Wine Retail: Cost Less Wines and Liquors, Stamford, CT
In order to drink wine (better: drink GOOD wine), we all have to get it somewhere. Outside of getting the wine as a present, “get wine” equals “buy wine”. There are few ways to go about buying wine. You can do it at the winery – often works well, you can try before you buy and get information. Then of course you can buy it online – this is most difficult method, as you have to know precisely what you are doing, wine can be damaged during shipping (I don’t mean broken bottle, think about summer heat, for instance). And the simplest way – buy the wine at the good local wine store. Well, it is simplest if you happened to know where this good local wine store is.
I want to bring to your attention my favorite wine store in Stamford – Cost Less Wines & Liquors (1073 High Ridge Road, (203) 329-2900), the good wine store. What am I looking for in a wine store? Yes, of course wine, but this is not the point. In no particular order, but good prices, selection, service, knowledgeable staff and overall store organization are all very important for the good wine store. Lets talk about these elements.
Store organization: Cost Less is easy to navigate. All the wines are grouped into the regions with easy access, with sparkling wines and kosher wines located in the separate sections. Beer and all different types of liquors (Scotch, whiskey, cognac and so on) located along the wall:
Great Selection: Store offers great selection in every section. Despite the limited size (store is not huge), all wine making regions are well represented – California, Washington, Oregon, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Israel (I’m sure I forgot something) – and all sections are well stocked. There is a lot of interesting wines on the shelves, such as Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon (96 points from Wine Spectator, and don’t forget to look at the price):
Another point on the subject of great selection is Growers Champagne. Demand for Growers Champagne is quite recent phenomena, so very few store carry them. Here is a brief description from Wikipedia: “While large Champagne houses, such as Mumm, may use grapes sourced from as many as 80 different vineyards, Grower Champagnes tend to be more terroir focused, being sourced from single or closely located vineyards around a village.” Cost Less got great selection already, and probably will offer even more in the future (if you had not tried one yet, I highly recommend that you will try it rather sooner than later):
Great selection of beers, with a lot of quite unique offerings (you can see one of my previous posts on this subject – all beers came from Cost Less). Excellent selection of cognac, tequila and vodka, and amazing selection of scotch, including some very unique offerings (note to self – not to use “unique offerings” repeatedly… but what should I do if I think they are?):
If I may, I would like to mention that Rosebank distillery is closed, so I don’t think there are too many bottles left as the one shown above. And if you take a look at the prices (30 years old single malt for $220 – WOW) that brings us to the next characteristic of a great store – good prices.
Good prices: as you can already see from the pictures, there are great prices all over the store. All the wines and liquors are well priced, compare to any other wine store in Stamford and around. There is also 10% discount on the mixed case purchases (as long as the wine is not sold at the minimum state price). On this subject, I must bring to your attention one of my favorite California Cabernet wines, Ladera:
Service and knowledgeable staff: you got it all. Store owner, Zak, is always available to answer questions, recommend wine or simply stand aside and let you browse through the selection without any pressure – I think this is the great talent ( I really don’t like being attacked in the store as you walk in – that never happens at Cost Less). If the wine you are looking for is not available in the store all you need to do is to ask Zak to get it for you – it is that easy.
And to add one more point: if you reading my blog, you know how much I value opportunity to “experience” things. Along these lines, every Friday and Saturday, there is wine tasting at the store, where you can experience great wines, such as, for instance, Charles Mara or Duckhorn:
With the holidays coming, and wine being definitely important part of any celebration – head on to the Cost Less, you will not regret you did (hmmm, sounds like an advertisement, and I really didn’t mean it… or may be I did, just a little bit). Ahh, and don’t forget that Beaujolais nouveau will be released on Thursday (November 18, 2010) – who knows, I might run into you at Zak’s…