Buyng Reds at the Chronicle Cellar in Pasadena
The Chronicle has wines in many price categories, not just cheap wines. One of the first bottles I bought was a 1995 Pio Cesare “Il Bricco” Barbaresco. The gang there has tasted all the wines in the shop, since that’s what they do all day. Therefore, they can make specific recommendations for your personal taste. Sadly, the inventory rolls over quickly, so you have to buy reasonably fast . They have a website and I get e-mail alerts for the current specials. Sadly, I live hundreds of miles away or I would try to check them out every week or two.
I would say one other thing about the Chronicle. You will notice that most of their wines carry a Parker rating of 87 to 90. I’m sure they don’t care about ratings, but like me, they use them more like a fruit-o-meter. In other words, their wines are not big, fruit-forward versions, but are chosen to be leaner and more food friendly.