Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Give The Devil His Due – Wegmans Best Wine Seller in New Jersey

There’s no secret I was against the bill allowing grocery stores to sell wine New York. I was not against the idea, but I was against the bill. It was poorly conceived and written. But at it’s heart – allowing for more wine retailers within the state – wasn’t wrong.

Now, if there is any group of retailers who should be absolutely ashamed of themselves, it’s New Jersey liquor store owners. And if there’s one thing New Jersey winery owners need to do, is that they need to do a better job of banding together and promoting their state product. There still isn’t a state wine event in Trenton or anywhere of consequence in the Mercer County area. There’s not one near Atlantic City. There’s not one in Red Bank or Montclair. Shame on you NJ wineries!

But more so, New Jersey wine store owners are a horrific group, who have completely turned their backs on their state grown wines, even as New Jersey wines continue to show massive improvement. Whatever happened to “local” fellas?!

I have maintained a home in New Jersey for almost fifteen years. I have driven my poor wife mad, stopping in liquor store after liquor store. And rarely am I ever pleased as a search for home grown wine products.

There has been only one store that consistently, for the last ten years, has offered a selection of both New York and New Jersey wines in a wide array of labels and products – drum roll please – and the answer is? WEGMANS!

Give the devil his due – Wegman’s, a grocery store, has consistently, at two locations (Freehold and Princeton) – had the widest array of New Jersey and New York wines available anywhere! One of the best selections anywhere. Anytime. End of conversation. From popular fare to quality wines, Wegmans has never failed to carry local dry sophisticated wines and sweet dessert wines. There are more famous wine retailors in New Jersey - bigger, slicker, more elite, more savvy - but the best retailor of local wines is a grocery store. And you know what the worst part is? They're from outta state! They're from New York, where the lobbyists won't even let grocery stores sell wine! You can't make it up. And you'll never hear Danny Wegman say the word "shizzle."

Here are a few photos so you can see two or three sides of a fixture loaded with local wine.

Congratulations, Wegmans!