Wegmans Massachusetts

The super-huge Wegmans store in Central Massachusetts is opening this Sunday. Included in the mix is 15,000 square feet devoted to wine, beer & spirits.

I’m curious to learn from those who have shopped in other Wegmans’ stores what types of wines and prices are likely to be found. The store claims wines it will have wines from $6 to $1000 for Bordeaux – that’s a big demographic they’re aiming for!

The local papers are also reporting that thousands of people are likely to descend on the store on opening day, so I’ll be waiting a few days to check it out. But it will be fun to have a new place close by to shop, both for the wine and the food. I’ve not been to any of the stores before, so I’m looking forward to going.

The cheese sections are always good, meats/seafood a plus, and the pastry area.

I am definitely going to go check it out. it’s supposedly the largest grocery store in New England

We had one open in our town in July. I continue to be amazed by the store which has incredible stuff, reasonable prices and wonderful customer service. Areas like the cheese section are great. The training they provide to employees is top notch. Of course, since I am in PA, they do not sell wine. But they do sell beer (through a restaurant license since there is a Pub inside the store) which created quite a stir. Selection of beer is huge from Bud Light to tons of craft beers.

Some years back, Costco constantly had surprising bargains on Bordeaux.

In recent years, the end-cap where they had the high end Bordeaux has shifted to various California cabs.

I no longer expect any big wine surprises at Costco, but I often buy wines in the $15-$30 range there. I buy my every day Cal Chard there, and my Moet Champagne. But for me it is a utility wine place, now. The best Bordeaux there consists of a few premier crus in a glass box for $500 per bottle. I buy cases of beer there, normally Sam Adams.

Look for prime beef steaks in blue styrofoam trays.

Among my constant buys are butter, tzatziki, Cabot cheeses, parmigiano stravecchio, and trays of seasonal fruit.

spent the last 5 years 10 minutes from their flagship store. prepared foods, cheese all good. prices all over the map. can’t tell you the deal with wine as the store there was a store they bought out so not exactly the same. beer selection in the grocery store was very good.

deli counter had Bellota as well

Wegman’s is AWESOME! Great prepared foods. Other than friends and family and one particular restaurant, Wegmans is among the things I miss about NJ since our move to OR. Their wine selection however, is OK, but not inspiring.

Costco, not Wegmans?


The idea of good wine in a big food store derailed my thinking.

I like Wegmans. Ours mostly don’t sell wine (the Princeton one does)

I’ve sold Wegmans $3M+ of EPOS in a previous lifetime. The first time I entered the headquarter store in rochester i was floored, The floors were carpeted, it was (for that time enormous) there was a Nutritionist Kiosk. an in-store bakery, the first I’d seen and they vented the ovens into the HVAC sysyem to make customers hungry. A great operation and can’t wait to go to the stores here, one about 8 miles away from me.

Joyce is actually helping the regional manager to find a home in the area.

I went today around 11:30, and the place was completely packed with the parking lot almost like the approach to the Mass Pike westbound on a holiday weekend. Here are my impressions:

The wine/beer/spirits area is large, bright and well-lit with large-spaced aisles and an enormous stock all perfectly arranged. (I saw an employee dusting bottles, which I think was pretty funny, since they’ve been open only 24 hours.)

A nice young man was serving little plastic cups of Perrier Jouet at the entrance. “Perrier Jouet Champagned for the lady?” he inquired. “If I could just see your license.”

Once he determined that I am decidedly middle-aged, I was given my little cup which I quickly swigged down. “Which Perrier is it?” I asked, bc I was curious – I didn’t think they were serving the real good bubbles, but I wanted to be sure.

He replied, “It’s Champagne.”

Ummm . . . . yeah, I already knew that, but . . . oh well, moving on. I wasn’t that curious.

I started at the corner closest to the parking lot and decided to wend my way through aisle by aisle. I love shopping at new wine places and typically like to do a first “look-see”/pass-through to see what’s what and where’s where.

Germany was first and talk about instant deflation of expectations. Plonk. Generic, rebranded blonk at that. Nothing recognizable. Not even any Dr. Loosen for goodness sake – I mean, even the smallest package stores around here carry the entry-level Loosen. Nope. Nada. Maybe 15 to 20 different brands of wine, tops. Some of the fun of German wine is trying to read and understand the labels – no such problem here. I swear they all looked like big corporate America labels.

Italy is next – almost 3 times the size of Germany, so maybe 50 or 60 brands. Again, mostly generic, private label. Only one Brunello that I saw – Banfi – (of course, isn’t it still owned by an huge American company?). There was the 2008 Lucente – too bad not the 2007 which is excellent and which I would have bought more of. I haven’t had the 2008 yet. Price for the Lucente was $27.99. The Banfi (I believe it was the 2006) was $49.99.

Next up is Pinot Grigio. Wait a minute . . . what? Since when is Pinot Grigio a country? I must have missed that geography lesson. I suppose the new world order of things escaped my attention when I let my subscription to the NYT lapse. Maybe Pinot Grigio is the new Libya.

OK, now my attention is really starting to wander so I eavesdrop on an employee speaking with an older couple. He loves working for Wegmans, and says that it is so awesome that if he didn’t have a mortgage and kids to feed, he would work for the company for free. (This was a theme I would hear repeated several other times throughout the store.)

I skipped Australia, New Zealand and whatever else was on the opposite side of the aisle. I am already feeling fatigued. It is very bright and cheery in the store and that can wear a person down quickly.

Around the corner are New York wines, right next to Kosher wines. I reason to myself that ok, here we go, this is where the fun starts bc after all, Wegmans is based in NY, right next to the Finger Lakes, so of course, they are going to have a nice selection.

But no. That would be an incorrect assumption. I do see some Manischevitz, however.

Other side of the aisle is chardonnay followed by Zin (red) and Merlot. Around the corner on the other side of this display are more California wines, mostly cabs I think. About 1/2 and 1/2 split between private label plonk and recognizable estates. There’s good prices on Estancia, Columbia Crest, Bogle – all the entry level stuff which you typically see in the Kappy’s aisle where all of the bottles stand up straight. Some good buys here – there’s signs everywhere showing the Wegman’s price vs. Austin Liquors or vs. Julio’s or vs. BJ’s (although there are no BJ’s selling liquor around Northborough, so I don’t consider them competition for Wegmans.)
Most wines are in the $6 to $13 range of price. Every now and then, a more expensive wine (mostly a cab here or there at, say around $39.99) is interspersed casually amongst the plonk. Nothing memorable and nothing that you can’t get at Kappy’s or Austin’s or Julio’s. I stopped mentally taking notes at this point.

Along the back wall looks like what appears to be a huge, long refrigerator section of wines so I head over there. Wait. It’s not a refrigerator but ah! here we go – here’s where all the good stuff is kept. Bottles are displayed standing up in a sleek case behind windowed doors – hard to tell if the whole contraption is locked or if the doors open or if you need a manager’s assistance.

OK, so the higher end stuff consists of maybe a total of 60 or 70 wines. But, to my mind, nothing that you can’t find anywhere else at your favorite quality wine store. Or that they can’t get for you. Some grand cru bordeaux – I think I remember a Ch. Lagrange (it was either $89.99 or $129.99 – I’m fuzzy on that one), Margaux at either $429 or $479. Probably 20 or so bordeaux. Very few burgundies – maybe 5 or 6. A bunch more California cabs – all I remember is Caymus (both regular and SS). But really nothing that makes you stop dead in your tracks and say, “Oh! I’ve been looking for that wine and must have it.” I guess that if I needed a gift for Christmas or a bottle to impress the in-laws or something, I could come here. Everything was recognizable in a corporate sort of a way. No hidden surprises. A bit hard to figure out prices since prices weren’t on the bottles themselves, just on an adjacent shelf. But the unit isn’t arranged like most wine stores where it’s pretty easy to see the cost of the goods. I got the sense that one could look, but don’t touch. But, it was unclear either way. It’s all so bright and clean, too – I didn’t want to get my fingerprints on the shiny new non-refrigerator refrigerator display.

Didn’t see any ports. Sigh.

The end of the shiny new non-refrigerator refrigerator display are some high-end spirits – maybe 10 or 15 or so. Mostly single malt scotches, about which I know nothing, so I can’t report. Just one tequila, sadly (actually two) – a big ass bottle of Patron (anejo I think) and then another big ass bottle of Gran Patron. That’s about it. Again, my impression is that Wegmans is only going to carry what is recognizable to the masses, and Patron is that, even though it is not my choice in high-end tequilas (and I do love my tequila).

There’s also a large refrigerator section of beer – I see a good selection of Wachusett including Larry’s, Green Monsta, and Milk Stout (yummm – love WaWa’s Milk Stout which is hard to get, even at the plant which is a couple of miles from where I live). Long Trail, two or three types of Stone and DogFish, Sarnac. Only two or three Harpoons. Sadly, no Berkshire Beer which my family adores (it’s our new Wachusett). A bunch of other craft beers. Prices seem good on the beer. There’s a small, unrefrigerated display of singles – choose any six for 11.99. Whoever is doing the buying likes pale ales and IPAs, bc there’s a lot of 'em. Not so much the interesting craft beers – you know, the weird stuff with weird names that crafters like to brew.

So what did I buy? No wine. A large bottle of Kahlua and a six-pack of craft beer. That’s it.

Yes, I will go back to the store (I’ll report on the food in another post) and yes I will check out the wines again, but I will continue to shop at Yankee Spirits and Marty’s and even Kappy’s, and I will happily make the long trek to my new favorite place, Harkey’s in Millis.

Bob Harkey is a Spanish wine maven. What is the tequila you like.

Carrie, please continue to post. I loved that and I don’t even live in MA.

Wegmans, at least based on my experience in Virginia, has some serious mountains of dry-aged rib roasts around Christmas. Amazing place for a supermarket.

Hey, keep harkeys on the down low - will ya? hahah

Hey thanks Rick!

German, not Spanish, I’m pretty sure, but don’t tell anyone – we’re keeping it on the down low, per Zach Lang.

For Tequila Ron, Casa Noble, no competition. I’ve also been enjoying one imported by Berkshire Brewing Company called Hora Zero.

I’m not knocking the Patron; I just think that it is really pricey for what you get – I mean, someone has to pay for all that marketing. But, I will not turn down any gifts or other Patron freebies – the after-party of a charity bike ride that I occasionally do (Best Buddies) was sponsored in part by Patron one year. That was some after-party and I gladly drank my (more-than) share – it made an excellent recovery drink.

Wegmans proofs everyone. Including my wife’s 77 yr old grandmother

Wegman’s is certainly the best supermarket I’ve ever seen; I’ve bought beer but no wine at their store a few minutes from where I work, plus, of course, lots of their other stuff. Good seafood although their crabcakes need rethinking (not the same lump jumbo throughout).

really. are they sold as their “ultimate” crab cake?


I can’t remember if they label them as such, but the few times I’ve gotten them I’ve found that the lump jumbo is on the outside and inside is a more mayonaisse-y shredded crabmeat mix. Whole Food sells a much better premium crabcake.