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So you are in Orlando and you want to buy a bottle or two of wine or maybe even a case or two. So where do you go? The choices are numerous. There are the wine aisles in the chain grocery stores (such as Publix, Albertson's, Whole Foods, and Walmart Neighborhood Markets). There are numerous neighborhood wine stores (Cavanaugh's Fine Wines, Gran Cru, Old Vines Wine Merchants, Pierre's Wine Cellar, Tim's Wine Market, The Wine Room on Park Avenue, and others). There's the big chain store with numerous locations: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. There's the giant food warehouse store, Costco (the USA's leading wine retailer), with its wine section. And, if you can wait awhile and spend at least $150, there's even B-21 in Tarpon Springs, which delivers to Orlando every other Tuesday. Notably, as of March 2007, there's the huge Total Wine & More.
If you just a want an inexpensive bottle of passable wine, any of the above choices will do. However, if your desires are more specialized, the list of choices can be narrowed. See our recommendations below.
ABC stores with good wine selections include (1) 750 S. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32832 (south of Waterford Lakes shopping center, this new store has a large wine cellar section with a great selection that is not as picked over as other locations), (2) 399 N. Semoran Blvd.,Winter Park, FL 32792 (just south of Aloma), (3) 2726 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32806 (south of Michigan), (4) 401 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789 (Hwy. 17-92 across from the Winter Park Village Mall); and (5) 3300 N. John Young Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34741 (go south on John Young Parkway at exit 11 from Hwy 417; just north of Osceola Parkway--the wine cellar room here is rather small).
ABC sometimes has very good pricing on premium wines. For example, ABC prices a bottle of 1998 Chateau Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan) which is rated 97 points from Wine Spectator (and recommended in The New York Times as a buy at $250; available at B-21 at $249.99) at only $179.99 (or $161.99 on Mondays and Thursdays with the 10% discount to ABC Advantage Buying Card members or only $152.99 with a 15% coupon available to ABC Advantage Card members from 4/6/06 to 5/3/06!).
Best Orlando Wine Stores:
Best place to buy that one rare and unique bottle that can't
be found anywhere else: the larger
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits stores.
One of our favorite sites for checking on the availability and price of wine is Wine-Searcher at http://www.wine-searcher.com. And you can even use Wine-Searcher to search for spirits like tequila and gin!
Our favorite source for learning how to easily decant a bottle of port: Decanting Vintage Port - the "Hersh Method" and our favorite port site: For the Love of Port. For Madeira, check out MadeiraWineGuide or if you travel to California (or live in a state that allows shipping from wine stores in other states [Florida does not]), check out The Rare Wine Co. which has the best selection of Madeira in the U.S.
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