Arlington Wine & Liquor
I was indecisive about writing this review; Arlington Wine & Liquor is so beloved amongst Vassar students that typing up the reasons you should visit the store seems, well, superfluous. The truth is that if you’re looking to buy wine or liquor in Poughkeepsie—and if you’re 21 years old—this place really is your best bet. Let me make myself clear: I do not pretend to be a wine or liquor aficionado. I do, however, consider myself a good representative of the Vassar population in terms of general alcohol knowledgeability, so hopefully this will be at least somewhat useful.
Arlington Wine & Liquor resides in a large, quaint, house-like building on Dutchess Turnpike—less than a five-minute drive from Vassar. You’ll appreciate the atmosphere the second you walk in; the store is airy and organized, and not at all intimidating for wine amateurs like myself.
Everything is organized just as it ought to be—wines are categorized by origin. They stock all of the French and Italian staples, of course, as well as more obscure varieties from places like Chile and South Africa. The shelves are vertically organized according to price, so if you’re looking for a $15 bottle of Italian wine, you’ll know exactly where to look. Liquor, too, is presented in a very intuitive way, and while I’m not enough of a connoisseur to claim that they stock everything, I can say that I’ve always found exactly what I was looking for.
What set Arlington Wine & Liquor apart from all other such stores in Poughkeepsie are the people who work there. The service is excellent. Staff members always approach you as you’re browsing around the store, and politely ask if you need any help. They understand a college student’s budget, and aren’t at all snooty or condescending if you ask for their recommendations on cheap items. What’s more, they’re honest about what the best selection actually is—I’ve been helped on multiple occasions by workers who, when asked which of two bottles of wine would be a better choice, eagerly hint that the cheaper one actually tastes better.
One time two friends and I, wanting to decorate the kitchen shelf of our brand new senior apartment with “exotic”-looking wine bottles, asked a woman working there if she had any recommendations for wines with exceptionally attractive labels. An odd request, to be sure, but she took the job completely seriously. And even if you end up picking something that most adults would usually patronize you for, the Arlington Wine & Liquor staff won’t think twice, even if you come to the check-out register with 16 bottles of $4 champagne (if you haven’t played “champong” before, I highly recommend it).
That said, feel free to ignore my shallow examples; if you’re on the hunt for a truly superlative bottle of wine, Arlington Wine & Liquor will help. The store offers periodic wine tasting sessions where you can test different varieties for free and then hone your browsing from there. If you visit their Web site (arlingtonwine.net), you can look up workers’ own personal store favorites. There’s even a page for rare and fine wine, where you can browse their selection and order it for delivery—all online.
All in all, Arlington Wine & Liquor is a superior source for alcohol in the Vassar neighborhood. In case you were wondering, I’ve been carded every single time I’ve purchased wine and liquor there, so be sure to bring your (valid) I.D. Give the store a visit, don’t hesitate to ask for help and have a good night!