Wine store recomendations along Interstate 81 (Syracuse to PA state line)
I will be driving to Syracuse this weekend from Philadelphia. Along the way, I will be looking to pick up some fairly specific but as of yet unidentified Italian wines.
I would be willing to go up to 30 minutes off the Interstate but don't want to get too far off path.
As I am completely unfamiliar with the whole swath of land, can I impose upon my fellow ChowHounders for recomendations on where to shop?
I'm fairly sure you are out of luck unless there is something in Syracuse. I know the shops in Binghamton quite well and believe me, there is nothing worth getting off the highway for. There are a few good shops in Ithaca (the largest being Northside - crappy website, but good shop), but that doesn't exactly fit your 30 min. criteria. You might get off Rt. 81 in Whitney Pt., go up Rt. 79 to Ithaca and then go north to Syracuse along the east side of Cayuga (or over to Cortland and up 81). Hopfully some Syracuse wine geeks will chime in.
The best place in syracuse for fine wine (and where I buy most of my cellerable wines) is Pascales Liquor. The owner, Chuck Pascale is extremely knowledgable. He has an excellent selection of italian wines, as well as a "back room" with some exceptional selections. The store is located on Erie Blvd, and is easily accessed from the highway. One question though: I would imagine that Philly has some excellent wine stores, no? Let me know ifI can be of any other help.
Pascale's also has been known as Liquor Square for a long time. It is on Thompson Road, which is an exit off of both the Thruway and Route 690. It is just a few miles from Route 81 and is a very large liquor store.
They have an absolutely tremendous selection of wines and their prices are OK. You can find quite a few of the more popular Long Island wines there. I have been a customer there since the late early seventies.
It is on the corner of Erie Blvd and Thompson Road, south of both the Thruway and Route 690, east of Route 81. At the intersection that Liquor Square is on, Thompson Road changes name and becomes Springfield Road which runs south of 690.
Depending where you go in Pennasylvania, there is a chain of stores called Total Wines and Liquor that is in Pennasylvania and Deleware (also Florida and Las Vegas). They have absolutely outstanding prices and are each as large as a conventional supermarket. Last year we stopped at one when we were on our way to Ambler, just north of Philadelphia. They are definitely worth going out of your way for.
Thank you everyone. As it turned out, the wines were procured in NJ. That said, we had a great time in 'cuse (Syracuse Suds, Hoffman Coney's, Clark's Ale House, Freedom of Espresso, Doug's Fish Fry in Skinny-atls (I'm sorry, I'm not EVEN going to try spelling it), the pub on Tipp Hill with the green beer tanker in March ... and more. I had a great time and look forward to returning.