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Best Wine & Liquor Store

Rumrunner Wine & Cheese Co.
3200 E. Speedway Blvd.

READERS' PICK: It's safe to assume that nearly all inhabitants of the dry pueblo have found themselves, at one time or another, looking at the wine selection at the Rumrunner. And with good reason: The once-humble wine and cheese shop has one of the most extensive wine selections in town. And if wine isn't your cup of tea, the Rumrunner has shelves and shelves of other rare and tasty beverages, including port, scotch, import and domestic beer, champagne and a variety of exotic liqueurs. In addition to their alcoholic offerings, they've got a fun little deli counter with foreign fromages, pâté, spreads and breads. One of the best things here is the staff--they're completely accessible, and always eager to answer even the most bone-headed questions. Their suggestions are near infallible. Rumrunner is a fun place to try new things and find tried-and-true favorites.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: As much fun as it is to buy booze, it's even more fun when you can do it in an intimate and comfortable shop with a great variety of beers, wines and harder stuff, with an accommodating staff to assist you in moments of pre-dinner party indecision. At Plaza Liquors, 2642 N. Campbell Ave., the shelves display all kinds of useful information for those too timid to ask, and there's a friendly and knowledgeable staff for those who aren't. Especially reliable are Mark's and Allen's Choices, indicated by little blue signs. Plaza Liquors also features an impressive array of high-end bourbons and tequilas, as well as exceedingly hard-to-find items like Ricard (a French aperitif).

Case History

1997 Winner: Rumrunner Wine & Cheese Co.
1996 Winner: Rumrunner Wine & Cheese Co.
1995 Winner: Rumrunner Wine & Cheese Co.

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