Sparrow Top 50 wines are selected on the basis of our wine philosophy and are reviewed and updated monthly by our tasting panel. In keeping with our mission statement, price is limited to less than $50 per bottle, with most under $20.
If we were forced to carry only 50 wines, these would be them!
Wine is one of the most complex consumer products there is. An endless variety of wines are made from seemingly every corner of the world, from thousands of grape varietals grown in an equally endless combination of soil and weather, mostly by passionate people with their own idea of what wine should be. And it all changes every year. Furthermore, wine is an organic product that is constantly evolving in the bottle. Finally, your perception of any given wine is affected by serving temperature, by what you’re having it with and even your mood! So how did we pick these 50 wines? As in any other such list, these wines simply reflect our opinion. But that opinion is anchored in a 25 year history of tasting thousands of wines each year and a commitment to bring our customers the world’s best and most interesting wines, consistent with our mission statement and wine philosophy, and backed up by our guarantee of satisfaction. And unlike other such lists published by many in the wine industry, you know where to find us!
President and Wine Director
The company was founded during prohibition in 1922 as Sparrow Cigar Company in bustling downtown Hoboken. By the start of the war the store had become one of the leading tobacco retailers in the state and had expanded into liquor. We still run into old timers with stories of how, during World War II, the lines into the store used to go around city hall, two blocks away, because it was the only place in town to buy cigarettes.
The Luis family bought the store in 1977, by which time liquor was the bigger part of our business. When son Armando took over the operation in 1986 the emphasis shifted to fine wine and we joined the pioneering Wine Source group, the leading retailers in New Jersey during the 70's and 80's. During the 90's the store was acclaimed as one of the finest wine shops in greater New York by major wine and food publications. In 1999 we opened our flagship store on the renovated Hoboken waterfront, with 6000 square feet and a beautiful view of Manhattan.
Today we remain one of the leading wine and spirit merchants in New Jersey. We look to the future with great anticipation and the commitment to continue to provide our customers with the highest level of service and the best and most exciting wines and spirits from all corners of the globe.
To bring our customers the world's best and most interesting wines and spirits with a sense of discovery and an emphasis on value.
The true purpose of wine is to provide drinking pleasure and its most natural setting is at the dinner table. Its most enduring quality is its ability to represent the character of its fruit and its source vineyard. All truly great wines are made at the vineyard. Any good wine must possess a core of fruit sweetness and proper balance. Above a certain price point, quality and price bear little relationship. In a world where good wine has become the standard, distinctiveness and value matter nearly as much as quality.