First Step in Wine Picking

First Step in Wine Picking: Choosing a Wine Store


For those people who are not wine enthusiasts in the very sense but are avid wine drinkers, this article is for you. Like you, I am not a wine connoisseur. I did not learn about wines by reading books about it, I learned by doing or by tasting them. Inside the wine store, I have no idea what bottle to purchase, but as time went on I developed a process of my own. I go to a reliable wine store and ask the recommendations of the seller there. This will not take too much of my time and the result is I have a fine wine on my hands ready to be consumed.

Just bear in mind that not all stores are created equal. You will find educated wine enthusiasts in one while you will just find a sales clerk in another. To help you out in choosing which wine store to go to, I listed here a few factors to help you out.

First is the wine selection. Remember that having hundreds and even thousands of bottles offered in a wine store does not mean it is offering the best selection there is. A lot of wine stores stock up with well known commercial labels of wine and those wines with discounts on it. Look carefully into the wine choices presented to you for they may have a lot of wine in their stock, but it may be the same type of wine repeated over and over again.

A good variety of selection has a lot of knowledgeable wine buyers. It should also have a different variety of wine tastes coming from different regions and having a good range of prices. A good selection of wine should have ones that are familiar as well as those wines which are unique.

The second factor you should consider is the wine storage. If you notice that the store is too hot for you that it is making you sweat, you better stay away from it. Wines that are stored in a temperature over 80 degrees Fahrenheit will make it lose its flavor. This is the reason why most wine storages are underground, to be able to keep the temperature constantly cool. Large warehouses are hard to control, so wine shops with huge warehouses should be avoided also. In the summer, if you see a wine store where the employees are wearing sweaters and are happy, you might want to check it out. There is a big chance that the wines there are happy and cooled also.

Next, find a store that provides good information about wines. If the staffs are well informed about the wine, then chances are the wine in that store is in good quality also. In Kansas, you can find stores offering free wine tasting. You can grab this opportunity so you can try out the wine before purchasing it.

Find a store with a good price range. After you have minimized your list of wine stores to choose from the three factors earlier discussed, then you may pick from the one with the best deal. If wine is really your thing, then you can subscribe to the store’s newsletter to be updated in their offers. You can also join wine tasting clubs and be with other wine enthusiasts such as yourself.

Lastly, take into consideration the convenience of the store you would like to purchase your wine. The location should be near the place you live so you can grab a bottle anytime you feel like it.

If you live around Kansas City, then you will surely benefit from my top wine store picks. Note that the top picks are in no particular order.
1. Cellar and Loft located at 112 W 63rd St, Kansas City, MO, (816) 444-2444. This wine store is in Brookside. You can find the cellar in the ground floor. Aside from wines, there is also a good selection of beers, gourmet foods, kitchen items and a lot more. Upstairs, you can find the showplace of home furnishings and decors, both new and antique alike.

2. Cellar Rat located at 1701 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, MO (816) 221 9463. Situated in the Crossroads, the Cellar Rat offers only handpicked selection of wines combined with personalized service. The service is impeccable as well as the building structure itself. The 5,000 square feet shop is filled with artisan beers, cheeses, gourmet meats, spirits, cigars, chocolates, and of course wines.

3. Vino 100 located at 13135 State Line Road, Kansas City, MO, 64145 (816) 941-VINO (8466). Good wines at affordable cost, which is what Vino 100 is all about. They have around 100 bottles of fine wines to choose from and a bottle will only cost you $25 or less. They also have a unique selection of other items such as single-malt scotch, cognacs, port, cigars, smoking accessories and other wine gifts.

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4. Lukas Liquor/ The Wine Bar located at 13657 Washington Street, Kansas City, MO 64145, (816) 942-8707. This place is the largest merchant of fine wines, spirits and malt beverages in the Midwest. The Wine Bar is the recent expansion where you can attend cooking classes. It can also be converted into function rooms perfect for meetings, conventions, team buildings, and wine tasting activities.

5. Rimann Liquors located at 4155 North Mulberry, Kansas City, MO 64116, (816) 587-3399; Prairie Village: 3917 Prairie Lane, Prairie Village, KS 66208 (913) 236-5311; Lenexa: 15117 W. 87th St. Parkway Lenexa, KS 66219 (913) 492-1604. It is included in the Food and Wine Magazine as one of the “Top Wine Shops in America” for three years now.

6. Ensimnger Liquors located at 11052 Quivira Road, Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 469-9006. They offer wine personally selected by the proprietress, Judy Ensminger.

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