I’m not sure the exact date of the opening of Wine Works in Marlton, NJ; I know it was sometime prior to the start of summer. I had been meaning to get up there and although I had made a couple of trips to Canal’s BottleStop during that time, one thing or another (maybe I can blame tremendous road construction in the area) had kept me away. Last week, I finally made my first visit. There was an element of surprise upon entering when the first face I saw was not Max or Felipe, but Vladi, my wine guy from Hops n Grapes. He had not been there long but explained that he was happy to be a part of WineWorks and hoped to do his part in making the place a success. Vladi is one of the good guys in the business, he knows wines and offers personable and helpful suggestions.
WineWorks is the new venture for Max and Felipe Cammarota owners of Terra Nova Restaurant in Sewell and the Landmark Americana in Glassboro, NJ, who sold there very successful, Hops n Grapes store in Glassboro, NJ at the end of last year. Their new location in the old Two Guys Shopping Center on Route 70 in Marlton, NJ faces a host of challenges which will keep them busy as they strive to make in-roads in an area ripe with competition. Perhaps their biggest challenge is that they are within a stones throw of Canal’s BottleStop. There is another Canal’s not far away on Rt. 73 and a host of other wine outlets sprinkled along Rt. 70. If it were not for the presence of Canal’s BottleStop, I would say they would have an excellent chance of leaving all the others in the dust.
A walk around the store reveals a nice selection of wines with very competitive prices. They had several items that I have not seen available elsewhere and that is something I am always on the lookout for whenever I visit a wine store. It looks like they are targeting some of the items that are the daily e-mail specials for Canal’s BottleStop and trying to go under them. It would seem consumers can benefit from any price war that takes place in the coming months. Long term though, they have their work cut out for them. The selection and service at Canal’s BottleStop, under the leadership of Charlie Beatty, will be tough to top.
Wine Works offers some modern features such as their “Taste The Harvest”, a selection of approximately twenty wines available in one ounce pours thru use of their “Enocard”. If you go to their website to find out how to get an “Enocard” or how much it costs, good luck. As far as I can tell, and I spent way too much time trying to find out, there is nothing there that gives you this information. In fact, their website needs quite a bit of work. The link for “BROWSE WINES”, which I foolishly thought would show me their wine selections in-depth, actually shows four wines. They are the same four wines shown on another link that purports to tell you how to match wines with food, but does not. Come on guys, I know there is a lot to do in opening a new store of this size but I would think the website has to be right up there in importance.
They offer a large selection of artisan cheese and fine cigars. Wine Works is a nice looking store in a very competitive area and I wish Max and Felipe the best of luck.