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Wine merchants in Detroit suburbs?


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I've just submitted a bid to do a wine tasting event in the Detroit area. I have a local Ann Arbor wine seller that I can work with on events, but I'd like to have someone in the Detroit area instead, so that it will be easier for attendees to buy the wines that are tasted. Anyone have any favorite wine merchants in the suburbs?

Thanks!

Tammy's Tastings

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Which suburbs?

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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North, northwest? Royal Oak, Birmingham, Troy, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield? I'm flexible. Anything up there is going to be more accessible to Metro Detroiters than coming to Ann Arbor to get wine.

As it turns out they decided to not do a wine tasting at all, so I don't need the list right away, but I'd still love to collect people's opinions, as this isn't the first time I've had the need.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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North, northwest?  Royal Oak, Birmingham, Troy, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield? I'm flexible.  Anything up there is going to be more accessible to Metro Detroiters than coming to Ann Arbor to get wine.

As it turns out they decided to not do a wine tasting at all, so I don't need the list right away, but I'd still love to collect people's opinions, as this isn't the first time I've had the need.

Cloverleaf in Southfield; Cost Plus Wine Shoppe (not to be confused with the chain housewares store) in Eastern Market; Merchants Fine Wine in Dearborn (the one in Grosse Pointe is no longer owned by the same people, so I can't vouch for that one); and Holiday Market in Royal Oak are my go-to shops.

The first two are on the small side, but have slightly esoteric stuff that you don't find elsewhere. The second two are bigger and have all the usuals plus some unique finds. All four have a knowledgeable and passionate staff, which I think is the most important.

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How is Merchant of Vino nowadays? I haven't been there since before they were bought by Whole Foods, ten years ago.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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How is Merchant of Vino nowadays? I haven't been there since before they were bought by Whole Foods, ten years ago.

They all closed a few years ago. Plum Market in Bloomfield in another one I should've mentioned. Plum Market is owned by the Jonna family, which originally owned Merchant of Vino (and Merchants Fine Wine, on another branch of the family tree).

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I often go to Holiday Market in Royal Oak, but more out of convenience than anything else- I've found their prices to be noticeably higher than most other wine shops in the area. Papa Joe's in Birmingham has an excellent selection with very fair prices, and I also sometimes go to Beverage Warehouse at 13/Southfield. I just moved back here (after a 2 year hiatus), and I've heard really good things about Plum Market. I would also love to hear more suggestions........

Sandy Levine
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I often go to Holiday Market in Royal Oak, but more out of convenience than anything else- I've found their prices to be noticeably higher than most other wine shops in the area.  Papa Joe's in Birmingham has an excellent selection with very fair prices, and I also sometimes go to Beverage Warehouse at 13/Southfield.  I just moved back here (after a 2 year hiatus), and I've heard really good things about Plum Market.  I would also love to hear more suggestions........

I'm surprised to hear that you find Papa Joe's prices better than Holiday's. I find the opposite to be true, but I guess it depends on what you're buying. Papa Joe's does have a great selection, though.

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Merchants in Dearborn is essentially a Merchant of Vino redux. I'd say it's okay, not great, but it depends on what you are looking for, Tammy. Do you want a place that has a wide variety of stock on hand, or to be able to order wine and get it to you quickly? Do you want someone that knows the stock they are carrying and why? That is usually what I like in a wine store - to be able to talk to the person that's doing the ordering the stock. That's why I like talking to Mary at Everyday Wines in Ann Arbor, or Matt Morgan at Morgan & York when I buy wine - they will tell me why they are stocking the wine they have in the store.

I have also had a good experience with Eric Novak in that way - he is the wine buyer for Hillers Markets. They have stores in the Detroit area, too, he might be a good resource for you!

Mom

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Mom - I definitely want someone who knows their stock. Ideally what I want is to be able to call or email and say "I need x number of wines in these styles and price ranges, what ya got that's interesting?" And then be able to go in some time later and pick it all up. So yes - a Mary or a Tommy is exactly what I'm looking for!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Cloverleaf is my favorite wine-shop :biggrin::wub:

Question: Does anyone know if Gibb's is still around? They were/are the greatgrand-daddy of all MetroDetroit wine stores, at least in my :wacko: opinion.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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Cloverleaf is my favorite wine-shop :biggrin:  :wub:

Question: Does anyone know if Gibb's is still around? They were/are the greatgrand-daddy of all MetroDetroit wine stores, at least in my :wacko:  opinion.

Yes, they are. I was just talking to someone who used to always go to Merchants in Grosse Pointe, but since the sale to new owners they've jumped to Gibbs.

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Cloverleaf is my favorite wine-shop :biggrin:  :wub:

Question: Does anyone know if Gibb's is still around? They were/are the greatgrand-daddy of all MetroDetroit wine stores, at least in my :wacko:  opinion.

Yes, Gibb's is definitely in business (web site).

After I moved to Detroit in the early 70s I frequented their original location on Gratiot near I-94. Larry Shade always made the right recommendation for this poor and naive graduate student (as he did in the 80s for a slightly less poor and slightly less naive psychologist). I'm even more impressed that he still remembers me even though I see him maybe once every four or five years, at their Moross location.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Tammy,

You might be interested in Elie's Wines in Royal Oak. They specialize in lesser know regions and wines. The Fine Wine Source in Livonia on Middlebelt has been a good bet in the past.

Edited for sloppy fingers.

Edited by TJHarris (log)

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I've only been to Elie's once, but I found the staff friendly and helpful, and I see no reason I wouldn't go back. Note they only offer French wines. http://www.eliewine.com/

Simply Wine in Birmingham specializes in inexpensive wines (though they do offer a few higher priced items) -- their tag line is actually, "100 best wines under $15." Every one of their staff I've interacted with has been very friendly and helpful. Warning: it's not the most efficiently-run business I've ever seen (for example, I've come not to trust their delivery service), and I think the prices may be relatively high (meaning, in this price range, say $10 for something you could get for $8 on-line or in another store, if you can find it.) So my wife and I do sometimes wonder why we come here. I guess it's because it's easy and enjoyable to put together a case with the staff's help that lets us explore a lot of different inexpensive but mostly decent wines. I guess that's good for novices, which is what we are.

http://www.simply-wine.net/

Edited by Leonard Kim (log)
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