No longer does one pop into a store for wine without learning a thing or two. Maybe that education happens through a simple tasting. Maybe it comes from elaborate tags that offer the history of the maker and the grapes. Or perhaps there’s more going on, like a monthly wine club or an outdoor space to enjoy a purchase with friends. These spots around the country do a little something extra for the wine lovers in their neighborhoods.
Tinys Bottle Shop
Tucked behind The Lunar Inn, which serves beer, cider, wine, cocktails and a full food menu, you’ll find Tinys, a shop with a natural wine focus. Beverages can be purchased to sip in its courtyard or brought home, and there are often in-house tastings and small goods for sale, like mugs, T-shirts and candles, some of which are made by employees.
Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe
St. Petersburg, Florida
This Florida shop bills itself as a “neighborhood, social establishment and market.” It offers more than 300 beers and 75-plus wines, in addition to locally sourced deli items. Meat, fish and veggie sandwiches are on the menu, each named for a music festival.
Castro Village Wine Co.
With a focus on California wines both big and lesser known, this Castro shop has served the neighborhood since 1980. It’s also easy on customers’ wallets: More than 180 of its wines are less than $25.
Henry & Son
The inventory in this Harrison neighborhood shop focuses on small and craft producers of wines and spirits. Its roster of events skews intimate, as evidenced by the number of winemakers that show up for the majority of its tastings.
Show & Tell
In the back of lauded bar Meta comes the brand-new Show & Tell. It’s named for the strip club that once occupied the space, which is modeled after Twin Peaks’ Red Room. Its bottles span the globe, with a focus on small producers, the kind of spirits that a bartender would love and limited barrel selections.
Queens, New York
In the Jackson Heights area of Queens, Table Wine makes special effort to stock New York State wines, spirits, beers and ciders. The shop works with the neighborhood historic district to promote educational events and hosts a few of its own, such as spritz tastings, cheese pairings and more.
This Michigan Avenue shop, currently in the Corktown neighborhood, has served the city since 2009. With a global selection that changes weekly, a backyard firepit, monthly tastings, food pop ups, DJs and live music, it’s become a go-to hangout in the city.
That’s not just a name. This wine bar is actually located in an apartment complex, and it offers 30% off on every to-go order. Best to stay a while, though, as its short, stellar by-the-glass menu changes daily.
45th Parallel Wines
In the St. Johns neighborhood, 45th Parallel does double duty as a bar and shop with a focus on Oregon wines. It offers a monthly wine club that gives members surprise selections from around the world that may not end up on store shelves, as well as a discount off by-the-glass pours.
Stony Brook, New York
The standard-bearer of wine and spirits shops on Long Island sits on, yes, a lake in this university town. Its selection skews French and is much bigger than what’s usually found around the suburbs. There are weekly in-store tastings every Friday, with private tastings available upon request.