Three of Tucson's 99 Cents Only Stores have applied for beer and wine liquor licenses.

The stores will sell full-size bottles of quality wine, said Eric Schiffer, CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores.

"This is not the refrigerated, screw-top bottle of wine," he said.

"Special opportunistic buys" will determine what wines are sold, he said. For example, the discount store will get the wine when manufacturers make too much, a label is updated or its grocery store sales are sluggish.

"When we get the wine it will be a great treat for our customers because they're getting a good- quality table wine at an exceptional price," Schiffer said.

The wine is likely to be bought in small quantities, and it's unlikely the stores will carry the same brand often.

A brand that typically sells for $10 to $20 in the grocery store will likely be priced at $1.79 at the 99 Cents Only Stores. Less-expensive wine it buys will sell for about $1.

Though the price is attractive, it isn't the only thing to consider when buying wine, said Sarah Sydloski, beer, wine and spirit expert at Plaza Liquors, 2642 N. Campbell Ave.

She said the big concern for her would be not knowing the quality, freshness and how it was stored previously.

"When we sell a product here, we know we are selling a quality product," she said.

That confidence comes from knowing exactly where the wine comes from.

But, she said that won't be the case for 99 Cents Only Stores' customers.

Consumers should also be aware of the year on the bottle, especially on white wines, Sydloski said.

"You can definitely age wine. But if it's a white wine and it says 2006 on it, it's probably not going to be any good," she said.

There is no shortage of inexpensive wine currently available.

For example, bottles of Estrella wine sell for $5.99. "It's a great price and it moves pretty well off the shelves," Sydloski said.

While the focus of the 99 Cents Only Stores will mainly be on wine, the stores might occasionally also get specialty beers.

Beer and wine liquor licenses are pending for the following 99 Cents Only Stores locations: 7125 E. Golf Links Road, 4144 N. Oracle Road and 4160 W. Ina Road.

"I think people will be very excited about it," Schiffer said.

Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at 573-4137 or