Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gem of a Wine Store

   Last weekend I discovered a gem of a wine store in New Jersey of all places. Gary's Wine and Marketplace, however, is not just a wine store; it is a one-stop shop for wine, beer, spirits, gourmet items and wine related gifts. With a few locations throughout New Jersey, I stumbled upon the place on Route 23 in Wayne, NJ thanks to my friend Liz.
   Just as Charlie Bucket entered the Chocolate Room at the Wonka Factory in awe, I stood in the doorway with the same wonder, gazing at all the bottles at my disposal. A courteous wine advisor immediately asked if I needed assistance. Not sure if he was just doing his job or if he thought I required medical attention, I let him know I needed a moment to myself, as I absorbed what lay before me.
   I finally composed myself and mentally came up with a plan of action. With six-pack bag in hand, I made my way around the store like a giddy kid. I must have looked confused as I pin-balled around the store in excitement; another adviser asked if I needed help. While we stood in front of the Italy section I searched for a Montepulciano I recently had. He suggested a popular brand they sell – 2010 Natale Verga Montepulciano. It was a fine recommendation, decently priced; I uncorked it that evening. It has a very smooth finish; I would definitely buy it again.
   As I made my way around the reds and filled my bag with other great deals, I worked up a sweat, started thinking about the warm weather ahead and a crisp rose. He led me to the front of the store to a dozen or so on display. At this point I also discovered they do tastings every Saturday from 12pm-4pm (4 wines per person). I sampled a rose 2012 Mas de Cadenet which was dry, light and fresh. I immediately added it to my bag, along with another rose from my list. Six-pack complete!
   Before heading to the checkout, I meandered through the gourmet area and the gifts. They appear to have everything you could ever need, from cheese, crackers, and dips to napkins, plates, and gift baskets; Gary has thought of it all. If you cannot make it to New Jersey, their website is amazing as well. You can order everything online or join a wine club.
   So if you ever find yourself in, passing through or lost in New Jersey, you definitely should wander into Gary's Wine and Marketplace. In the time it takes to make a Jersey u-turn, you may uncover some really great wines!


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