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'Wining' down at Walgreens in Brooklyn

NEW YORK — Wine with an evening meal outdoors is one of the great pleasures of summer, and with summer officially beginning this week, this Walgreens store in Brooklyn is making sure customers have everything they need.

Many people enjoy a crisp white or sparkling wine on the beach or in their backyards under the hot sun, and this Walgreens’ store on Avenue J in Brooklyn is selling a small array of wines — under New York state law, only officially licensed liquor stores can carry a full selection, though supermarkets have lobbied to change the law — as well as corkers, foil cutters and a handy product for removing red wine stains.

The United States is the world’s largest wine consumer, surpassing even France last year, according to The Wine Institute, a trade group representing California wine producers. Domestic and foreign producers shipped nearly 330 million cases in 2010, a 2% increase over 2009, with a total retail value of $30 billion. This included sparkling wines such as champagne, whose sales fell from 13.8 billion cases in 2007 to 13.8 billion in 2008 before rebounding to 13.9 billion in 2009 and then 15.4 billion in 2010. California white and rosé wines made with such grapes as chardonnay, zinfandel, Riesling and Muscat saw large increases in sales as well, as did red wines with grape varieties, such as pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon.

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