Saturday, October 28, 2006

Liquor Up!

I know I'll probably be slammed by some of you, but I have to say Beverages & More! is my favorite place to go shopping for wine. There's no other store like it that I can think of. Aisles after aisle of fine wine from all over the country in clean surroundings and space to browse and think about your meal and what to pair it with.

Some may say the best places to shop for wines are to visit the wineries at Napa or to find the small, local wine vendor at the neighborhoods. I definitely support the local businessman, but you have to admit that sometimes those stores just don't have the space to carry a wide selection. At BevMo (that's what they call themselves online), you have long aisles of just cabernet, and just chardonnay, and so on.

What's cool also is that you get well-written descriptions of the wine that really helps you visualize the taste and then make you think about how those flavors will complement what you're eating. In fact, they usually recommend what food works best with that particular wine. They also give points for each wine, and I usually shop for any wine over 89 points and I'm always guaranteed a winner!

Many people buy their wines at Trader Joe's, but I have to say that despite the perception of lower prices at Trader Joe's (especially after all the news about the $2 Charles Shaw), I don't think many of their wines are of the highest quality. The couple of bottles I've bought there in the past have been marginal. At BevMo, you can find many good wines and sometimes at very special prices. Because of its size, BevMo can negotiate deep discounts with suppliers and passes that on to its customers.

So this weekend, go out and buy yourself some wine. As a single guy, I used to worry about having a wine bottle open for too long, but I've found that if you have it out for no more than four days, it should be fine. So don't be afraid to drink alone! :)

QUICK TIPS ON BUYING WINE: The general strength of white wine goes from the light Sauvignon Blanc to the oakey Chardonnay. For reds, you can start with a Pinot Noir and get heavy with meats with your Cabernet. But always feel free to ask a salesperson for recommendations.

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