Marlton, N.J. — Have you ever stood in a liquor store aisle staring at row after row of wine, wondering which bottle you should purchase, then play it safe and picked up the most expensive one on the shelf? Robert Peirce and Chris Zanzarella of the award-winning Canal’s BottleStop are all too familiar with this situation.
“Wine selection is almost as complicated an art as winemaking itself and takes years of dedicated training,” says Zanzarella. “That’s why our customers are so loyal. They see we have the same passion for wine as they do.”
Zanzarella backs up his passion with knowledge. He is a certified specialist in wine and is very close to receiving his diploma with distinction of Wine & Spirits from England's Wine & Spirit Education Trust. He has also traveled extensively to California, Italy and France to gain hands on knowledge of the wines of those regions.
In a business where 60 percent of sales derive from wine, BottleStop offers a wide selection of more than 4,500 wines, ranging in price from $4.99 to $749.95, that come from the most popular and well-respected vineyards in America and from around the world.
“With such a wide array of wine selections to choose from, it’s almost impossible for a customer to know if they are getting something that’s worth their money,” says Peirce. “One of the skills I’m most proud of is choosing a $12 bottle of wine that can bring as much joy to your pallet as a $50 bottle.”
Peirce worked for Canal’s Bottlestop for 10 years before he joined Vintage Imports as a distribution representative. While there, he used his knowledge of winemaking to help local restaurants build their wine lists and train their staff on wine tasting and pairing. He also worked with the local South Jersey wine shops, including Canals Bottlestop.
“It’s also important to understand what goes into making a $200- plus bottle of wine for our more discriminating clientele,” says Peirce. “The best part of my day is teaching our customers something new and having them leave here a little more respect for the craft of wine selection than when they came in.”
In addition to wine, Canal’s BottleStop carries approximately 1,400 spirits ranging in price from $22.25 to $304.99 a bottle and more than 800 selections of popular domestic, international, and local and national craft beers.
Canal’s BottleStop in Marlton, N.J., recently received the prestigious Market Watch Leader Award for 2011 from Market Watch Magazine. Market Watch is a leading, well-respected, trade publication for the wine, spirits and beer retailing industry. Canal’s BottleStop is one of only five stores chosen from a national list of retailers in the wine, spirits and beer industry.
Longtime friends Peter Fletcher, a former aerospace industry executive, and Tom Doyle, a restaurateur and operator of other nonaffiliated liquor stores, have owned Canal’s BottleStop for 17 years. The store is affiliated with Canal’s network of 10 individually owned and operated stores in South Jersey. Visit the location at 10 W.Route 70, Marlton, NJ 08053 or call 1.856.983.4991 to find the perfect bottle of wine. For more information visit http://www.wineaccess.com/store/canalsmarlton/index.html.