The region of Burgundy is rich in history and in wine that this is a much watch video.
My retail wine store of choice is BottleRocket Wine & Spirits; located at 5 W 19th Street around the Flatiron District.
What immediately caught my attention is store’s bright purple neon sign and its purple theme color. That gave me the impression of a cool, hip and trendy store.
Upon entering I noticed the different display stands. Each one can be used to look for a specific occasion wine that a customer may have in mind of purchasing. A sales associate helped answer my questions and explained to me the way the wines were assorted. Instead of being arranged by grape varietals, like most stores, the wines were alphabetically grouped by country of origin. To someone who may still be developing their palate or in need of a wine to pair for a meal, this is a helpful tool.
Once familiarized with the store’s system of organization I began asking my list of questions.
What is the stores most prevalent demographic?
“We are a neighborhood store that serves towards our local clientele.”
What kind of wines would you recommend for someone developing their palate?
“For the Reds a light to medium body is a good way to start out because of the lesser amount of tannin. That being said a Grenache or a Pinot Noir from France is a good way to go. As for the Whites , and aromatic Alsace or White Burgundy is a good choice as well.”
At Bottlerocket they are all about wine education. Next to each selection of wine is a set of informative tasting notes and suggestive pairing options. They provide free tastings Thursday-Saturday from 5 to 8pm.
Watch and Learn: Alsace is unique for so many reasons.
I visited Heights Chateau on Atlantic Avenue.
Firstly, the shop itself is quaint. Upon entry, it does seem a bit overwhelming, but as you peruse the aisles, you’ll quickly realize there is an order in which these many bottles are arranged. The first thing you run into when you enter the doors is the checkout counter. I thought to myself “it would probably be impossible to steal from here” but I later found out that isn’t the case. The manager of 20 plus years whom I spoke with (whose name I forgot the moment I left) mentioned that, the store experiences shrinkage on spirits- specifically Grey Goose and Hennessy.
The checkout counter was a bit dusty and cluttered by display cases of wines and some paper goods. I was told that the store doesn’t carry too many supplemental supplies to be paired with a bottle of wine simply because of lack of storage and wasting capital. Staff members have extensive wine knowledge and are able to solicit pairing suggestions to clients. There was,n however, a wicker basket full of wine openers on the checkout counter.
The manager and I walked through the aisles with him pointing out to me the wines are separated by region and variety (red, white, rose). The organization of the store made sense, however, the signage was outdated and unappealing. The idea behind the paper signs are functional and great for reeling customers in and allowing them to locate wine by region of their choice. The signage is due for replacement as it is flimsy and faded. There were also paper flyers announcing the dates and times in which their distributors would be conducting tastings.
While in the aisles, the manager was sure to tell me one thing I would not find is the supply of Romanee Conti (a red wine hailing from Burgundy). This wine is priced at $3000 per bottle and is kept downstairs in the basement for security purposes. Customers did have access to wines from countries including USA, France, Austria, Israel, Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and more. Customers are able to find Kosher, boxed, sparkling wine, and more.
My takeaway from the interview and walk through experience: Wine is all about perspective and is truly subjective. A $15 bottle of wine may do for me what a $3000 bottle of wine may do for someone else. This is not to say that every wine from every region will taste similarly, it’s all about preference. The appearance of this particular location doesn’t hinder any sales, as the store has an abundance of regulars. Additionally, the store manages to attracts clients in other ways like free delivery within the 5 boroughs, promotional bags (an employee chosen recommendation bag of wine bottles and a free reusable tote) and a wine of the month club. Though this may not be the case for other wine retailers, Heights Chateau’s sales and retention is not visibly influenced or affected by the ambient conditions.
My family frequents the liquor whenever there a celebration to have, and with my cultural background, there is always something to celebrate. This liquor store that I visited back in February is one that we frequent often, and though I’m not of drinking age I can give my opinion that I rather favor the shop. Upon entering the store, I was able to get help right away from the staff members at the cash register who then lead me to Trueman Haskell III who is the General Manager of Wine and Spirits Discount Warehouse. He was able to answer all my questions though there weren’t too many, and with me already knowing the store I only need info mostly on their wine section. Here are some pictures I was able to take of the wine choices they had, such as their red section that included Merlot, the white section where I found our recent study if Sauvignon Blanc, and of course, box wine.
As I went further into to the store near the back I found a refrigerator that I’m familiar with that holds the wine I see when I walk in. Trueman told me that where they keep most of the wines that don’t see, which is a way for them to move product that hasn’t done well on profit. This actually clarifies why whenever my brothers and I walk in there a note is on the door explaining some type of sale. Which we usually walk past, to be honest.
Near the front of the store all the way to the left I found where another good part of their wines resides in regions rather than grape variety. From New York to Australia to Syrah there were many wines there waiting for the seals to be broken. By the end of my visit, I felt I had more than enough info and thanked Trueman for his help. Here are the questions I asked along with his answers in quotations.
What are some wines you desire to have in your shop?
“We have a little bit of everything. Wine is very diverse so we try to take it all in”
What are some struggles you have while in this location?
“There isn’t much to complain about. We’re right next to grocery store (ShopRite), so business is good.”
What are your best sellers/where do most of your profit go?
“Most of our wine profit goes to the less expensive names such as Yellow Tail, and Barefoot, which go for $10-$12.”
Do You make your own wine?
“No, I leave that for the pros”
Below I took a picture of some that caught my eye, I should warn you I know very little about wine and mostly just like liquor/alcohol for the pretty bottles.
When I first encountered this assignment, I didn’t quite know how to approach it because I’m not a big fan of wine and don’t ever really drink it. Although I wasn’t going to be tasting the wine, I wasn’t sure I had the enough information to go in a wine store and question them regarding their store. Luckily we came up with questions in class which gave me a sense of confidence to go.
I visited a close by wine shop by where I work, Warehouse Wine & Spirt located 276 Avenue X Brooklyn, NY 11223.
Right before I entered I took a breath and opened the door and my eyes quickly noticed how big long the store expanded to and how organized it was. I then was approach by a gentleman name Sam. I informed him that I was doing an assignment for wine class and if he had some time to answer a few questions and take few photos. He answered, “oh sure I have all the time in the world as you can tell” (empty store) As I
My first question which one was which was is the most popular wine during this season?
He said it would have to be the Yellowtail Sauvignon, because it’s an affordable price bottle for a good quantity.
My next question was, How much money does a customer usually spend?
Sam said around $20-$40, as mentioned their price is very economic for their location and also they know who they are targeting so the range is fine for the community.
The following question was Do you get questioned by customers for answers or recommendations on the product they are buying?
He mentioned that not a lot of customers come in looking for questions, they pretty much know what they’re here for, pay and the head out. There has been a few times couple of weeks ago, where someone asked him about the region of the wine or whether it was dry.
The following question I had was Which category of wine was sold the most Red or White wine?
He said, it’s very hard to say because there is so many varieties of both and they both seem to hit the top.
I then asked if I was able to photograph around and he said sure, I really like how they had mix wines of Red and White in one category according to their country, of course it’s to save storage, but I just liked seeing the different regions, grape variety, producer.
I also liked how they had sales for their wine, like the one above. An Italian White wine Ruffino- Pinot Grigio it was on sale, 3 for $10.58 Ea. They also had a small section of different regions and producers of Sauvignon Blanc (photo below) There was one from Chile, New Zealand from Marlborough which refreshed my memory from last week wine class.
From never entering a wine store I would recommend this store for a quick stop on your way to friends/family house, or for a special someone. It’s super affordable and have a wide range in varieties of wines to vodka, liquor. It was a nice experience and made me more curious into learning more about wines.
How many wine stores have you been to? I have been to a few, but never understand how the store display their wine because I never actually walked around a wine store. I been to the wine store when I was little a few time with family, but parents always said to stay by their side which I never got the chance to look around the store. Due to this assignment, I got a chance to look around and ask some questions.
The retail beverage store I choose was Astor Wine and Spirits located at 399 Lafayette Street.
As I was searching for the location, it was not really hard to find. It is a very noticeable big red building. When you walk in, it is quite big and fancy and they have televisions hung up on the walls telling you what promotions and events they have. The employees at the store are very friendly and helpful. In the store their display is nicely organized. They display their wines in different section based on price and taste. The wine is also separated by the type of wine and region with a sign above the wine.
It is interesting having signs of the regions above the wine and provide some information on them about the wine. I had a lot of fun reading the signs because I can learn more things about it. Using the knowledge I earned from class, I practiced reading labels while looking around the store. It was a really fun experience there. Other than the wines displayed on the floor, they also have a cool room for wines that need to be controlled in temperature.
After taking a look round the store, I had some questions for the employee. The employee was really nice and willing to answer all my questions. Their employee answered my questions clearly and phrased it in a way I could understand. They also respond to my questions quite quickly and with a confident, showing me they have the knowledge of knowing their wine and information very well.
First question I asked was, which is the most popular wine and why? The employee said the most popular bestselling wine is their sparkling wine. Sparkling wine is the most popular wine because the price is cheap, under $10 and their store has been promoting the wine for parties, and wine itself is a great value bubble wine. Other popular wines are the ones that are pricing between $10-15.
Seeing the cool room got me wondering about temperature, so next question I asked was, What temperature do you store the wine? The employee respond “it depends on the wine.” For their older wine, they have it in their temperature control room at about 55 degree. On the floor their temperature is around 60 to 65 degrees.
Another question asked was, What is your best value wine? Their best value wines were from France whether they are red or white. The employee did not give me a specific name for the red wine, but as from white wine, Sauvignon Blanc with the price of $9-10.
The last question I asked really curious of what kind of wine it is because I never heard of it before. I asked, Do you see any trends? I got interested when the employee responded “Natural Wine, Organic Wine.” Hearing that really got me interested because I knew there was organic wine.
Not only did organic wine interest me, I also thought it was interesting when I saw display of “Wines that Staff Adore.” I would never expect a retail beverage store to have a section for staff adores. I think this is interesting because if a store has a section of staff adore meaning the company would like to understand and know what the staff likes to drink. It is just like how retail beverage store would always like to know what customers like to drink and buy. Staff are customers too, they like to drink and buy things too. I like the idea of this display because it gives other customers another opinion of which wine to choose.
This trip to the retail beverage store I had fun and learned a lot. I got to see so many different types of wine varieties. As of the store, I think a benefit was their price range which allowed people to purchase some best tasting wine at an affordable price. A drawback about them was that although they had signs with some information about the region, but not information of the wines. And as for the store’s attributes/ weakness, I think they did not show any weakness, but the staff had very nice attitude, friendly and informative. I would recommend others to come and take a look and purchase come wines.
Retail Beverage Shop Analysis
Xiaocui Wang (Vivian)
“When I first saw this assignment I was very confused , because I did not know anything about wine. Thus, for my retail beverage shop analysis, I decided to go to the retail shop that just one block away from my house called Mighty March. I passed by this store almost every day, but I never had the opportunity to visit. Before I went to the store, I called ahead to make sure that I could speak to the owner or any other store employees that could help me with my questions.
Mighty march is located at 8134 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 11373. This retail shop opened since 2004. The owner Cici is taken over from a Hong Kong couple since 2014 until now. When I went to store, i spoke to a nice lady called Shao. I told her the reason why I came visit the store and she was happy to answer all my questions.
As I walked around the store, I found it pretty small as a retail beverage shop. After that I started ask her questions. Shao told me that all of the wines in the shelves were organized by its region and grape variety. Wine suppliers for the shop would recommend them with a list of wine to be purchased, and they chose Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for red wine. Shao told me that these two types of red wines became the ones with high sale in the shop as expected. For white wines, they chose to sell Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Shao told me that for those who visited the shop for white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is their top one choice. Compare with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc is fresher and smoother, but chardonnay is too sour.
Since there are many Asia and Spanish living in this area that make it difficult to sell expensive red wine and white wine. Therefore, the most sold wine are those value from $6-$20.
My last question for Shao was how did she develop her wine knowledge? She told me her knowledge is learned from sales representative. Also, she learned a lot while selling the wines and through communications with customers.
overall, I was happy that I am starting to know wine and I guess after this visits I will continue studying wine.”
As a student in college studying wine, I did my retail wine analysis at Pete Milano Discount Wine & Spirits located at 1441 Forest Ave. Staten Island. I choose this simply because it was the only retail shop on the list for Staten Island.
Once I entered the store I briefly explained to one of the employees helping me, I was there in order to complete a analysis for my wine class. He was complying and helped me even though I couldn’t understand his accent to well. I was able to get some information from the gentlemen helping me.
The store has a nice set up and makes it easy for customers to shop in the store. The wine they offer to customers from different regions such as Italy , France , Germany ,Chile and California. The way the store is set up is they have flags hanging from the ceiling indicating the different regions of wines in the store. The store is also separated by the region, sparkling wine section, kosher section as well as a fine wine section which was closed off by a small door, it had some expensive bottles of wines but I wasn’t allowed to enter even though I should’ve been able to enter as any customer would be granted permission to.
A question I had for one of the employees heling me with my analysis : what is the best price value of wine you offer. He responded with Robert Mondavi at $9.99 for 750 ML of red wine. Another question I had for the gentlemen: what is the best Italian/ French wine that you sell here at this store. He replied to my question saying Ruffino for Italian wine and Louis Jadot for French wine. I also asked what the temperature of the store usually is , he told me its usually 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
This store had plenty of wines to choose from and it is beneficial to consumers who shop at Pete Milano Discount Wine & Spirits store because they have good displays with small descriptions amongst all their wines.
In conclusion it was a good experience at the store doing the retail analysis. Seeing the store the way its set up made me understand how much pride is in the wine industry . They had a nice clean organized store with sections separating all wines from regions to sparking wine to kosher wines.
Retail Beverage Shop Analysis
For my retail beverage shop analysis, I chose Five Towns Discount wines also known to locals as Price Cutters. They are located at 601 Burnside Ave. Inwood, New York. This is on the Southern border between Queens and Nassau County. From the outside, it doesn’t appear too spectacular. With its generic looking sign and typical promotional ads in the front window it sits between a Stop N Shop grocery store and a $.99 store. But upon entering, most adults a reduced to mere kids in a candy store. The store is massive. It is roughly 5000 Sq. Ft. of Vinified love! It was established in 1979, and also sells liquor.
Huge amount of white wines from Europe, Austrailia, South America and U.S.
Overwhelming amount of reds. Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Syrah. Too many to list.
This is just the tip of the inventory iceberg.
The store Manager, Hugo was very pleasant and has worked there since his teens. They started very small and slowly expanded as neighboring business faded.
Me: What is one major challenge of owning or running a wine retail store?
Hugo: I’ll give you two, he responded. First is the competition. There are so many wine and liquor stores on long island and it is tough to stay on top. We always try to give the best prices and our customers know that. Second has been storage. I remember at one time the owner of the business was like a squirrel. He had boxes of wine in his personal garage, basement, attic even his living room and bathroom. He did whatever he could to find space so he could purchase the product in bulk to sell at a better price. It made his and the customers pockets happy. That is why our store is the size it is now. Hard to beat.
Me: How do you stay current in the wine world when there is so much to know?
Staff: Thanks to the cyber world it has made all our lives easier. We get most of our information about what’s hot and trending through social media and wine websites. It is also extremely important to network and build a rapport with wholesale vendors, local wineries and pay attention to trends outside of the US.
Me: What do think about twist off wine bottles?
Staff: Allot of reputable brands are starting to go the direction of twist off bottles and even boxed wines. Being in the retail business and having tried numerous amounts of them. I as well as educated wine drinkers know that many of these wines are of great quality. However, I also know by the amounts we sell that the vineyards that choose this method might not be thinking about the consumer that doesn’t know about wine or the older consumer that doesn’t want to show up to a party with a twist off top worried about perception of quality. Younger customers don’t seem to have a problem with twist off tops, it’s the older folks that have been using a wine key for the last 4-5 decades that mostly see it this way. Over time I’m sure it will be the norm, just a slow transition. I prefer to see it stay the traditional way. Corked and Cultured.
Me: What do you think about the direction wine is heading?
Staff: Well, it is exciting to see so many new names and labels on the shelves and different tastes, but I hate to say that for many people, that’s all it is. Back in the day there was not as many to choose from and a bottle of wine seemed more sacred. Today people drink wine like water. I mean, I’m not complaining, but there seems to be too many producers and unfortunately many of them look for more affordable methods and the quality might suffer.
Thank you, Hugo and Staff