Tuesday, January 31, 2006

WBW 18 - wine shops that "feel the love"

Vino 100 Lakeway

Hard to believe another month has gone by already. This month's WBW theme (#18) is a bit different. It's about your wine shop rather than about a particular wine. There are actually quite a few interesting places to shop for wine in the Austin area. But in the sprirt of getting the point across quickly with this post, my recent favorite and one that best suits the theme is the Vino 100 store in the Lakeway area.

A fair number of Austinites aren't going to manage to trek out to Lakeway. But what I've come to like about this place is not only its unique selections, but the way in which it's presented. Their claim to fame is the 100 wines for under $25, and they display each with a little card about the wine that includes their "wine barometer". There's always a tasting of something at the bar there and best of all they've got interesting weekly events going on.

Best of all, of course, is just personal attention. Their "wine guy" is Nat Davis and he does the classes there. The guy can literally talk for hours about wine. He recently moved to this area from NYC and is a graduate of the American Sommelier Association’s Sommelier certification program. The thing I like about him is he doesn't tell you what to like. He instructs and highlights but doesn't attempt to bias you toward the things he likes.

Last night was another class there in Zins and Petite Syrah. No time to post about the tasting now, but will get to that in due course.

Meanwhile, since we're talking wine shops, I have to give runner-up honors to the Austin Wine Merchant. These folks are always helpful and they have the best Saturday tasting going. Always something interesting from noon to 3 on Saturdays.


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