Saturday, March 04, 2006

Where I buy my wine

This is from the perspective of someone living in Columbia, Maryland, and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the good places in the Columbia/Baltimore area.

1. Iron Bridge Wine Company I get most of my everyday wine from this marvelous shop and restaurant. They have a great list of good wines that they present as "monthly specials," and, when you buy by the case, they give you a 20% discount. It is also good for things that are interesting and hard to find. This place is also my favorite restaurant in Maryland.

Iron Bridge Wine Company State Route 108 Columbia, Maryland 21044
410-997-3456 phone 410-997-3807 fax

2. Kings Contrivance Liquor Store Located in the Kings Contrivance Village Center in Columbia, this friendly neighborhood store has good monthly specials, reasonable prices, and they sell the
Wine Spectator. The only thing I don't like about this shop is that their prices on sparkling wines and Champagne seem to be a little steep.

Kings Contrivance Liquor and Smoke Shop 8630 Guilford Road, Columbia, MD 21046 (410) 290-7860

3. Mills Fine Wine & Sprits I use this shop in the harbor area of Annapolis when I want to stock up on special wine. It is excellent for getting serious Bordeaux, for example. Most of the staff are friendly and almost all of them are knowledgeable. If you go to Mills, ask for the catalog, which gives you better prices than the prices that are marked on the shelves.

Mills Fine Wine & Sprits 87 Main Street Annapolis, MD 21401(410) 263-2888 (800) 261-WINE (410) 268-2616 fax

4. Corridor Wine This shop in Laurel sometimes has very good prices. It is worth getting hold of their advertisement and making sure you get the advertised prices. Prices of Champagne tend to be very keen, but I have sometimes felt that their prices on high-end wines are little high.

Corridor Wine & Spirits 3321 Corridor Market Place, Laurel, MD 20724
Phone: 301-617-8507
Fax: 301-617-8506

5. Berry Brothers and Rudd I use the duty free outlets of this astounding wine merchant whenever I go through London Heathrow (LHR). Recently, the dollar has been so weak against the pound that it has become a little expensive although I recently picked up some terrific bargains. I love their "Good Ordinary Claret" that comes in useful 500 ml bottles. They have closed their shop in Terminal 3, but they have a good outlet in the general duty free shop with a good range of wines. It is best used to find stuff that is hard to find in the United States (or wherever you happen to be traveling) rather than to try to save money although, very occasionally, both of these objectives can be met. Berry's seems to be one of those "old fashioned" merchants that have kept up with the times combining the advantages of new technology with traditional service principles. In the context of a wine merchant, this means sound advice after listening carefully to try to figure out your taste as opposed to the fatuous "how-are-yous" that are so common in retail today. (Forgive the diatribe!) On the modern side, they have one of the most informative websites on wine with good e-commerce capability.

Berry Brothers sells wine in all the terminals at Heathrow, and these are listed on their site.


Anonymous said...

Hey Moyey, how's it going? Nice article. Good to have. Next time you're headed to IB and need a partner in crime, let me know, I need to stock up!


Moyey said...

I would love to -- give me a call!

It will be interesting to see their specials for March. If you are looking for some good value, right now, you might want to get the Menage a Trois from Folie a Deux in California, which I bought from the Kings Contrivance Liquor Store for $8.49 a bottle. I think I bought the rest of his stock, but Jim, the wine buyer, said that he could get more in. Their number is (410) 290-7860.

It is exceptional value for money!