Shopping for Wine

Beer and Wine, Drinks, How-To, Wine 101
on January 1, 2009
iStock Photo

Q. In the magazine and online, you have recommended some wines I’d really like to try. What’s the best way to track them down?

A. If you live in a state that permits it, you may be able to have wine shipped directly from a domestic winery or online merchant. For direct assistance, I prefer haunting local wine shops. In addition to a large selection from all over the world, look for at least these three things in a good shop:

  • Tastings: The very best way to learn.
  • Expertise: Can the staff clearly explain something you didn’t previously know about wine?
  • Comfort: Is the staff snootily inclined? If so, scoot on down the road. A wine shop should never be a no-fun zone.

By Charles Smothermon, a food and wine writer in Laurin, Mont.