Ratings: 10 | Reviews: 10
1.35/5 rDev -66.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1 | service: 2 | selection: 1 | food: 1 | $$$
True to the name, Winenation's focus really is about the wine.
They seem to have started out strong out the gate when it came to beer (and later) liquor.
Have been going a couple of years now, and it was hard not to notice the steady decline in beer selection, especially refilling shelves. A recent visit showed plenty of empty shelves, particularly when it came to liquor and beer.
Regarding the beer, I saw plenty cases of BMC, and plenty shelves full of 12 ounce craft singles and bombers. 6 and 4 packs are grossly lacking, as if there has been no attention to replenishing those shelves for the past two months (or maybe they do when I'm at work, and get snapped up quickly?).
Not surprised that the Mix-a-Six shelves are still full, since there's no discount in assembling one's own, hence no incentive pricing.
Was ready to give this place a much higher score for 'selection', but when Domestic Craft Six and Four pack shelves are essentially empty (much like much of the liquor shelves are not replenished)..just feels that they're not trying, and neglecting a segment of their sales that seem healthier than other areas. Why not offer a 20% off for Mix-a-six like KJ Barron's? Or 15% off like Julio's? Or a flat $12 for a Mix Six at Wegman's? Was disappointed that there were no such deals or specials, even for Craft Beer Week....
Well, there's always Julio's or Wegman's!
Update-6/14/12-Updated the selection, if anything, it's gotten worse. Huge, open aisles with no islands of what used to be beer. The atmosphere now just feels like a humongous, but empty warehouse. The staff look too embarassed to even try to make eye-contact, so I adjusted that score down. It's as if they don't want to offer you help to find a specific beer, because chances are, if it's a six or four pack of a specific craft beer..they don't have it, and they'd rather avoid that conversation.
Good to know (when you check their website)..that a lot more effort is being put into the Norwalk, CT branch..but this one is hopeless.
Update-7/7/12-Updated yet again (since change is happening so much). The shelves are emptier (if that's possible). I had to lower the selection down to 1.0, since the beer shelves are really just about empty, and I had to lower the quality down to a 1.0 as well, (since if you don't have much of anything at all, the selection WILL limit the quality.) Atmosphere got knocked down to 2.0 for that really frank 'empty warehouse' feeling. (could drive my SUV inside that store and not hit aything)
Service is a 2.0-since the official line at this point is something about "waiting for profits from the Connecticut store to help stock Millbury" Again, hard for people to provide service when there are no to little stock to point to, so it's really not for lack of trying, but lack of stock that employees can't service customers.
Don't know how badly they are doing, or how much of a contrast there is between the Norwalk branch and Millbury, but it's gotten to be a really sad state of business.
06-14-2012 23:22:14 | More by Jake351
2.96/5 rDev -26.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | $$
As many have said, this place is huge...but a bit too large of a layout for what they have. It feels very open; super high ceilings, very wide isles (some of which are barely filled with food items), just feels so big and cold. But it always very clean and organized. Anyway....
I cannot express enough how unhelpful the staff has been on each and every visit. I know their beer manager is fantastic, but I have yet to run into him, and he mustn't train any of the staff. Employees avoid eye contact with beer customers and go out to their way to keep their distance. True it's a wine store first, and their beer knowledge may not be strong, but common courtesy takes presidence. I have emailed the owner over this, he responded very quickly and acknowledged it's a known issue. That was a year ago, unfortunately nothing has changed.
Next is their rewards card, the Cru Card, l believe it's called. You receive 2% store credit on all wine purchase. You can also get 10 or 15% off when you purchase 6 or more bottles of wine. For beer, you get 1% store credit and zero discount on anything, not even mix a six.
Now the positives: their location is perfect, right in the middle of the mall. Very easy access from many surrounding areas.
Their beer selection is great. They boast a wide selection of craft sixes, bombers, singles for mix a six, great twelves that you don't see many places, and good kegs! All around fantastic selection for whatever you are looking for. The prices are strange; some over priced, some silly low. So just be aware.
They also offer a wide variety of classes on liquor, wine, and beer, which I think is s great idea! I have not attended one so I am unable to comment further.
Overall the atmosphere and staff fall very short for beer customers, but their selection is right up there.
It's called WINE nation for a reason, remember that.
04-14-2012 01:58:37 | More by FeastCoast
4.65/5 rDev +15.7%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I've been hearing so many good things about this place from family and friends, that I had to go there for myself.
First impression - THIS PLACE IS HUGE! Talk about a home depot of wine and beer...this place is unbelievable. Staff greets you as you walk in, and nicely, might I add. I am beyond floored when I walk in...my eyes can barely take in all that is around me.
Very easy to navigate and I was able to find the bomber/sixer sections quite well. Some of their prices seemed off, $6.49 for a bomber of hop stoopid, which is high. But the rest of their prices seemed very consistant if not better with the prices I'm used to seeing in Connecticut. Oh, and their cases of Celebration are a few bucks cheaper than in CT.
Their selection is awesome, most if not all of the brews I couldn't find in the NE corner of CT, I found here. Very wide bomber and sixer selection, very impressive. I'll be going here more often for my beer purchases.
This place is big, beautiful, bright and clean! Very nice establishment. Everyone that worked there seemed very nice and knowledgeable. Very nice place and I will be going back!
12-05-2010 23:42:06 | More by Genuine
4.35/5 rDev +8.2%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I love that this store opened up in a giant shopping center. Now I don't mind going up shopping with the wife quite as much knowing we'll be stopping in this store as well.
There is an amazing beer selection and it's not far from CT to get some beers that are not available in state. Quality beers and great prices. I went when they first opened and there were grand opening sales with unbeatable prices. I would know being very price conscious and trying to price everything I buy out.
A nice aisle of bombers and an aisle of 6 packs with a back wall of cold items. This place is right next to a Dicks Sporting Goods and it's the same size of a large department store. I was in awe!!!
10-23-2010 01:20:15 | More by HopNuggets
5/5 rDev +24.4%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Heard about this store thanks to the writeups in Beer Advocate so went slightly out of my way on a trip to Cape Cod to visit it. Found Blackstone Shoppes to be a bit confusing at first but eventually located the store and spent at least an hour carefully reviewing their immense selection.
Probably the cleanest and most eye-appealing of any beer store I've visited over a period of many years. It's my impression that the selection of domestic craft beer 6-packs was a bit larger than either Julio's or Yankee Spirits. Good selection of bomber bottles and individual 12 oz. bottles. Products were very well displayed with prices clearly marked. No outdated beers noted and prices on the domestics seemed competitive.
I didn't spend as much time with the imports or specialty beers but thought the selection was close to or on a par with the other 2 stores.
In summary, this is an outstanding store for the craft beer lover. Probably for the wine lover also but that's not one of my interests. It's a bit closer than the other top beer stores to my NH home so will now be my #1 store to visit when the craft inventory in my beer refrigerator needs to be replenished.
10-08-2010 22:51:01 | More by Greenlabel
5/5 rDev +24.4%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
New store, beer manager is no stranger to MA beer aficionados. Entire store is well-lit and roomy, beer is center rear of the store. Plenty of staff around available for questions as necessary. Checkout aisles were a bit skinny, caused a ruckus when I wasn't lined up perfectly and bashed my cart into the register counter area. Oops.
One aisle of singles, both bombers/750s/special releases, and also broken 6-packs, with empty holders encouraging mix-a-six action. Next aisle is six packs top to bottom, pretty much covering the gamut of what is available in MA. Next aisle cases, and in the rear of the store is many cooler doors, and a self-service walk-in cooler.
Was lucky to get out of here for under two bills, and will be back again. Great store.
10-06-2010 20:58:33 | More by ppoitras
4.85/5 rDev +20.6%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Great place that is getting better all the time. i am glad it opened as it is about 20 mins closer to me than julios. i went there the first week it opened and was not terribly impressed with the beer selection, however, every time i go back the selection improves. not a much selection as julios or yankee, but a close second. the place it stands out is in the price; 12 packs of racer 5 for $17, DFH 60 for $8, FBS for $10, i even got 2 4 packs of nemesis for $20. everything near 20% less than the other beer geek temples. had a great talk with Joe (beer mgr) who many of us know from westborough, and he was telling me many of the things coming up. Wine Nation has defiantly become my new destination
10-06-2010 16:52:14 | More by hopnstout
4.3/5 rDev +7%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Selection is best in the area, save Julios. They have a whole side of an aisle of singles, the next aisle, both sides, is microbrews 6 packs and 4 packs, imports, mini kegs, and a small section of BMC. an 8 door cooler is devoted half to craft 6 packs, a quarter to the usual imports and the other quarter to macros. Most of the Berkshire line is also available in the cooler, and they are the only refrigerated bombers unfortunately.
service is kind and friendly, but not too knowledgeable. The girl at the checkout counter asked me if I'd like a box for all of my wine. I don't drink wine. it was actually kind of cute and funny. I guess to the uninitiated, a 750ml corked bottle of beer may look like wine at first glance. At least she didn't put it in a standard grocery bag like the lady the next time I went. Three bombers, laid on their side, in a plastic grocery bag.... They are new, she will learn.
Pricing is odd. There are some gems (Wachusett Larry for 4.50 a bomber) and there are some obvious overprices (Smuttynose IPA bombers for $6.89, the same as their Big Beer Series, and Weihenstephaner singles for $5.99). I assume this is because they are new and don't quite have things down yet.
I will make this a regular visit and take advantage of the good selection and the random low prices.
edit: I increased my service score. I sent an email to the store to explain some of the concerns I had about pricing and service, knowing that they are a new store and havent learned the intricacies of the trade yet. They responded quickly with a lengthy email addressing each point I made and sounded like they will work to make everything perfect. They also offered me a $20 gift card, generously, which I declined. I will visit this store again without the need for free product though I appreciate the gesture.
09-09-2010 01:42:28 | More by silentjay
3.85/5 rDev -4.2%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
After lunch with a friend in the Shoppes at Blackstone Plaza, I drove to the other end of the parking lot to Wine Nation. First off, I was surprised at the size of this store. My friend told me it was formerly a Linens N' Things store. Huge supermarket sized setup inside. Just row after row of products. The store is probably split 65/35 in favor of wine over beer, but the beer selection is quite substantial. Whole sections dedicated to six packs, Belgian beers, American bombers, etc. with sale six packs at the front of the store and in the aisles. Prices seemed on par with what you would find in better beer stores in Central Mass and in Boston. No issue there. I actually liked how mostly every beer was clearly labeled and priced on the shelves. I picked up a bottle of Element Brewing ESO for $9.99. A clerk asked if I needed help, and another employee looked up the price of the ESO because of course I picked the one beer missing a price tag. The checkout line seemed sluggish, as one person was not at her register, and another was having trouble with a customer's credit card. But I was rung up quickly when it was my turn. If you are in the area, definitely try to make a stop here. Wine Nation surprised me with the depth of their selection. I just hope that it will do fine in a shopping plaza stuck next to a Dick's Sporting Goods.
09-03-2010 21:28:28 | More by morebeergood
3.85/5 rDev -4.2%
quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Glad this place opened up right down the street from me. I was waiting for a couple months for this one to open. Went there on a quick whim to check out the selection. This place is called Wine Nation, so it is obviously devoted mostly to wine. However, in the center of the store lies a few aisles of beer. The first shelf is dedicated to singles, the right side being imports and the left side being domestic. I found some Sculpin on the shelf for almost $4 less than what Julios had it for. The selecion was not as extensive as a place like Julios, but for the price, it was much less expensive. The next aisle is dedicated to 4 and 6 packs of microbrews. The next aisle shelving unit has the BMC's. There are coolers in the back which I didn't get to explore too much yet. No one had approached me about the beer selection so I have no comment on the service. All in all, this is a good place that is very inexpensive, and super close to me. This will be a regular stop for me.
08-23-2010 18:43:25 | More by steve8robin
Wine Nation in Millbury, MA
90 out of 100 based on 10 ratings.