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Houston -- Purchasing Wine

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I'm posting for a friend who lives in Houston. Her dad has requested "a nice bottle of red wine" for Christmas, and she is clueless. I recommended that she find a nice wine store and tell them her parameters. Can anyone recommend a good place to buy wine, that will work with her in finding the perfect bottle for her dad? She works downtown in Houston and lives in Sugarland, if that helps. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Spec's flagship on Smith, just south of downtown, has the biggest selection, better overall prices, and generally helpful wine staff.

    Richard's is OK.

    Cova on the fringe of the Rice Village is combination store and wine/tapas bar. Some wines are available for tasting before buying.

    A more knowledgeable staff is at Houston Wine Merchant, Westheimer at Shepherd.

    Spec's and Houston Wine Merchant both post their wine lists on line. I can't vouch for how often the web sites get updated (I have no knowledge about that one way or the other)

    4 Replies
    1. re: guttural

      I second Spec's! They are extremely helpful, and check out the deli and cheese's, too.

      1. re: guttural

        Who's not to recommend Spec's???? There are a couple of stores listed in the Sugar Land area. She/you can 'browse the store' and get an idea of prices, etc. Some of the neighborhood stores are quite large and well stocked and have deli sections, too.

        http://www.specsonline.com/

        1. re: brucesw

          Thanks so much! I may just have to come visit now...

          1. re: brucesw

            Sorry I didn't see this before Christmas.
            The Spec's in Sugar Land has a pretty good selection, but most of the staff is grumpy and indifferent, except for Dwight, who is very personable and was tremendously helpful to me when my husband and I were having a big party last summer. Friends tell me that the staff is more helpful in the Missouri City store farther down Highway 6, but I haven't been there.

        2. Spec's Warehouse at 2410 Smith is definitely where she needs to go, and it's probably right on her way home to Sugar Land. Good prices, and 5% off if you pay cash. The staff is very helpful and well informed. The store is huge with a good selection of cheeses in the deli. Their prices for Riedel glassware are way lower than most places. We always take out-of-town visitors there. It's got to be one of the Top Ten tourist attractions in Houston. Top Five, even!

          1 Reply
          1. re: maryanntex

            You can't NOT go to Spec's. They have the biggest selection of wine in the country. Literally, if it is available for sale in the United States Spec's has it. Everyone on staff is VERY knowedgeable and will take you right to whatever you want. They have branch stores all over town, and also have a "warehouse" location on lower Westheimer that had some very impressive (low) prices last time I was there.