There are times you need spirits or maybe just a new selection for your drinking palate. And Lubbock just became home to a very cool new option for beer, wine, spirits, and gourmet foods called Spec’s.

Based in Houston and expanding its way north through Texas, Spec’s recently opened a location in Lubbock off Slide Road just outside the Loop near Hobby Lobby.

Walking in, the store seems part standard grocery store and part liquor superstore. To the left of the entrance are tables if you want to eat in at the store’s delicatessen (more on that later). Caprock Winery was there this particular Saturday with free samples of their new line of wine. A great way to start our shopping experience…

We checked out the deli first. They had your usual meat and cheese selections, as well as other deli staples like various salads. We chose some salami and chicken salad. The deli also has a made-to-order sandwich menu and on this Saturday a selection of hot wings. Also available are caviar and party trays.

Near the deli is large cooler containing a variety of cheeses to pair with your wine selection. In terms of other grocery items, Spec’s has several aisles of gourmet foods to accompany your wine, beer, and spirits. From a whole wall of cracker choices to pasta and sauces to an aisle of chocolates, there are several options to create a romantic dinner, a grown-up picnic, or in our case a casual Saturday football lunch. They even have a section of freshly roasted coffee beans and a variety of teas.

Now it was on to the real reason for our visit, the wine. We checked out the cooler on the back wall. The selection of pre-chilled wines was a little small. No worries though, Spec’s provides a free chilling service if you find something on the expansive wine aisles that you’d like chilled for immediate consumption.

The selection of wines was great. Staff picks and buyer recommendations helped guide us as well as a wine consultant roaming the area. Being loyal Texans and aspiring locavores (or maybe just not adventurous) we stuck with a Caprock Winery selection (of course!) and Austin Street Wine from Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, Texas. Both very tasty with our cheese, meat, chicken salad, and cracker spread.

Sandwiching the wine selection are aisles of spirits and beers. Like the wine, the selection is vast. We were focused on the wine this visit but a display of Oktoberfest and autumnal beer offerings was definitely enticing.

Completing our circle of the store were several front aisles with various barware, glassware, party ware, and general get-your-drink-on ware. Also available were gift bags, gift items, and custom gift baskets (make sure to call ahead for these).

The prices at Spec’s seem pretty reasonable, not really higher or cheaper than other places in town. You do get a five percent discount if you pay with cash, check, or debit card. This saved us a dollar and some change. They do have the Spec’s Key Program, a frequent shopper program, which allows you to get various discounts labeled “Key Specials” on yellow tags throughout the store. You can also use the card to earn points. Points can get you first in line when highly-sought wines are released, other discounts, or access to events/promotions.

Lubbock has a lot of options when it comes to food and drinks, but Spec’s is a great addition and definitely a place worth checking out, especially if you are looking for a wide variety of spirits, wine, and beer. Parking and getting in-and-out is easier than United or Wal-Mart if you just want to pick up a few drinks and snacks.

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