Astor Wines & Spirits
This sprawling, handsome Noho wine and spirits retailer boasts one of the best selections in the city. A tasting bar usually has samples for pour, a 57-degree cool room stores rare and organic wines and plenty of staff are on hand to help you decide which bottles to buy. Upstairs, Astor Center offers frequent tastings, classes and events in a world-class culinary setting.
Park Avenue Liquor Shop
Opened in 1934 following the end of Prohibition, Park Avenue Liquor Shop kept its name when the store moved to Madison Avenue in 1975. Although the shop may seem modest in size, it offers a mind-boggling selection of wine and spirits in its cellar and warehouse, and is known for stocking more than 400 varieties of whiskey. Over the years, the shop has carried one-of-a-kind whiskey and tequila bottlings and has become a destination for liquor aficionados.
Union Square Wines
Just south of Union Square, this wine and spirits shop offers a wide selection as well as a tasting room featuring an enomatic wine system. Based on how much wine you purchase, you’ll earn points towards tastings from the enomatic machine, which usually features wines that are on sale that day. The store also schedules a regular rotation of events, so be sure to join their mailing list for the latest calendar.
This Brooklyn wine and spirits shop may not be the biggest in town, but if offers a well-curated selection of more than 2,000 fine wines and spirits. Wines are organized by region and labeled if they are organic, biodynamic or local, and the store’s large selection of spirits are priced reasonably compared with other shops in the area. And if you are shopping on an evening between Thursday-Saturday, chances are the store is hosting a free tasting.
New Beer Distributors
This no-frills beer store, opened in 1968, offers hard-to-find brews from around the world as well as domestic and imported beer. Usually more affordable than the Whole Foods beer store just up the block, New Beer Distributors is packed from floor to ceiling with a mind-boggling selection. Friendly staff are on hand to help you choose if you feel overwhelmed.
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Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.