5 TIMES ON LIST

Competitive prices, highly trained staff and an extensive selection of spirits from around the globe landed West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits on the Best Of list for a fifth straight year. The chain’s signature “helpful smile in every aisle” didn’t hurt either, says Communications Manager Ivy Sprague.

“Our employees are trained experts and can offer customers information about the origins, flavors and perfect pairings of each of the products,” said Ms. Sprague, adding Hy-Vee aims to make wine and spirits shopping a “beyond the aisles” experience with additional services like drink recipes and special tasting events.

“We offer something for every customer – from the connoisseurs to the novices and everyone in between,” she said. “Our Wine & Spirits managers work hard to ensure we carry the products and brands that customers are looking for. We’re always keeping our eyes open for new and exciting products that will surprise and delight our shoppers.”

Within the last year, that’s meant shelf space for exclusive brands like Finagrens Irish Whiskey, Cross Keys Rum and Row Vodka. The chain also recently added spacious walk-in beer coolers to select locations, including the Coralville Crosspark Road Hy-Vee.

– Katharine Carlon

1st Runner up: Benz Beverage Depot

2nd runner up: First Avenue Wine House