Be it near a gas station or grocery, there's likely a little wine shop around the corner from you in the Triangle—or, at least, a store that stocks really great grapes. With that in mind, we've compiled a range of places to fit your wine needs and perhaps some other essentials, too—from a cart full of groceries to a full-fledged meal, and from a tank of gas to a neatly wrapped gift.
Durham Co-op Market
1111 West Chapel Hill Street, Durham, durham.coop
During campaign season, Bill Clinton made a Co-op stop to ogle the beverage cooler, and with good reason. Under the guidance of beverage director Nick Williams, the Co-op shelves an amazing collection of sustainably produced wines and features more than fifty labels priced between $5.99 and $8.99. Sample free pours each week at Winesday (held, you guessed it, on Wednesdays) between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and purchase glasses for just $3. Or pick up Nicky's Sixx, a perfectly punned six-pack selected by Williams that will save you between 25 percent and 35 percent. While you're at it, also choose from a case packed with local beers (Clinton went for Ponysaurus).
106 South Greensboro Street, Carrboroglasshalfullcarrboro.com
Make a night of it. At Glasshalfull, in the heart of Carrboro, pair small plates—from standard cheese and charcuterie to North Carolina striped bass or a cauliflower cake—with one of twenty-five bottles of wine, all available by the glass (and all half off on Mondays). Then take the party home. Adjacent to its dining room, Glasshalfull stocks nearly three hundred bottles selected by Michael Klinger and Jim Wald, most with an acidic Old World bent. In addition, all bottles can be purchased at retail price and served in the restaurant with an $8 corkage fee.
Parker & Otis
112 South Duke Street, Durhamparkerandotis.com
Here you'll find hundreds of bottles (including lots of bubbly) and the best collection of greeting cards the Triangle, not to mention bar-related novelties, including a variety of corkscrews and glasses, decorative wine glass favors, a slew of books (such as The New California Wine by Jon Bonné and The Wild Vine by Todd Kliman), and wine-scented soy candles handmade in Charleston and cased in refurbished bottles. If shopping wears you down, buy a bottle and stay for a glass—as well as a deviled egg and a scoop of pimento cheese.
THE GAS STATION
Taylor's Wine Shop
10005 Six Forks Road, Raleightaylorswineshop.com
Take the bait. Taylor's Wine Shop isn't a gimmick but rather a reflection of its surrounding community. After Falls Lake was completed in the 1980s, the gas station started stocking lures and live bait. And when folks began building homes in the surrounding area of North Raleigh in the nineties, Taylor's installed a grill to feed construction workers and new residents. The latter also spurred the convenience store to shelve an impressive inventory of wine—from a Dragora Tinto that rings in around $9 to Scarecrow Cabernet that comes closer to $500. In summer months, taste various beers and wines at one of Taylor's "Parking Lot Parties," featuring food trucks and live music.
THE WINE SHOP
2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsborofearrington.com/the-goat
Beyond her post in the Fearrington House Restaurant, beverage and service director Paula de Pano (see p. 36) oversees more than 150 wines all under $35 at The Goat, a wine shop and coffee bar located in the heart of Fearrington's sprawling village. On Fridays and Saturdays, find tastings with visiting wine distributors or a Fearrington sommelier, and in summer you have the opportunity to carry wines by the glass (or bottle) across to the Roost Beer Garden to enjoy outdoors. The Goat also assists in placing special orders.