Not just New Haven’s best place to buy wine—one of the best in all of Connecticut

The Wine Thief is a gift to the city. What began in 1996 as a humble wine shop on Whitney Avenue has grown into a true New Haven phenomenon—largely due to word of mouth. Apparently, everyone who cared about wine told everybody else, and well-deserved success followed.

As the selection expanded, the Wine Thief (named for the tube that’s used to remove a small amount of wine from a barrel or fermentation vessel) just got better and better, working with artisanal wineries all over the country—and the world. The store offers what is easily the city’s best-chosen selection of wines from relatively unknown producers—many of them incredible values.

The iconic Whitney location was—and still is—a rightful favorite, but the Wine Thief’s new digs on Crown Street brought the store’s treasures to an eager downtown audience, with a bigger space, broader selection, and even more user-friendly shelves. Staff at both locations are wonderfully friendly and knowledgeable.

The Wine Thief is the very definition of the community wine shop: they deliver locally, they do gift packs, and they coordinate wine-pairing dinners with several local restaurants, which are always a treat. Check the website for upcoming events; there are frequent free tastings at the downtown location from 5pm–8pm on Friday afternoons.