Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#253: City-Wide Liquors

You must think I'm scraping the bottle of the barrel if I'm highlighting a liquor store as one the top "things to do in South Bend." 

Au contraire, mon amie -- City-Wide is more than a liquor store: it's a destination.  They have arguably* the best selection of beer and wine in town, and unless you know what you want ahead of time, plan to spend 10, 15, 30 minutes browsing their selection.  Peruse the extraordinarily expensive beer in their beer cellar. (Dear, how about we try the 2008 Behemoth Blonde Barleywine tonight? Only $39!**)  On Thursday nights at their downtown location, they offer tastings -- last week it was of specialty spirits and cocktails, but primarily beer and wine distributors offer samples.  From my description, this place might scream pretentious snob to you, but happily, the atmosphere is truly the polar opposite -- the staff is always at hand, willing to help and offer a pointer or two.  Plus there's always a sale on cases of  popular brands.

So for a complete Mardi Gras, after you pick up paczkis at Dainty Maid or king cake at Chicory Cafe, walk just down the block to City-Wide, where you can find Abita, Lousiana's finest brew, in stock and waiting for you to try out!

Where: There are four locations city-wide, but head downtown (109 E. Jefferson) for their tastings.
When: Monday-Thursday, 9 AM - 10 PM; Friday-Saturday, 9AM - 11 AM
Website: http://citywideliquors.com/home/
Tip: Are you interested in specialty/limited release microbrews?  Get on their newsletter to hear when the stock will be arriving -- often, there is a purchasing list for the in-demand stock!

*The side story behind this claim: There is a wine, whose imports are limited to one distributer in North Carolina, a wine which I had only seen in Italy and on the menu of a single restaurant in Richmond, VA.  A wine so special that my 90-year-old grandmother smuggled out a bottle from this restaurant to send me one of their bottles for my birthday.  Yet there it was, at City-Wide, sitting amongst the Chardonnays and the Pinot Grigios.  That sealed my allegiance to them.
**Totally fictional price estimate and choice of beer.  We can begin a discussion about the journalistic responsibilities of bloggers, but please consider this creative license.

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