For my Retail Beverage Shop Analysis, I decided to go to a wine store I had never visited before but had heard a lot about from some of my fellow wine-loving friends: Union Square Wines and Spirits.
Union Square Wines and Spirits is located just a block from Union Square at 140 4th Ave. (bet you didn’t know there was a 4th Ave. in NYC!).
Here is what the entrance looked like as I walked towards it:
The store has been around since 1995 and one can tell just how much those working there appreciate what they do just by speaking with them about their offerings.
The space is quite large, with wine selections from all around the world:
They often host a variety of events including free wine tastings on Saturdays, which I thought was a great supplement to their retail offerings. Not only that, but they even have Enomatic wine machines, which allow them to offer patrons a taste of expensive wines without having to finish the bottle for fear of spoilage.
Speaking of expensive, the wines at Union Square Wines and Spirits have surprisingly high price tags compared to those I’ve seen in other wine stores. The lady I spoke to said that this was because they offered only the highest quality wines, but that they also had cheaper selections for those on a budget (the cheapest one I saw was about $10). In fact, there was a sales bin at the entrance offering discounted options for less selective customers. They also offer a section of featured wines to incite their customers to try something new.
A selection of wines from Germany with their (steep) prices.
One thing I particularly liked was that not only did they organize their wines by region, but also by grape variety. You will see an example of both in the photo below, with Sauvignon Blancs, Merlots, Cabernets, Syrahs, and Zinfandels in the background, as well as Australia, Southern France, Rhone and Bordeaux wines in the foreground:
Along with regular wines, this store also offers a great selection of spirits, as well as a wide variety of kosher wines for its Jewish clientele. In fact, they have a kosher wine specialist who researches, buys and helps customers choose their kosher wine in-house.
The kosher wine selection (left) along with some of the spirits on offer (right).
In conclusion, my visit to Union Square Wines and Spirits was a very productive one. I finally got to visit the store that all my oenophile friends had been raving about and see what all the fuss was: this store offers a truly fantastic, well-organized selection of wines, allowing you to browse, taste and explore the wonderful world of wine with the help of their knowledgeable staff for hours on end. Albeit at those prices, one may only want to buy for very special occasions.