Shop offers wide selection, weekly tastings and everyday low prices
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Marlborough??”Whether you want to know what wine will go well with an entrée, how much wine, beer and spirits you'sl need for a party, what new local beer to try or even a recommendation on a good cigar, the folks at Marlboro Wine & Spirit Co. want to help.
“We all enjoy what we are doing, we love helping people, and we love drinking wine,” said Stephen Zeitler, president of the company, which also operates Acton Wine & Spirit Co. in Acton.
Zeitler points out that most of the store's staff has been there for years and is experienced. “We can advise on food pairings with wine or beer,” with specialists in both categories at the stores, he said.
Marlboro Wine & Spirit Co., on Rt. 20 just west of I-495, offers wine and beer tastings every Friday evening until 7:30 p.m., the wine tasting starting at 4 p.m. and the beer tasting beginning at 5 p.m.
Joe Valeri, the store manager, said the tastings include an eclectic variety of wines and beers from around the world, with discounts available on the wines and beers being sampled.
Customers are encouraged to add their names to the store's email list for information on each week's tasting lineup. That list will also connect customers to suggestions from Kenneth Kirk, the retailer's wine director, on special wines and good values that he comes across in his travels and to opportunities to participate in off-site tastings and wine dinners at area hotels and restaurants.
“We often have presentations from winemakers and importers at these events. We'se had winemakers from Bordeaux to Australia, really from all over the world. And the only way to find out about these presentations is to be on our e-mail list,” Kirk noted.
About three years ago, Marlboro Wine shifted its pricing policy away from an emphasis on sales to everyday low pricing.
“We took our top sellers and priced them very aggressively all the time,” Kirk said.
“People can rely on our prices always being low and the merchandise always being available, whenever they want to buy it,” Zeitler said. “It has made us more competitive in this market.”
If you are planning a party, the Marlboro Wine staff will work with you to determine how much you need of each type of beverage you plan to serve.
As autumn approaches, Valeri suggests trying an Oktoberfest beer or even a pumpkin beer. “Pumpkin beer has just a hint of pumpkin and spices in it. It's not overwhelming,” he said.
The store has a large selection of beers from local brewers and wines from the region's vineyards, including nearby Nashoba and vineyards in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. There are even regional liquors from distillers in Gloucester, in Vermont, and from Bully Boy Liquors in Sherborn.
Marlboro Wine also has perhaps the most extensive cigar selection in the Metrowest area, Zeitler said, and Valeri is the company's cigar buyer, working directly with cigar manufacturers. Cigars are stored in three separate large humidors at the front of the store, clearly labeled to assist customers.
“Joe knows everything there is to know about cigars, and he works with both stores on their selection,” Zeitler added.
Zeitler started the business in 1981 in Acton and moved into the large current location in that town in 2009. He opened a second store, on the east side of Marlborough, in 1989, and moved to the present store in 2007.
“We pride ourselves on a clean, well-organized store,” he said, with clearly-marked aisles so customers can find what they are looking for, and knowledgeable sales staff, including Shane Straw, assistant store manager, and Jeff Smith, beer specialists, to provide help when it is wanted.
Marlboro Wine also takes pride in the assistance it provides to area charities and community organizations.
Marlboro Wine & Spirit Co. is located at 44 Boston Post Rd. West (Rt. 20) in Marlborough. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For additional information, call 508-480-0088 or visit the website, www.marlborowine.com.