Weekly Feature

2017-10-11 / Business

On the Rox Liquors carries organic, low-sulfite wines


Joe Zoratti holds a bottle of Les Hauts de Lagarde Rouge, one of several organic wines newly stocked at On The Rox Liquors. Joe Zoratti holds a bottle of Les Hauts de Lagarde Rouge, one of several organic wines newly stocked at On The Rox Liquors. The consumer-driven shift toward fresher, cleaner foods isn’t a fad. It’s a movement; Tom and Joe Zoratti, owners of On the Rox Liquors, strive to provide many options for their consumers living healthy lifestyles. That’s why the father-son duo recently added a larger selection of organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and low-sulfite liquors and wines.

“Customers help us keep up with the latest trends because we see what they are buying,” said Joe Zoratti, Tom’s son. “We try to stay ahead of the trends so we have a big organic section, which is newer, as people become more and more health-conscious.”

Some of the wines are produced with organically grown grapes, and others contain low sulfites, which are preservatives and antioxidants.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, sulfites are used to keep dried fruit such as apricots from turning brown and to prevent unwanted bacteria from spoiling the wine. They are generally harmless, but for those who are sensitive to them, consuming sulfites can cause breathing difficulties.

The updated organic section at the store, located at 4382 Bailey Ave., contains dozens of products for health enthusiasts. Customers may even find eggs or fish bladders suspended in the wines, which help with clarification.

Zoratti said the liquor and wine industry has evolved in tandem with the organic food industry.

“There are more organic options now compared to five to 10 years ago,” he said. “There are new companies, but some companies that are organic have been organic the whole time, but just never labeled it.”

Other products in the section come from local distilleries such as Niagara Distillery and Black Button Distilling.

The store also carries 716 Cellars, “Buffalo” branded wines that benefit institutions of the city.

Fifty cents from every sold bottle of 716 Cellars’ shiraz cabernet is donated to the pediatric oncology unit at Women & Children’s Hospital, and 50 cents from every sold bottle of its pinot grigio goes to the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter.

“It’s really nice to see that money stay in Buffalo,” said Zoratti.

The store also features $4.99 bottles of wine and products from throughout the world, such as Austria, South Africa, California, Italy, Spain, Russia and more.

“We get a big diverse of customers, since we are close to the university. Also the area around here is changing so much; that is why our selection is diverse and interesting, too,” said Zoratti.

The store also hosts evening tastings on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays and has weekly specials.

Also, veterans can receive 10 percent off all liquors 750 ml or larger, and 20 percent off wines, with a veteran’s card. Other customers can sign up for an email coupon online at ontheroxliquors.com or in the store.

Products on the shelves may have changed since Tom Zoratti took ownership of the store in 2002, but the two faces behind the counter have remained helpful and friendly.

“At first, I thought I would just be here for a little bit, but I enjoyed it so much I ended up staying. It’s like hanging out with the family. It’s fun,” said Joe Zoratti.

Tom agreed and said he “wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

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