Don’t Judge a Wine Store By Its Wine

We are wine lovers. We are easily impressed by great wine. All a wine store has to do to get our impression is build a special room for their great wine, preferably temperature controlled and glassed in, then fill it with First Growths and Grand Crus, and we get all weak-kneed. Don’t be so easily impressed. Wine does not make the wine store. The person at the store makes the wine store. A great wine store is built, not around the special room, but around the person who picks the wines for it. More important, though, is the person who picks the wine for you. Great wine retailers are interested in you. They will get to know you, what you like and what you want to spend. They won’t woo you with points. Instead, they will let you taste some wine (where it is legal), they will ask you what you enjoyed in the past, and when they pick a bottle for you they will really mean it when they say “tell me what you think of it.” You will really know you’ve found a great wine store when you walk in and the retailer pulls a bottle from under the counter and says, “I’ve been holding this for you. It only got 89 points, but you will love it. And it’s only $15.99.” So don’t judge a wine store by its wine. Judge a wine store by the man or woman behind the counter.

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