Retail wine shop visit

    The retail shop I went to visit is called Bottoms Up Wines and Spirits located at 731 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238.I called in advance the day before to see if I could have a one on one with a sales person there, but no one picked up the phone. So I went the next day blind and to my surprise it was closed. I was not aware that wine shops don’t open that often in the morning. There was no sign telling me what time they opened, so I checked online and found out they open everyday at noon. I had class and work to attend to, so I went about my day and came back around seven. When I arrived at the store gates were open and the lights were on, finally. I walked into the establishment and say a young man no older than 25 sitting on a table and another young man no older than 32 sitting at the cash register. The younger man greeted me first with a “wazzup, what can I do for you?”, I immediately knew that this place was a more casual spot. I replied telling him about myself and why I was here, and he told me to look around and ask any questions I had.

 I noticed that the wines were separated by price, with the labels $14, $16, $18, etc. painted on the floor. After looking around I asked my questions about the wines and then finished with personal questions about themselves. The younger man’s name was Nick and he started working there 6 months ago, with little to no knowledge about wine and now he is moderately knowledgeable about the industry. He said he came in because he saw the help wanted sign, not because he was really interested in wines. But his interest quickly changed after he started learning about it. The other gentleman’s name was Andrew and he has been working there for only 2 months, but had past experience in another retail wine shop that he worked at for 2 ½ years. He said that this was his passion and will love to one day be a spokesperson for a high end wine corp.  

One thing I found really interesting was their “shelf talkers”. They were not in the open on a pedestal, they were where the other wines were but with a tag on them with a picture of people on them. Andrew explained that this is their way of expressing which is their favorite wines were, by putting this tag with pictures of their employees and having them explain the wine and why they like it. I liked this concept a lot because it creates a connection with the customers that the employees actually like what they are selling instead of selling an expensive wine that might not even taste good. I ended the night by telling them it was a pleasure meeting them, shaking both of their hands and I left.Red from Spain Wine from a place I didn't know made wine Sparkling wine not from France Another Shelf Talker Shelf Talker

Leiser Liquors Inc

The Retail Store that I visited is called Leiser’s located in Flushing; it has been open since 1947. With just over 3,500 square feet of store space, the store has a large collection of bottles to choose from. When I called the day before to ask about coming into the store, the woman Jan seemed intrigued by the project and willing to help. Unfortunately when I got to the store it seemed that she had already left. I consulted Jason, who was stocking at that time. I noticed off the bat that the store was divided into two main sections: wine bottles to the right and spirits to the left of the store. When I asked Jason, about how the wines were organized, he mentioned that they are separated by types of wines. For example, Rieslings were in one area, while champagnes and sparkling wines were in another. The good thing about this is that if you are looking for a particular style of wine, you know exactly what section to go to. It is also beneficial if you are looking to compare the different producers as well as how terroir or producer affects the taste of the wine. The downside to this was that I feel that rather than focus on the individual wines and branch out to try different regions or producers, people would tend to look at the price. Speaking of prices, I noticed that the more expensive wines were at eye level while the less expensive brands were at the bottom.


The Shelf talkers were very helpful in explaining some wine notes and food pairings for people who want to get into wine or are just looking to find something to go with their food. 


One of the countries that we did not cover in class was Greece. I found an Agiorgitiko Wine which is from red-wine grape from the Peloponnese peninsula. The Agiorgitiko grape is best grown in the mountainous and  Mediterranean temperatures of Greece. The labeling in the back described some of the flavor notes as well as food pairings.


When looking for the sparkling wine, I found that most were either from California or France. The one I chose was Meiome Sparkling wine made in  the Methode Champenoise. The label in the back mentions that the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Grapes had influences of “chilly fog and howling winds” from California’s North Coast. 


The Red Wine from Spain that I chose was a DOC (Denominación de Origen Calificada) Rioja Gran Reserva 904.

 Leiser’s has a large variety of wines which were moderately priced ranging from $7.99 to $149.00. Overall, the experience to Leiser’s was pleasant, Jason was helpful and seemed to be knowledgeable about the locations of the wines, unfortunately he did not know much when it came to the regions or specifications.

retail wine shop assignment

The wine location I went to was PJ Wine in Inwood. It’s located at 4898 Broadway New York, NY. It’s around 204th street in Manhattan. This location is a warehouse style Liquor store, so it was very spacious. As I walked in they had a slight incline in the walkway, and an automatic door. When I got to the door and entered I was greeted by an enthusiastic host. Along the whole wall they have wines organized by country and the countries consisted of everything from Spain, to New Zealand to South African. They also had wine on the floor, but most of the liquor like Hennessey, Irsih Whiskey, and Tequila. 

I liked the organization of the store. The fact that they had the liquor split by categories and everything was spaced out good it helped. Also everything Thursday, Friday, and Saturday they have tastings of both wines and liquors, of both new arrivals, and sale items they’re trying to push out. I had the opportunity to try Bushmills Irish Whiskey. For some reason they didn’t have “shelf talkers” in the store. I seen a sign that I thought was one but the worker said that it was just a paper explaining the organic wine options. 

The part of the store arrangement I didn’t was the cashier lines. The start of the line wasn’t clearly showed. There was a worker there but she didn’t make it known where the line began or ended. So until they called next I just stood there hoping I was going the right direction. 


Chris Retail Wine Shop

The wine shop I decided to visit was on located on 87th st and Northern Blvd in Queens NY, the shop is called Addictive Boutique Winery. They have been opened since 2013 and what is pretty cool about this specific spot is they own a wine and tapas place right across the street from the shop. I have personally been to this retail shop before during the semester to purchase wines for an event and the lady was very helpful and giving me a lot of advice on what is best to choose the day of. That is what made me want to come back because I believed I could get some in-depth information on the set up of the shop and ask about distributors, but did not get much.

When I arrived to the door it was locked I had made sure to check the times online so I wouldn’t waste time, but a note was left saying “call I am here”. I called and the lady ran from the back to get the door, I introduced myself and told her I was in the hospitality major and am taking a wine class and was doing a project on retail shops I was hoping she would be interested in helping but just put her arm out and sat at the register. The place inside is very rustic like all wooden interior. As I started walking around I was trying to see if the way the wines were displayed, each section had a country and the bottles laying down. They don’t have wine notes which I wish they had but thats why we study wine. They have a huge collection of Spain wines and sparkling wines that over populated the rest of the shop. Could be because of the restaurant in front since its tapas customers prefer that Country slipped my mind. When I did have a question she would get up and explain or point me out a different wine and explain a bit which I did appreciate.

One of the questions I did ask since they dont have wine notes are how do they decide what to display? she told me the owner display all new bottles at the top and go down, one because its at eye view and two they will ask questions about it since its new which made sense because you want tot sell new products quick because the consumer wants to go back to what they normally drink, so they have a challenge to sell them something they may enjoy.

I got to see a lot in this place a lot of new names how they display there selections I wish they could somehow split it up into clear sections so one side USA, the next South America etc to really get clearity spacing my be in issue but it could confuse the consumer. As my trip concluded I felt like I could not leave without purchasing a bottle for myself. I picked up a bottle of Chenin Blanc + Viognier a white Blend from California 2018 From Vineyard Pineyards. Overall a little disappointed with my visit but they do free tastings very Friday night so I’m hoping to stop one night to see how that goes! As well as trying the tapas restaurant which I recommend all to visit since they are well rounded in the topics of wine!

(could not upload pictures will be sending to you)

Wines & Liquors Junction Blvd.

For my wine retail assignment, I wanted to go a place that was a little bit more out of the box. I felt like everyone was going to do an expensive wine retail shop in Manhattan and I didn’t want that. I opted to go to a wine store that was in a lower income neighborhood. I wanted to see how wine is marketed to people like me or my family. I chose to interview the store owner at Wines & Liquors in 47 Junction Blvd. Flushing, Queens. Even before I could ask him anything, he went on a rant about wines. He got really excited to be interviewed and he started talking about New World versus Old World wines and how Cabernet Sauvignon was created. It was extremely interesting to see. As for the interview, I asked him the following:

  • ¨Which is your highest selling wine? ¨

¨Although we have wines from all over the world, our most famous tend to be wines from California. We have a whole wall dedicated to the most selling right next to the doors so that our customers can easily find what they’re looking for. Our most famous brands are Yellowtail, Ménage à Trois and Barefoot. Most people who buy wine here want to buy wine for dinner and are not necessarily knowledgeable about the topic. There’s been an increase in people who buy wines from South America. We recently had a tasting of Argentinian Malbec which boosted its sales a lot. ¨

  • ¨What is your background in and how did you end up working with wines? ¨

¨All I knew was that I wanted to do was make money. I do not have a background in wine. My background is in business. I knew I wanted to open up a business and I ended up choosing this one because it appealed to me. I knew nothing about wine or alcohol in general before opening the store. I decided to teach myself through the Internet and reading the labels of the wine before I would drink it. Since I would read the label before drinking, I would know what I’m looking for in that wine rather than just guessing. Everything that I know came from doing that or just taking online courses about wine. ¨

  • How do you source your wines?”

“I have a wine database distributor that I order online and he brings them to me. Sometimes people want certain wines that we don’t have but we can order them from the distributor.”


Overall, I think they’re doing pretty good. The owner knows exactly what audience he’s going for hence why he has so much Buchanan’s and Hennessy. With that being said, if they want to reach a more higher end clientele, I think revamping their look and offering a bigger wine selection would benefit them a lot. Considering the audience that they’re serving, their selection is extremely diverse, but for a Manhattan upper-class clientele, it wouldn’t be enough.

Weird and suspicious sangria offered at this store

Prosecco: A sparkling wine that is not from France

Cava: Another sparkling that is not from France

Their sparkling and exotic wall

My cousin and I laughing in Spanish

Some of the best sellers

First place that I find Greek wine in

Retail wine shop

For this report I visited the Ocean Wine & Liquor shop located in the heart of Chinatown. The wine shop was fairly new and they were first open in 2015 and their main goal is trying to promote different of wine to the chinese community. The is very convenient  right off the D and B train and also surrounded by a lot of great restaurants. Upon my arrival to the wine shop I first notice the different section of wine and spirits. Each section was label and place by their regions, for example there was a section for korean liquor and wine. What you’ll find there is the soju liquor and makgeolli ( korean rice wine). Which was very convenient if you knew exactly what you are looking for. In the wine shop I was able to ask a couple of questions to the owner of the place because he was actually stocking up his shelf. My first question was what was his most sold item in the store? He mentions a lot of spirits was where the people mainly headed but  in terms of wine a lot people like sweeter wine like rose and moscato. After that my second question was when purchasing cases of wine which region were mainly pick and why. He mentioned he would also have these two regions of wine and it was France and California. He explained many people seek for french wine because they think are the classic wine and a familiar taste. But for California it was more on the business side where purchasing from region outside of the USA may sometimes be a hassle. But now realizing the market has changed and people are demanding more different types of wine and he startled seeking different type of wine or alcoholic drink that consumers are liking at the moment. He also mentioned there is a struggle of  have a wine shop in the middle of chinatown trying to introduce a new type of wine and or evening just different regions of wines in the current location because the consumer that are surrounding them or their target market are not just consuming wine but a lot of different alcoholic beverages. So their main focus are really trying to provide the needs of the new consumer trends and keeping up with the trends as much as possible.            

Retail Analysis – Astor Wine & Spirits

Tucked away snugly in a brick building on Lafayette and 4th is the one and only Astor Wine & Spirits. When you walk in, looking down from the top of the stairs, you get this grand yet humble welcome from the store. A sea of wooden shelves featuring over 3,000 wines and 2,000 spirits from all over the world spreads though the whole floor, with signs above labeling the country of origin or style of making. Whatever you are going in to purchase; they probably have it.

The layout of the store is organized by sections. The most popular wines, red and white, from French, Italian, Spain, or Old World wines, are mostly in the front. Following towards the back are the rarer ones, such as Hungarian and Armenian wines. The shelves behind that are from Australia, New Zealand, California, New World. Against the back wall is all the spirits, rum, brandy and darker liquors. To the left side there is a temperature humidity-controlled room. Contrary to popular belief, the controlled room isn’t only for expensive wines; regular table wines can be found there too!

Almost every bottle there is small notecard underneath it with a description. Signs with green leaves indicate that it’s a organic or biodynamic wine. It’s become a more common sight of these orange wines, where they take fruit peels and incorporate them into the winemaking process. These have been on the soar lately. What’s trending now is being healthy, sustainable food/drinks, and nonconventional ways to do things- and these orange and “natural” wines are the new hype.

Bambi, one of the sales managers, was kind enough to give me a walk around the premises and insight on the business and winemaking in general. She has been in the wine industry for quite some time now; she enjoys educating people on it and helping them find the right bottle to take home. One of the first things you see when you walk in is the register to the left; and towards the middle of the whole floor is a tasting area. Every week they hold tastings to feature staff picks or a new style. It’s important that wine sellers don’t just sell wine; but also, to introduce and expand the palates of those who purchase and drink. They hold classes upstairs from time to time, hiring industry professionals to come in and share their knowledge, or just studying a specific area or wine style. In this way, they are more interactive with their customers, potential clients, and overall in the industry itself.



Retail Wine Shop Brooklyn Wine Exchange

Wine Retail Shop Visit


For my retail wine shop visit I went to one that was not on the list but after my visit I really believe it should be. I went to the Brooklyn Wine Exchange. It is located at 139 court st Brooklyn NY. Upon entering I felt sort of defeated because I just came from another wine shop where the bottles where dusty and the attendant didn’t even know what a shelf talker was. Entering the BWE was a different experience. I walked up to the cash register and told the attendant that I was a City-Tech student and I was interesting in learning more about wine. I said I was writing a paper on a visit to a wine shop. I asked if it was ok to take pictures and walk around. He said yes. He told me his name was Scott and if I had any questions feel free to ask. I proceeded to look around customers made purchases. The first thing I notice is how clean and bright it is. Every bottle was shining. When I walked up to examine the bottles and to see what these little cards where in front of the bottles. I notice is how it was a shelf talker and every wine bottle had its own personalized shelf talker. As I was taking pictures of the wine bottles and the shelf talkers Scott came up to me and proceeded to tell me how every column of wine is separated by country. Then he said that every 3 to 4 rows within the section is a region and that Within those shelves that’s when it is broken down by the grape. That the BWE tries to make finding and exploring wine easy. Not that it is short of staff eager to help I could over hear conversations with between staff and customers. Giving tasting notes and food pairings you can tell the staff enjoys wine but their jobs too everyone had a smile on their face. I asked Scott what the bigger cards on extra lit shelves with only a few wine bottles on it. He said those are the wines of the month and throughout the store you will see the bigger cards describing the wines of the month. He also said they have a program for their BWE members for $180 a month you get three of the wines from the wine of the month club, access to early a seating at their wine and spirit classes, discounts every time you shop at BWE, special discounts on paid events, including wine dinners & reserve wine class. That’s when he showed me the classroom that had a few farmhouse size tables and more wine exclusive to the room on display. Then he went on to tell me that at the Brooklyn Wine Exchange holds two classes a month and open to the public if you call the day of and see if seats are available. The classes are either free or low cost. This retail shop is novice friendly. I would recommend this location to anyone looking to buy wine or if you are interested in learning.


Photo of the brightly lit Shelving


Wine of the month African editon


Waris-Larmandier Champange


Thirst Wine Merchants

For my retail shop visit, I went to Thirst Wine Merchants on Green Ave in Brooklyn, New York. The place is under a little area so it is not noticeable if you are not paying attention. While entering the shop there is nothing exciting or eye-catching about it. The shop gets straight to the point by only having the wine and county it is from. There are little paintings around. This store looked like a place you go to just pick up a bottle of wine you already knew and then going home. The set up of the store was plain. 

Red from Spain

A pro to this retail shop was the willingness of the worker that was present. He was the only person working in the shop at the time of my arrival. I explained to him what I was doing and he already had an idea because he stated a few of my classmates had come by there already. I asked for all the things I needed and he was able to help in the best way he could. 

While asking about the shelf talker, there was no luck because they did not do those at that location. If you were not a worker in the store or someone who knew what wine they preferred or studied then it would be very hard to maneuver around this shop. The only labeling was the numbers on the bottles, the name or the bottle, and the country above it to distinguish between the wines. The stands the wines were put in hard no writing. In my opinion, when you go into a place like that you would expect writing on the shelf. The first place you are looking is down by the wine not above your head, which is where the countries were.

Sparkling from Italy

Austria is a country located in Central Europe. Most of the wines coming from this country are from white grape varieties.

Red from Austria

At the end of my self-tour, the worker was polite and asked if I needed any more help or had any more questions. 


Heights Chateau

I went to Heights Chateau located not too far from the school. I thought highly of this retail store because it was offered on the wine list that Professor Goodlad provided. Unfortunately, I did not have a pleasant experience. Once I entered with my friend into the store, I stated that I am a City Tech student and I am going to take a few pictures for my wine project. All the sales representatives do not really seem thrilled. Maybe they were just having a bad day or something. Besides the weird vibe I received, I got to look around the store. There were plenty of shelves and rows of wines and sparkling wines from all over the world. It was great to see so many options. The downside was that there were no shelf talkers. I looked everywhere and could not locate any.

As I was roaming around the store, I thought it was so cool that the more we are learning in class, the more I know where these wines are from. There are so many regions and countries that they have in store. All the prices are reasonable prices, they ranged from $7-$40 for average. They do have more expensive wines but I did not look into detail. I explored and looked for the wines I needed to take pictures of. At that moment, there was no red wine from Spain. I did stumble upon on wine from Australia. The label was what caught my attention. “The Gatekeeper” with a gate and a creepy man. It was a 2015 South Australia Shiraz. I did not know that Australia produces wine. “Gruet Brut Rosé” is a sparkling wine made in New Mexico! It has a beautiful rosy pink tint to it. They used Method Champenoise to produce this sparkling wine.

I did not know Australia made wine.

I visited my local neighborhood liquor store. I did ask the owner if I can see any of his red wines from Spain. Luckily, his store carried only one kind! I asked if I could snap a picture. In the end, I bought 3 bottles to make some sangria. He suggested that red wine from Spain makes the most delicious red sangria. It was Campo Viejo, with Garnacha grapes. I never knew this grape existed! I had a better experience at my local store than Heights Chateau.

Red from Spain made from Garnacha grapes, 2016