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Three Signs You’ve Found a Great Wine Store

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Wine: The fruity, alcoholic beverage in all of its incarnations, whether dry, sweet, woody, or sparkling, was long regarded as only a European beverage. As globalization has encapsulated our world, so, too, has wine taken the planet by storm. According to the Wine Institute, more than 24 billion liters of the ancient beverage are consumed across the world every year. France, rightfully regarded as the ancestral home of the world’s best wines, has recently lost its place as the number one consumer of wine to the United States. Americans now imbibe an estimated 3.2 billion liters of the liquid gold every year.

While we may have grabbed the title of biggest consumer away from France, we haven’t quite absorbed the French penchant for knowing how to buy wine that can be objectively described as “good,” nor have we learned how to choose wines that go well with different foods and our own tastes. For that, we need the help of great wine stores. Unfortunately, a truly great wine shop is exceedingly rare, but with these three tips, you can find a wine shop that can get you exactly what you need and want.

How to Tell Good Wine Stores from the Bad

  1. Range of Wine Prices, Origins
  2. As The Daily Mail writes, price and origin are no definite indication of the quality of wine you’re buying. A mid-range bottle, around $20 or so, can have just as much flavor and body as brands that go for hundreds of dollars. If you want to find a great wine shop, look for one that offers a stock with different prices and origins.

  3. The Store Gives You a Chill
  4. When you walk into your wine shop, it should give you a chill. The chill shouldn’t be from the amazing interior decorating and layout, although that doesn’t hurt. Instead, the wine shop should literally make you feel a bit cold. As Peter Alig writes in “Wine Stores,” wine kept in sunlight or in exceedingly warm temperatures will quickly start to lose its flavor and spoil. Subsequently, if you find a wine shop that blocks out natural light and keeps itself chilly, you’ve found a winner.

  5. The Staff is Knowledgeable About Flavor, Pairings
  6. One of the trickiest things about wine is learning to match its flavor with bread, cheese, and full meals. For example, as Food and Wine points out, Burgundy wines go especially well with fatty fishes, like salmon, or full, hearty dishes, like lamb stew. The best wine shop should be able to help you pair any wine with your upcoming meal.

What if All of My Local Shops Are Low Quality?
After reading this guide, many wine fans will realize that they don’t have any great wine shops nearby. Luckily, thanks to the power of the internet, it doesn’t really matter. Buying wine online can be more convenient and more affordable than shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, though you will need to do more independent research to find out about matching wine with food.

If you’re one of a growing number of Americans who like incorporating wine into your everyday life, follow these tips to find the best wine shops around. Just remember, the internet can be just as powerful of a tool for finding something that’s full of flavor and character. Continue your research here:

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