People ask us all the time why our assortment changes……they say that they always see new wines on our shelves. Now for some this is the plus to shopping an independent wine retailer. It gives you as the customer the opportunity to try new things and to test out our suggestions and to be exposed to wines you never would have maybe tried otherwise. For others it may seem confusing. They may be hoping to come in and see the same wines on the shelves from a year prior. For some wines that we carry that may very well be the case. For others, their debut may be short-lived. So to explain our reasoning behind how we decide on what wines we will carry, I am going to reference my previous life working in the fashion retail world.
Some wines are sort of the staples of our assortment – like the classic pieces you will have in your wardrobe year after year. A trustworthy Napa Cabernet, or a classic red Burgundy are the types of wines that sort of anchor the selections. The rest is sort of our palate or play area.
Now this doesn’t mean that the other wines we stock on our shelves are a passing trend or simply last season.The truth is with the abundance of wines out there, we like to take extra time and care to ensure that everything we are bringing into the shop fits our criteria – it has to be interesting and unique, affordable and most importantly it has to be exhibit great taste and quality. We may bring in a solid $12 un oaked Chardonnay for a tasting and keep it on the shelves and then a few months down the line we may get the opportunity to taste another one that not only tastes better but is at a better price point and we replace it.
We get excited about tasting new wines that are delicious. I personally love learning about the background of each wine. Where it came from, the family that owns it, their children’s names, the way the grapes are grown, the farmers who work the vineyards. It’s all part of the romance and part of what makes drinking a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir an experience rather than just a cocktail.
My favorite ever customer comment has been a consistent one. We have heard people say several times, ” We have never had a bad wine from your shop.” Comments like this are what make the quest for the perfect $12 Chardonnay worth it. Trust us – we aren’t complaining. The best part of the job is enjoying the search.