Retail Wine Analysis
New York City College of Technology
Wine & Beverage Management
Professor K Goodlad
October 15 2015
For my retail wine visit, I visited Astor Wines & Spirits (www.astorwines.com) located on Lafayette Street in the Downtown section of Manhattan. Astor Wines & Spirits has been in Greenwich Village since 1946. It is located in the De Vinne Press Building, a New York City landmark. Andy Fisher has been the president of the store since 1971 and expanded it nine years into his position. After Astor Wines moved to the De Vinne Press Building in 2006, he opened Astor Center, and educational center located above the retail store. Astor Center offers classes and events focusing on contemporary food and wine.
The 11,000 square feet spaces offers over 4,500 wines organized by region or country. The layout is customer friendly to those who have basic knowledge of wines. Most retail stores I have been to were organized by taste, and not location. I mostly saw wines from Spain but otherwise, it was evenly distributed in the wines they offered. While identifying where the wine comes from, they also provided information with the most common grapes and tastes of the area. Also, each shelf had a “staff pick”, which highlighted and particular wine a staff member liked and their opinion on it.
The first thing I saw when I walked in was a showcase of wines with a sign that “Great Wines under $12”. This immediately showed me that Astor Wines & Spirits was not just for the high end community. Wines ranges from $6.99 to over $1500 and from very common to extremely rare. This was a wine store for any type of wine or spirits drinker. They also offered a variety of organic wines.
While Astor Wines & Spirits offers an extensive line of wines, Astor Centers offers informative classes for beginners to experts. There are two to three classes/events a week that range from wines by specific regions to specialty cocktails. They also offer free tastings on certain days. One of the benefits directly located in the retail store is their Cool Room. The room is temperature and humidity controlled and properly stores delicate wines at an angle. The Cool Room is designed for just expensive wines but for all wines that require a gentler handing when being store.
When I visited the store, there weren’t many customers but the staff didn’t directly acknowledge. They looked like they were busy with the upkeep of the store but didn’t ask if I need any assistance. I wish they would’ve spoke to me, but the stores layout and helpful tips around the store allowed me to find enough information on my own.
My recommendation for Astor Wines & Spirits is to be more approachable for their customers. I purposely stood near staff members to get assistance, but no one asked if I need help. Most of the customers looked like they knew what they were getting, so it’s possible that I could’ve gave the same impression. Otherwise, Astor Wines & Spirits is a great choice for anyone looking to buy affordable quality wine or experience some vintage and rare wines. Astor Wines & Spirits can be a wine store for a beginning wine experiencer to the biggest wine enthusiasts.
Astor Wines & Spirits www.astorwines.com
Astor Center – Wine and Food Experiences in New York City www.astorcenternyc.com
Finding a Customer-Friendly Wine Store. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://guides.wsj.com/wine/buying-and-storing-wine/finding-a-customer-friendly-wine-store/