American Bees – how does wine work in California

posted 2 years ago in Travel
Post # 2
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Walmart has all my favorite local wines in my area. Any liquor store should have a good variety of local wines. 

Post # 4
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - 11/15/14-Vineyard

They are everywhere. Grocery stores, liquor stores, wineries. convenience stores. Whereever you are staying just ask the locals where the best place to get a good selection of wines and go from there. 

Post # 5
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

anonybee0810:  Yes! It has several wines from many different wineries within an hour or so. 

Post # 6
3661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

It’s going to depend on distribution agreements with the wineries you’re interested in. I agree with a previous poster — ask around. People at grocery stores and liquor stores are usually really helpful. I’m hoping a local Californian will jump in here — liquor distribution varies widely based on the state. The state that I’m living in now sells booze basically 24/7, in grocery stores, Wal-Mart, gas stations, you name it. The state that I moved from didn’t sell alcohol after 9pm, didn’t sell at all on Sundays, and had restrictions on what types of stores could sell booze.

Post # 7
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

anonybee0810:  since you’ll be in California… GO wine tasting!!! We have great winaries and tasting rooms everywhere!! (Although Sourthern Ca not as good as Sonoma/Napa Valley but I’m biased!!)

🙂 have a fabulous trip!

Post # 8
2894 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

anonybee0810: go to the websites of the wineries of interest and they should outline distribution points: is a great Napa winery that does have restaurants / outlets in SoCal. I’m also partial to Cline Cellars in Sonoma. 

You can also often rent a car or a driver to go tasting. Or go to BevMo and do a tasting there. For the love of wine, please do not go to WalMart for wine in California. I love me some cheap wine from Trader Joe’s (not $2.50 Chuck though) or Whole Foods, but WalMart wine is not at all something I’d fly across the border for. 

I’d rather stay in Canada and smoke a Cuban at that point. 


Post # 9
2069 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

anonybee0810:  Where in southern California are you going to be? Although you won’t be near Napa or Sonoma, there are wineries and wine tasting places all over So Cal too.  Not to sounds snobbish, but I have to agree with bitsybee:  Walmart is NOT the place to go for anything local or authentic. Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Bev Mo, Total Wine, and Costco have the best selections of the “big box” type stores. But, you should also check out local boutique wine shops or wine bars. 

Post # 10
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

…the things I take for granted.  I guess I never thought about not being able to walk to the gas station or Walmart to get a bottle of wine.

I am sorry to those who don’t have my conveniences.


anonybee0810:  Have fun in California!  If you get a chance, I highly recommend touring Napa.  I went three years ago and had so much fun.  There are local tour guides/groups who will take you around to your destinations.  Also, you can even drink in (some of) the vehicles!

Post # 11
2132 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

anonybee0810:  Definitely find a store like Whole Foods or a Gelson’s- they’ll have great selections of local wines.  You could probably also find dedicated wine/liquor stores like Bev Mo or Total Wine.  As as another poster said, even if you aren’t in Napa or near any of the actual vinyards, many wineries have tasting rooms all over, so it’s worth looking in to!

I’d avoid Wal Mart.  It just won’t do a region so well known for wine justice.

Post # 12
6438 posts
Bee Keeper

It works pretty good for me.


Post # 14
357 posts
Helper bee

anonybee0810:  Please don’t buy wine from Walmart.  Yes they sell it, but most of it is very low end and not very good.

Most grocery stores sell wine, but you should be able to find a little wine shop that will have a lot of really good wine that you won’t be able to find at large chain stores.

Post # 15
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would just like to add that in Pennsylvania, we cannot get wine anywhere but a state-owned wine and spirits shop.  

To get liquor and wine, it’s those shops.

To get beer, like a six-pack, until recently you could only go through a bar.  There are bottle shops in Philly, too.  Some grocery stores now have licenses where they can sell beer, but you can only buy a total of 128 ounces at a time.  Otherwise, you have to go to a beer distribution place and buy a case.


Anyway.  Have fun in California!  If you can find any wine from the Paso Robles area, try it…pretty much every wine I tried in that area was fantastic.  

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