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Feb 6, 2010 11:15 AM

Wine shops in MPLS

Am traveling to MPLS next weekend and need to stock up on wine. Want to go somewhere with rather large selection at all price points and from all over the globe. In particular, some place that takes good care of thier wine. I've been burned a couple of times now by paying a pretty penny for wine that was corked! Would be an added bonus if they had a good liquor selection as well. In particular looking for St. Germain, Laird's Applejack, Angostura bitters and the like.

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  1. Surdyk's is your best bet. They are known for having an absurdly deep roster of Rieslings, and it is my experience that they take good care of their wines. If you go during the day on Friday and Saturday, you can sample a good number of wines, if you like. They have Applejack and St. Germain, and I would have to assume Angostura bitters as well.

    If you get a bottle of corked wine, do let the store know. They may be able to arrange a refund upon your next visit.

    1. Hennepin Lake Liquors is my fav wine store. It's really cramped but they have a ton of wine and people who know their stuff. They DON'T take credit cards- only cash or check- but the prices are consistently lower than any place in town. It's not the shopping "experience" that Surdyks is but you can get a lot of really great wine for a lot less.

      4 Replies
      1. re: meljohns

        By far your best bet will be winestreets but you have to drive 20 minutes to North Oaks. They will have their sale through Saturday the 13th. Surdyk's is not having a sale right now so prices are high.

        If you want to stay in Minneapolis Hennepin Lake will be the best bet as mel said. CASH ONLY!

        1. re: meljohns

          To be even more clear, cash only and they don't have an ATM, so you can't get cash there. Love the place, but I never have cash, so I never make it there.

          1. re: churchka

            They do take checks also.
            And they'll happily tell you there's an ATM at Rainbow, haha. However, you'll also pay $3-5 less than at Surdyks for the most part, per bottle.

          2. re: meljohns

            I also like Hennepin-Lake, however they do not have anywhere near the library Surdyk's has. If you know what you want, and Hennepin-Lake has it, you can't beat the prices. By my standard, neither place takes very good care of their wine, but Surdyk's is probably better. Hennepin-Lake looks like the kind of place that turns the heat off at night and both places are too warm inside.

            Surdyk's also has many of Terry Theise's selected wines...and that guy knows his Austrian/German varietals if you're into that. The in-house experts also do a respectable job with the write-ups for about 80% of their bottles (look for the little tags on the bins).

            Both places will certainly have all of liquor/liqueurs you are looking for.

          3. Where are you staying? How far are you willing to drive?

            If you are going to be downtown Minneapolis, you have two choices. Surdyk's has been mentioned. Also Haskell's (many locations, one of which is downtown). Winestreet was mentioned, but they do have some bottles that have been sitting on the shelf forever. So caution about that.

            I'm also going to suggest Zipp's (not far from downtown). They will have the spirits you are looking for, and carry some spirits I've only found there.

            If you are staying with friends, and want to share the location, we can find you someplace closer to where that is.

            Oh, and corked wine is not the fault of the shop. Truly corked wine gets that way because of a taint from the actual cork. Cooked wine, on the other hand, wine that has been stored at too high a temperature for too long, can be the fault of either the retailer, the wholesaler (warehouse temp), or the transporter. Retailers will generally refund a wine that is truly corked, and pass the cost on up the line. Not so, however, for non-winemaking flaws.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Brad Ballinger

              I'll second Zipps. And it is more relaxed and someone ALWAYS asks me if I need help/recommendations when I'm looking around the wine section. They even came up with a great pairing for a vegan soul food dinner I was attending.

              1. re: churchka

                Yeah, if you're going to go to a more intimate, relaxed place, Zipps is a good bet. I would say the employees at Surdyk's are always happy to help, but the folks at Zipps make a more deliberate effort. Zipps gets some wines that are way out there as well (they used to regularly feature past-peak aging wines at a substantial discount, but haven't recently), as well as an excellent selection of dessert/fortified wines.

                Haskell's has knowledgeable people as well, and a good selection. They play games with their pricing (faux discounts and the like), so be sure your buying based on what is valuable to you.

                Aside from those, and I don't like to criticize anyone's choices, but based on your description, I can't imagine Hennepin-Lake or some of the niche-y wine stores are going to meet your expectations as a one stop shop. That said, if you are traveling from afar, I see no reason not to stop at more than one place.

            2. Solo Vino in St. Paul is the best wine shop around, but Sorella on 11th and Washington has a really good selection, too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sophia428


                What makes Solo Vino the best shop around? Do they have Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone covered? Do they have great sales? I have never been there so I am curious what they have.

                1. re: Sophia428

                  Solo Vino is indeed good for wine, but not for what the OP is looking for. You won't find what else katolia wants at Solo Vino. The thing that still continues to bother me about Solo Vino is that, although they FINALLY installed shaeds on their large southern exposure windows, the highest-priced wines are still waaaaay up high on the shelves, where they are going to suffer storage damage more quickly.

                  For good or bad, Chuck prides himself on getting in wines that no one else brings in, and he doesn't hesitate to let you know it. At times, to my ears, this sounds like a "buy this because I busted my ass to get it in here."

                  But Solo Vino has put on the best tasting event I've experienced...In the summer, they did a tasting of all rose wines (over 100). Very cool idea, and very good wines.

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