The Connection Warren-Watchung Edition Apr/May 2019 PAGE 50 &"# ) 0 4,31 / 5,11 ! 42 & $ ' + "" + ! ! " # ( ## # 0 #% 0 $ " # ( " # # &" # # $+ #$ - # " ## $ # $ &" ! * " " ! " % # ( $ " #! %' #- # " ## $ # $ &" ! * $" "" .( $ ( WINE CENTRAL’S 10 BELOW 61C Mountain Blvd. Warren 908-222-9463 Darryl & Sharon Fusco Why would someone use a valu- able liquor license to open up a new business that sold just wine priced $10 or below? No beer or liquor. That is the question often asked of Darryl and Sharon Fusco, the owners of Wine Central in Warren, next to Dunkin Donuts. Wine Central or 10 Below for short, recently opened up in War- ren, in the center of the town near the gigantic American Flags. According to the Fuscos, there’s been a real void of quality wines in the $10 and below price range. While there are thousands of terrif- ic wines available at that price from their suppliers, many shops only dedicate a small section of their store to wines in that price range because of a lack of space. Others are simply unaware of how big the market is. The num- bers definitely support the Fuscos’ claim. According to Nielsen, a glob- al market research firm (excluding restaurants, bars etc.), 78% of all wine bought in the US averages just $10 and 55% of all wines sold in the US averages under $8. In fact, the average price of a bottle of Cabernet sold in the US was $8.66 last year. Chardonnay sold for an average of $6.91. Amazingly, the US market for good wines $10 and under is mas- sive - $34 billion in 2017. Accord- ing to Darryl Fusco, the reason for the startling statistics seems obvi- ous. “The vast majority of con- sumers is not connoisseurs and just wants a nice bottle of wine to open and drink, without too much thought or too high price tag. Savvy consumers know they can get terrific wines without spending a lot, or waiting years for pricey bottles to mature.” In preparation for a December grand opening, the Wine Central crew tasted close to 900 wines, and picked out their favorites for the new store. The fusion of a great concept and the Fuscos’ 20 years of industry experience resulted in a shop with the ambience of a fine wine store, packed with an impres- sive selection of high-quality inex- pensive wines. According to the Fuscos, often the first time a person walks in, we hear “Wow what a nice shop, what a great idea!” The next time that person is in, we hear “wow I loved the wines I bought here recently!” Dining Out