Best Of

Best Liquor Store, 2011


It can feel distinctly unsporting to root for the top dog. What’s the fun in dubbing the Empire State Building the greatest skyscraper, the Yankees the best baseballers, Central Park the loveliest landscape? But sometimes the biggest, the brightest, and the booziest really is the best. Since Astor Wines & Spirits opened its new and much-improved location on Lafayette Street, there hasn’t been a more gloriously bibulous depot. The prices are competitive, the sales frequent, and the selection unrivaled. Useful labels attached to the shelves describe most bottles for oenophiles-in-training. (If you’d like to know more, there’s a school just upstairs offering classes in wine appreciation and mixology.) The obliging, informed staff members are as likely to endorse a $6.99 prosecco as a $200 single malt. If you order either in any reasonable quantity, Astor will deliver it for free. And those with even shallower pockets can always stop in for the frequent tastings, usually three or four wines and a cocktail also. Put them all together, and you can generate a credible retail high. 399 Lafayette Street, 212-674-7500, (10003)