Home » Crisp white wines » DAMN YOU, SHOPRITE… FOR NIRVANA!


I cannot get out of ShopRite for under $100.

I go for two or three items.  I only bring in one recyclable bag.

I get caught at the cheeses.


I hail from Wegmans country, in the western part of New York State.  Apparently, our Auburn Wegmans is the armpit of the Wegmans empire.  Still and all, it was always worth an extra ride over to see what they might have on their shelves, a pilgrimage if you may, whenever visiting my parents.  It always beat whatever grocery stores we had in Albany.

Then came Fresh Market to Latham.  The supermarket wars were on!  ShopRite soon followed, on Central Avenue in Albany, in Niskayuna, Schenectady and now Slingerlands, very close to our house.

I tend to harass tweet Wegmans on a regular basis, challenging them to join us here in the Capital Region for our supermarket wars.  I so believe they would RULE the joint!  But they keep telling me they are focused on developing new market areas, in NJ, VA, MD and PA.  Apparently we don’t matter.

And now Wegmans doesn’t matter, because ShopRite is showing the Capital Region what they should expect in a supermarket.

valdeon ciclos

Cheese… fresh breads… seafood… produce… and a cadre of employees that seem to be hopped up on happiness.  Have a question?  Ask an employee, who will take you by the hand and help you find what you are looking for.  For me it was Haloumi cheese.  The cheese guy (dangerous… they know too much!) said “Haloumi????  Oh, I remember when I first tasted Haloumi cheese in Greece!  Wow!  Let me show you where it is!”  I told him about my recipe with Haloumi cheese, a grapefruit round topped with grilled Haloumi, vinaigrette and mint.  He was more excited than I was about it!

Food costs have gone up in general.  In our area, if you shop at ShopRite, your food costs have definitely gone up.  But you are walking out with a product worth the cost.

Thanks to ShopRite, I experienced Nirvana tonight:  Valdeón cheese from Spain, an intense Spanish blue cheese, metered with Michel Torino’s 2007 Ciclos, a Sauvignon Blanc/Fume blend.  The flavors together could not be more perfectly matched.

Thank you?  Damn you?  ShopRite!

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!


  1. Cheese will be the death of me (and what a way to go!)

    I’ll be trying that recipe soon, when the great grapefruits arrive.

  2. Its easy to spend money on good food and drink….Damn you

  3. I wish we had a decent grocery store nearby . . . I did a Trader’s Joe pilgrimage two weeks ago and it’s actually lasted quite awhile, but I am envious of your access to great grocery stores!

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