For Herbert Cheng, the key to success has been through the grapevine - and in more ways than one.
Cheng, who worked for years at liquor stores owned by his family, enrolled in numerous wine courses in 2007 and took over Bayside’s .
Now, the wine and liquor store draws customers from all over Queens and Manhattan via word of mouth and online.
“Our customers know we are knowledgeable about our wines,” he said. “We are the go-to liquor store in Bayside and maybe even in Auburndale and Douglaston. If people stop in and tell us what they need, we’ll point them to the right bottle.”
The store, which is located at 41-07 Bell Blvd., offers between 2,500 and 3,000 types of wine from California, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Greece and Germany.
It also sells 200 wines from California, France and Italy that are stored in a temperature-controlled room.
New Golden Wine’s most popular items are reds and whites from California.
The store, which has been in the community since 1979, also stocks numerous liquors, such as vodka, scotch and bourbon, as well as grappa, Greek ouzo, France’s Armagnac and liqueurs, such as the Dominican Republic’s Aguardiente.
Cheng said he also stocks rare bourbons that draw residents from Manhattan. Some of the items – such as Pappy Van Winkle - have long waiting lists.
“They release their bourbons maybe twice a year,” Cheng said of the brand. “And they don’t give it to every store. If I’m lucky, I’ll maybe get a full case. They only make about 15 cases per year.”
Currently, the waiting list for Pappy Van Winkle has more than 30 people on it.
“I have one customer who waited two years for it,” he said.
The store will get a shipment of rare bourbons in September or October.
“We get customers from the city for our rare bourbon collection,” Cheng said. “I like to drink bourbons and I’m familiar with a lot of the rare ones. When I place my orders, I know what to look for.”
The store’s wines range in price from $4.99 to $600. Cheng said he recently sold a rare vintage collector’s item known as Chateau Lefite that went for $6,000.
His favorite item in stock at New Golden Wines is Louis M. Martini, a cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley.
“It’s not too expensive and it’s full body, well-structured,” he said of the wine.
Currently, the shop has been adding new sales on items such as Camarena Tequila and Svedka Vodka.
“They are pretty much giveaways,” Cheng said of the sales. “The store has been here since 1979, so we wanted to give back to the community.”
The store also hosts wine tastings on Fridays and Saturdays.
This Friday, the featured product will be Chateau Julien, a “royalty” red wine. The free tasting will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
New Golden Wines is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, call 718-428-1552 or visit the store’s website.