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Favorite Wine Shop?

Ok, so looking to branch out from the normal places to stock up on wine for the holidays (Esquin, DeVine, Tarragona, etc)

Any thoughts?

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  1. My favorite spot, along with Esquin, is Pete's in Bellevue. (Note that the Seattle branch is much smaller with limited selection). They have a broad selection with an empahsis on NW wines, and they also specialize in small production stuff that often doesn't make it on the shelves. And as much as I love a neighborhood shop that stocks a case or 2 each of several clever selections, Pete's volume allows them to trounce most local retailers on price (this is not too say its Costco; it has similar pricing to Esquin).

    I have also heard that Ballard Market is good, but I haven't been.

    1 Reply
    1. re: equinoise

      I've always been impressed by the french selection at Champion Cellars on Denny. Emile, the owner, is very knowledgable. The prices may not be the cheapest but they have the best selection of Bordeaux splits i have ever seen.

    2. The Wine Outlet is one of our favorite places to shop for wine. The original location is in SODO but they just opened a second store on Elliott.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Lauren

        Crap, you beat me to it =) I love the Wine Outlet too, tho, if you're looking for something *specific*, it isn't the place to go. It's definitely the place to go if you're looking for something new.

        1. re: jaydeflix

          Any suggestions on Wine shops in Portland. I usually just pick up my wine while I am shopping at the market, but I know there has to be some good wine shops around here somewhere.
          Has anyone been to the little place off hawthorne?

          1. re: jaydeflix

            I just visited the SODO Outlet for the first time, and I am a big fan. They had like six bottles open on a sunday for tasting. Apparently, the place is owned by a wine writer from the P-I, who buys overstock or other unwanted lots from retailers and resells them at a discount This is not say the offerings are spoiled or undesirable, just that they tend toward more obscure wines that are not as marketable toward novices. There was alot of German reisling, roses, and a few greek bottles. I picked up a very clean and pure Saumur (Cab. Franc) but I am most excited about a Chassagne-Montrachet (one of the foremost white burgundy appellations) that they were tasting, a $50 bottle they were selling for $29.

        2. If you like Spanish/Portuguese/South American wine, the selection and service at The Spanish Table are excellent. Both Catherine (their buyer) and their staff (Juan in particular, iirc) have recommended some terrific bottles for me in the last few years, in a wide price spectrum (low and mid-to-high).

          1. I love Tarragonna but I have been buying wine for years at Leschi Mart ... great selection and easy shopping.

            1. I absolutely HEART a little place called European Vine Selections, on 15th on Capitol Hill. There's a little sign in the window that says it ll ""No Wimpy Wines." Small but well-curated, and with excellently descriptive handwritten cards about every bottle. As the name suggests, it's mostly Euro stuff. Very homey. You'll feel like a beloved regular after a couple of visits.

              3 Replies
              1. re: slippek

                No Wimpy Wines is the slogan for Ravenswood. I wouldn't necessarily call that a good thing.

                1. re: vanillagorilla

                  Good point. That slogan suggests to me (and Ravenswood generally produces) lowest-common-denominator, high alcohol fruit bomb with pop-tart finish.

                  Still, its probably unfair to judge European Vine Selections based on a hand-me-down slogan alone.

                  1. re: equinoise

                    I wouldn't judge them solely on that. But, they're going to have to work harder to win me over because of it.

              2. Esquin usually has the best overall selection/price in terms of the most wine at the best prices. However, I don't shop there that often.

                The Seattle Wine Outlet is great if you aren't too interested in anything specific. He has what he has. It's good and it's cheap, but he might not have what you want.

                I like Maple Leaf Wine Cellar alot. Again, their selection isn't very big. They may just have one or two examples of most kinds of wine, but they do pick good ones. If you are looking to buy a case of one kind of wine though, they will need advanced notice.

                I really like the Vineyard Wine Shop on Greenwood. If you like European wines, this is the place to go. It's very cramped and small and can be slightly intimidating though. Don't be afraid to ask for help, and you won't be steered wrong.

                I actually buy most of my wine from Garagiste though. Since it's a mailing list, you don't get immediate gratification, and they only offer a few wines a day, but they seem to offer tons in my price point.

                6 Replies
                1. re: vanillagorilla

                  If you are looking on the Eastside, we have been very happy with the pricing, selection, and recommendations from Seattle Wine Co. The consistently beat prices at all the major grocery stores.

                  1. re: alrubin

                    On the East side I've only done Vino 100 in Bellevue, where is the Seattle Wine Co?

                    1. re: nseattlefoodie

                      1950 130th Ave NE
                      Bellevue, WA 98005 - 2209
                      (425) 869-0609

                      It is more towards the Redmond side of Bellevue.

                  2. re: vanillagorilla

                    I live around the corner from the Vineyard Wine Shop on Greenwood, walk the dogs past there everyday and never thought to pop in... Usually I buy direct from the vinyards and have stuff shipped, but I thought I should branch out... Thanks! I'll have to stop by this weekend :)

                    1. re: nseattlefoodie

                      Another one I like is George's Wine Shoppe in Lake Hills, Bellevue. George retired from the wine industry in CA and opened this place. He tends to focus heavily on local wines, but also brings in some good bottles from CA. Every Sat he has tastings, usually with a local producer that sells generally very affordable wines in the $10-20 range. He put me onto a few different NW bordeaux-style blends that were great values. http://www.georgeswineshoppe.com/Abou...

                      1. re: nseattlefoodie

                        I used to live near the Vineyard Wine Shop and they have a tasting that helped me learn a lot. The staff was really helpful, too.

                    2. If you're ever over in West Seattle, West Seattle Cellars is a good place. They have a free tastings every Thursday evening, and a very nicely chosen selection. The owner, bear, is very big into Burgundies and Rhone/Loire wines, but they have something good from every locale, it seems.

                      1. I really like Esquin but am also trying to expand my horizons. Esquin was great as I shared a on-site storage locker there with my friends and could buy and store in one trip. Based on some of the posts here, I think the Wine Outlet is my next stop. On Queen Anne, McCarthy & Schiering has some great wines and the staff are quite knowledgeable. Bricco, a wine bar down the street, has a Meet The Winemaker series where one can taste the wines then order them from McCarthy & Schiering at a discount.

                        1. I'll throw my hat in... If you ever find yourself in Bremerton... in which case you'll probably need a drink... look-up the Manette Wine Shop. Not big or glitzy BUT the owner has personally tasted everything that is on the shelf. 250+ labels. Very good quarterly big blow-out tastings. Always free. Great values... then again there has to be... did I mention it's in Bremerton. For the record, I do work there part-time.