Q. In the magazine and online, you have recommended some wines I’d really like to try. What’s the best way to track them down?
A. If you live in a state that permits it, you may be able to have wine shipped directly from a domestic winery or online merchant. For direct assistance, I prefer haunting local wine shops. In addition to a large selection from all over the world, look for at least these three things in a good shop:
- Tastings: The very best way to learn.
- Expertise: Can the staff clearly explain something you didn’t previously know about wine?
- Comfort: Is the staff snootily inclined? If so, scoot on down the road. A wine shop should never be a no-fun zone.
By Charles Smothermon, a food and wine writer in Laurin, Mont.