BRISTOL - Maple End Package Store is more than just a place to pick up beer, wine or liquor.
The owner of the business, Marvin Friedman, has an extensive knowledge of how all types of alcohol are made and the science behind pairing it with food.
“That’s very rare in this business,” he said. “And it’s getting rarer by the minute.”
Friedman, who has taken over Maple End after his father opened the package store in 1945, said he plays the role of an old-fashioned sommelier who knows what wine tastes best with what dishes.
“A lot of people just think it’s as easy as red wine with meat, white wine with fish. It’s not that simple,” Friedman said, adding that he has a “deep knowledge” of food pairings.
“Most stores in Bristol, most in Connecticut, most anywhere, you’re not going to get that,” he continued.
Friedman also said it’s quite the experience to visit his package store, saying it’s “unlike” any other liquor stores in the city.
Friedman said his business has a vast array of bourbon - including limited production and hard to find bottles - and scotch selections - including single malts and those with a light smoke flavor all the way to those with a heavy peat flavor.
There is also a full array of cordials. Friedman said a number of people get cordials as gifts or purchase them for the holidays and end up having them sitting around somewhere in the house. As a courtesy, he said, customers can tell him what they have at home and he will give them an idea of how to use them in a food dish.
“You tell me what you have, I’ll find a way to use it.”
Maple End Package Store is also well known for its ice. Friedman said it’s all made at the business and it has no air in it.
“That’s what makes it clear,” he said. “It weighs more, it’s more dense. So it melts slower and doesn’t dilute the drink.”
Maple End also has an extensive collection of craft beers from local and out-of-state breweries. The store is located at 192 North St., on Route 6 in between Terryville and Farmington avenues. Friedman or one of his knowledgeable staff members can be reached at 860-583-6176.