be worth a trip across the border to do some stocking up.

              And I'm pretty sure we can get out of state delivery to a specific PLCB store. We just can't get shipments at home.

              Thanks again to everyone for responding!!

              1. re: olivertwist

                I am always hesitant is buying from these stores as we once drove past one of them on a 100 degree plus day only to see they had a few pallets of wine sitting in front of the store. No worries if they had just dropped them off, but after spending the day in Doylestown shopping, walking around, having lunch, etc, we drove back a good 4 hours later only to see it all still out there on the palate. That makes me nervous, and they have a reputation for selling cooked wines. -mJ

            2. Great wine store in Wheeling WV - downtown on 14th street