Wine Store / Merchant
Up until recently, sadly, I enjoyed getting personal wine recommendations at Vinosity on 35th by the owner, Myrna. Her prices were reasonable, her selection interesting, and her recommendations good. I'd tell her what I'd liked from last time, or what I was cooking, and she'd fix me up. Vinosity is now closed, and I'm left alone and sober with an empty wine "cave".
I'm looking for a wine merchant that can give me a little personal attention and who comes with some recommendations. Help?
Why don't you try the Wine Merchant on 6th? Here are just a few reasons I like the place:
-The people there are wonderfully knowledgeable. I started out talking with John but after going there for a few years now, I feel comfortable with most.
-Their selection of French wines is quite good and they cater to all price levels.
-The store is kept at a brisk temperature to store wine properly.
-They keep your purchases in a database for future reference.
-From what I understand, they test their cases to see if they've been "cooked" by poor shipping techniques.
They might charge a dollar a bottle more than other places but I think that is well worth it for the care they take in selecting their wines.
That being said, I think you can establish a good relationship with folks at an of the Spec's in town. They have very good selections, too, and at very reasonable prices. Other places like Central Market and HEB (in my case, the Hancock center store) will make very good suggestions if you look for their staff "picks." Whole Foods also has a good wine department but, like CM and HEB, it can be a little less personal.
In my opinion, if you want good personal service, it's hard to do better than the Wine Merchant.
They also have super cool wine tastings on a regular basis. A while back I went to a Bordeaux tasting at which they are also sampling a really interesting (briney) South African cab. And I realize that most wine shops have tastings fairly often-- just noting that Austin Wine Merchant offers some really interesting choices.
Vino Vino is also great for wine recommendations. The staff and the owner are very knowledgeable.