Harry’s Wine Store Assignment (Grand Wine & Liquor)

It always surprises me that whenever I have an assignment to do for school I end up discovering something new and most of the times very valuable. When I was told I had to visit a wine store for my assignment, my mind went to my local wine store in Astoria called Cypriana. Which is literally a block away from my house. But before I made the decision, my professor had already outlined a specific one in my area called Grand Wine & Liquor. Mind you, I have been in Astoria over 20 years and I always pass by this store as it is literally located conveniently on 30th avenue at my train stop but never had the courage to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I am happy that I did. As most of you know this or not know this Grand Wine & Liquor is one of the biggest if not the biggest wine store in Astoria. I remember it that it looked rather old and the interior outdated just looking from outside. But they had recently renovated it. So I said one weekday to go with a few questions and with the interest of buying a nice bottle of wine for myself to be a “good customer” and visited the store. My first impression when I walked in was how clean and organized everything was. The high ceilings with clear signs that indicated the countries from where each wines came from and where they are located was easily an amazing attribute. Especially for those people that are looking for specific regions. Another very good attribute of this store was how spacious the rows of shelves were between each other which was about 2 yards apart. That gave plenty of room for you to walk with other people and not feel that the store is overcrowded. This gave you the sensation that you were at a huge department store like Macy’s with less of the hassle. Which is something a buyer really desires, to be comfortable while shopping. Another fascinating feature was the variety of wine producing countries this place had and not only your usual suspects like France, Italy and California. There were wines from Romania, Chile, Greece, Australia, South Africa, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Montenegro to name a few. I had assumed that this was to cater to the majority of Eastern Europeans that lived in Astoria. The customer service there was excellent. I had been greeted at the door with a smile and asked if I needed any help finding anything. I had told the manager there that I would be taking pictures of the store and wines for an assignment and he said that it was fine and if I needed more information I can gladly ask for it. So that is when I thought to purchase a wine and then be more confident to ask the questions that I already had in my mind for my assignment. So for the record, I had bought a bottle of Amarone Della Valpolicella 2012 from Italy. So when I approached the manager I had initially asked him if he has seen any differences in the wine retail sales over the years. His response was that people have become more savvy in choosing a wine to buy whereas back in the day they would choose more blindly with the price factor mainly in mind. This savviness has made wine sales increase dramatically and has made the consumer more educated about wines he mentioned. My second question was if he sees a specific grape variety being sold during the winter or summer more often. He replied with a very short answer, “there is no pattern”, he continued to tell me that people can buy deep reds like Cabernet Sauvignon in the summer because they are having a barbecue with steaks, and in the winter buy a Sauvignon Blanc for the grilled fish they are doing at home on a cold night. Yes it is truly that diverse he said. The final question I asked him was what is the most significant factor a consumer should consider when buying a wine, and he replied, “value and taste”. He explained to me that the stores like to sell wines of great value as people sometimes do not realize how great a wine is but only if it is offered to them at an enticing price. And the fact that if a person feels that he has not tasted a great Malbec or Cabernet they should always give it a shot and try that wine people are talking about. My only negative about the store was that despite the fact that they have so many regions I found that they just did not have the plurality of wines from California in their store that my other wine store Cypriana has. Maybe this was due to the fact that there are thousands and thousands of wines and it would be impossible to have them all and that they also conduct their wine sales online too which might be the key factor here. I did not want to mention it as a first time buyer but maybe in the future I will. Overall this was a great experience and I am thankful to our wine class and professor for allowing to me to discover Grand Wine & Liquor.

From the outside you can tell how large this store is which is conveniently located on the corner of 30th ave. and 31st street in Astoria.

The store is very spacious with rows of shelves about 2 yards apart. The signs of the regions clearly hanging from above.

A small corner dedicated to Greece with all its famous spirits like Ouzo, Retsina, Metaxa Brandy and some very good wines from Santorini and the Peloponnese.

The various wine producing regions of France are indicated making it easier for the buyer. Notable regions like Bordeaux, Loire, Burgundy and Alsace.

For those special moments of celebration. You have your Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot which are champagnes and you have your Prosecco from Italy a popular sparkling wine.

These are the finest wines the store has and at high prices as you can see.

It is actually cool to have some great wines at cheap prices for those not ready to spend a lot.

5 thoughts on “Harry’s Wine Store Assignment (Grand Wine & Liquor)

    • I was fortunate to see and taste some notable Amarone wines on the wine lists of some restaurants I have worked in and they were and still considered the finest red wines of Italy. I wanted to buy a good wine and see for myself. The manager also recommended this particular one, over another wine that I was going to get. It was around $35, so I said why not:).

  1. I am grateful you learned something of value while completing this assignment, it is my goal. The renovations of the store look great and I am sure the investment will provide great return for years to come. Your conversation showed trends that I am sure others will reveal as well, great job.

  2. Hi Harry. What you think that advantage and disadvantage of large chain store and small shops? because when customers shop for products, they often encounter a number of different products to choose but at the same time for their business is that a big challenges?

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