I happened to be back in my hometown earier this week and while I was there I popped into BinEnds. It's a non-traditional wine shop a little bit off the beaten path -- I've been following them on Facebook and Twitter, I really like their story -- I thought they might be worth a visit.
It's been around for just over a year, but when you walk in it still smells and feels new.
It's easy to navigate -- nice & spacious -- I hate feeling claustrophobic when I shop for wine.... narrow aisles just make me feel like I'm going to turn around too quick and break something. Bin Ends is huge..... and at first it felt kind of empty -- but, no -- there's plenty there it's just nice & spacious.
They offer free tastings, and unlike most wine shops I've been to -- you don't have to chase them down and beg them for a taste like some deranged alchoholic -- they come right out and offer.... don't mind if I do, thank you very much.
While I was perusing the wines, a gentleman (one of the owners) came over and introduced himself -- gave me a brief history of the store, explained that they are in the process of restocking (the do this on Thursdays) and welcomed me to ask any questions. There was no pressure or hard sell -- just a guy thanking me for coming in. Here's the kicker.... I think everybody gets this VIP treatment -- NICE!
BinEnds takes advantage of overstocks, closeouts, inventory reductions, etc. in order to offer fine wines to people like me.... people who like good wine but don't like to pay fine wine prices. They typically have between 200-400 wines to select from, and they have this amazing automatic mark-down system -- so you can get some real steals (up to 45% off)! Some of the wines were a bit out of my budget -- but many were priced just right.
The downside (or maybe it's an upside) is that their selection is constantly changing -- you may find a bottle you love, and then never see it again -- eh, c'est la vie -- they have more wines to try, right?
I picked up three bottles in the $11-$12 range, based on my internet research I saved a couple of bucks a bottle. Everybody else in the shop had at least 10-12 bottles in their cart, so I believe it when they say their inventory turns over every week.
If you live in the Boston area, I say -- go check 'em out -- if you don't.... don't fret -- they offer shipping!!!!