2020 Shopping Guide to Pennsylvania's Fine Wine & Good Spirits

"I just want to swing by the state store. What do you recommend there?" If you're reading this and you live in Pennsylvania, there's a solid chance you've asked me this question.

Due to our state-run Fine Wine and Good Spirits' historically lackluster selection, I've largely avoided this topic, opting instead to encourage folks to shop online. But I recently realized two things: 1. Shopping online for wine simply isn't for everyone (planning ahead, signing for packages, etc.). and 2. The Keystone State's selection is, dare I say, improving? (Not everywhere! But I'm feeling optimistic.)

So yeah, I finally did the damn thing... It took me several months, but I did it!

About this guide
This guide organizes my wine recommendations by style, premium/regular* collection, and price range at Pennsylvania's Fine Wine and Good Spirits, aka state stores. Emphasis on my recommendations—this is not an exhaustive take on everything in the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) system! Wine availability will vary by location.

*For the regular selection, I tried to select wines available in Luzerne County near where I grew up.

Shop, sip, and enjoy, my fellow Pennsylvanians! And BOOKMARK this post!



Jump to:
Big, bold red wines

Savory, versatile red wines

Fresh, juicy red wines

Playful rosé wines

Rich, smooth white wines

Bright, energetic white wines

Off-dry and sweet white wines

Effervescent sparkling wines

Dessert and fortified wines

Big, bold red wines
Under $50
Premium:
Ridge Vineyards Geyserville Blend Alexender Valley 2016
L'Espirit de Chevalier Pessac Leognan Rouge 2018
Chateau La Vieille Cure Fronsac 2016
Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2011
Damiano Lecinquevigne Barolo 2014

Regular:
Fontanafredda Serralunga d'Alba Barolo
Marchesi di Barolo Barolo
Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Under $25
Premium:
Seigneur D'Aiguilhe Rouge Cotes du Castillon 2015
Domaine Darnaud Mise en Bouche Crozes Hermitage 2015
DV Catena Tinto Historic Red Blend Mendoza 2015
Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2016

Regular:
Decoy Red Blend Sonoma County
Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon California
Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

Under $15
Premium:
Poggio Anima Lilith Primitivo Puglia
Ken Forrester Petit Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 2017
Mauro Molino Barbera d'Alba 2018

Regular:
Charles Smith Boom Boom Syrah Columbia Valley
Campo Viejo Reserva Rioja
Predator Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi

Splurge: $50-100(ish)
Alessandro e Gian Natale Fantino Vino Rosso Laboro Disobedient 2013
Domaine Gros Nore Bandol Rouge Provence 2015
Duckhorn Merlot Three Palms Vineyard Napa Valley 2016
Orin Swift Machete Red Blend California 2016

Savoury, versatile red wines
Under $50
Premium:
Mannucci Droandi Chianti Classico Riserva Ceppeto 2013
Cos Pithos Rosso Sicilia 2015
Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Rioja 2006
Punset Campo Quandro Barbaresco Riserva 2009

Under $25
Premium:
Domaine Rene Couly Chinon 2015
Domaine Le Petit Saint Vincent Saumur Champigny 2016
Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge Paso Robles 2015
Donnafugata Sherazade Sicilia 2018

Regular:
Villa Antinori Rosso Toscana
Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva
Zuccardi Serie A Malbec Uco Valley 2018

Under $15
Premium:
Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Rouge 2016
Chateau Massiac Sentinelle de Massiac Minervois Rouge 2018
Mastroberardino Mastro Aglianico Campania 2017
Bodegas Lan Rioja Crianza 2014

Regular:
Paul Mas Reserve Single Vineyard Collection Languedoc Rouge 2017
Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Paul Jaboulet Red Blend Parallel 45 Cotes du Rhone

Fruity, juicy red wines
Under $50
Premium:
Domaine Foillard Morgon Cute du Py Beaujolais 2017
Marcel Lapierre Beaujolais Morgon 2018
Louis Jadot Domaine Gagey Marsannay Clos du Roy 2017

Regular:
Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

Under $25
Premium:
Tami Frappato Terre Siciliane 2016
Karim Vionnet Beaujolais Villages 2016
Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois Beaujolais 2018
Ampeleia Unlitro Rosso Toscana 2018
Au Bon Climat La Bauge Au-dessus Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2015

Regular:
Argyle Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Louis Latour Pinot Noir Bourgogne
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages

Under $15
Premium:
Domaine Les Hautes Noelles Gamay Val de Loire 2018
Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais 2016
Maison Jean Loron Beau Beaujolais 2016

Regular:
Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages
Domaine Drouhin Beaujolais Villages
Love Story Pinot Noir Veneto

Lively rosés wines
Under $50
Premium:
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé 2018

Under $25
Premium:
Domaine La Bastide Blanche Bandol Rosé 2018
Volker Zweigelt Rosé Burgenland 2017
Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé Central Coast 2018

Regular:
The Palm by Whispering Angel Rosé France
Summer Water Rosé Central Coast
Kim Crawford Rosé New Zealand

Under $15
Premium:
Feudi di San Gregorio Ros'aura Rosato Campania 2018
Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses Rosé Languedoc 2018
Cochon Volant Rosé Corbieres 2018

Regular:
E. Guigal Rosé Cotes du Rhone
Louis Jadot Rosé France
Hecht and Bannier Rosé Cotes de Provence 2018

Rich, smooth white wines
Under $50
Premium:
Les Hauts de Smith Blanc Pessac Leognan 2016
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Estate 2016
Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 2016

Regular:
Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay Napa Valley
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay Napa Valley
Duckhorn Chardonnay Napa Valley

Under $25
Premium:
L'Ecole No. 41 Semillon Columbia Valley 2017
Holm Oak Pinot Gris Tasmania 2018
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2018
Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Bianco 2017

Regular:
Loveblock Pinot Gris Marlborough
Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay
M. Chapoutier Belleruche Blanc Cotes du Rhone

Under $15
Premium:
Kermit Lynch Vin de Pays du Vaucluse Blanc Rhône 2017
Elvio Tintero Arneis Langhe 2018
De Morgenzon DMZ Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2017

Regular:
Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay Livermore Valley
Natura Chardonnay Organic Chile
Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay Reserva Chile

Bright, crisp white wines
Under $50
Premium:
Forge Cellars Riesling Leidenfrost Vineyard Seneca Lake 2017
William Fevre Chablis 1er Cru Montmains 2015
Domaine Martin Sancerre Monts Damnes 2016

Regular:
Domaine de la Perriere Sancerre

Under $25
Premium:
Forge Cellars Riesling Classique Seneca Lake 2017
Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie La Pepie 2018
Perusini Ribolla Gialla Colli Orientali del Friuli 2017
Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2018
Hager Matthias Gemischter Satz Niederösterreich 2016

Regular:
Trimbach Riesling Alsace
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Aveta Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
Martin Codax Albarino Spain

Under $15
Premium:
Hermann J. Wiemer Field White Seneca Lake NV
Raats Original Chenin Blanc Unwooded Stellenbosch 2018
Aviva Vino Loureiro Vinho Verde Minho 2018
Ashbourne Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Walker Bay 2017

Regular:
Love Story Pinot Grigio Veneto
Kris Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling Washington
Stars Collide Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2018

Off-dry and sweet white wines
Under $50
Premium:
Maximin Grunhauser Riesling Spatlese Abtsberg Ruwer 2017
Chateau Montelena Riesling Potter Valley 2017

Under $25
Premium:
Boundary Breaks Riesling 198 Single Vineyard Reserve Finger Lakes 2017
Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling Finger Lakes 2017
Colterenzio Pfefferer Moscato Giallo Alto Adige 2017

Regular:
Eroica Riesling Columbia Valley

Under $15
Premium:
Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d'Asti 2018
d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Riesling Adelaide 2018
Wagner Vineyards Semi-Dry Riesling Finger Lakes 2017

Regular:
Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Riesling Columbia Valley
Clean Slate Riesling Mosel
Charles Smith VINO Moscato
Jam Jar Sweet White South Africa

Effervescent sparkling wines
Under $50
Premium:
Champagne Delamotte Brut Le Mesnil NV
Piper Heidsieck Extra Dry Champagne NV
Champagne Bertrand Delespierre Brut Tradition Chamery 1er cru Montagne de Reims NV

Regular:
GH Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne NV
Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Brut Champagne NV
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne NV

Under $25
Premium:
Nino Franco Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene NV
Mongarda Prosecco Valdobbiandene Superiore Brut 2017
Domaine Champalou Vouvray Pétillant Brut NV
Domaine Desire Crémant du Jura Blanc NV
Matthias Hager Zweigelt Pet Nat 2016

Regular:
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige Napa Valley
La Marca Prosecco Italy
Gruet Brut Sparkling Wine New Mexico

Under $15
Premium:
Zucchi Rito Lambrusco di Sorbara 2016
Castellroig Cava Brut Reserva Corpinnat NV
Mezza di Mezzacorona Rosé Extra Dry Vignetti delle Dolomiti NV

Regular:
Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero Italy
Mionetto Prosecco Organic Treviso
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Spain

Splurge: Under $100
Moet and Chandon Grand Vintage 2012
Lanson Extra Age Brut Champagne NV
Billecart Salmon Brut Champagne Rosé NV

Dessert and fortified wines
Under $50
Premium:
Lucignano Vin Santo del Chianti 2006
Conceito by Barbeito White Port Duoro
Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2015
Lustau Pedro Ximenez San Emilio Solera NV

Regular:
Taylor Fladgate Tawny Porto 10 Year

Under $25
Premium:
Chateau Laribotte Sauternes 2015
Pietri Geraud Joseph Geruad Cuvee Banyuls Traditionnel 2010
Wagner Riesling Ice Wine Finger Lakes 2016
Lustau Los Arcos Dry Amontillado Sherry NV

Regular:
Taylor Fladgate Porto LBV
Noval Black Port Duoro
Lillet Blanc France

Looking for more? Here some great recommendations from other PA-based wine sources.
Top Tips from the Wine Cellar: 4 South African Bottles to Try
5 Good Natural Wines That You Can Buy at State Stores
Pittsburgh Pairings: Selecting Wines to Match Classic Local Dishes
Pennsylvania Wines Worth Trying
These Grapes are the Pennsylvania Wine Industry's Next Big Thing
7 Tips for Mastering the PLCB Website