The Reader's Choice: The Q Retail Wine Shop at Quartino
Quartino's wine shop is really more like a wine corner—an alcove next to the front door crammed with cases of a couple dozen Italian wines, many available only there. They can't compete with Trader Joe's on price—nor can most other small wine stores, for that matter—but many of their bottles are reasonably priced at around $10, and the shop boasts that Antica Osteria (available in bianco or rosso) is the best $5 wine available in America. On a recent visit they also had a $9 Bruscus Lambrusco, a $12 Leone de Castris Salice Salentino, a $10 Trambusti Chianti, and a small selection of more expensive bottles on special for $10 apiece. All the wines sold in the foyer are also available at the bar, and for the handful that are priced above $30, it might be worth it to try before you buy. But for many of the less expensive ones, ordering a quartino, or quarter liter (the smallest amount available, it's equivalent to about a third of a bottle, or a little over eight ounces) costs only a few dollars less than buying the whole bottle. 626 N. State, 312-698-5000, quartinochicago.com. —Julia Thiel
&Our readers' choice: Trader Joe's
44 E. Ontario, 312-951-6369; 3745 N. Lincoln, 773-248-4920; 1840 N. Clybourn #200, 312-274-9733; many suburban locations; traderjoes.com.