Spill the Wine

How merchants help customers find the perfect bottle.

Photo courtesy of Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet

Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet in Abingdon.

The world of wine can seem daunting to someone new to the subject, and sometimes even aficionados need a little help. With thousands of bottles available, which wines will best suit your taste? For success in choosing your next bottle, turn to the experts. We asked the Best of Virginia 2020 top wine merchants to share how they help customers navigate this complex world.

“In terms of recommendations, we genuinely take them case by case. What I like doesn’t necessarily translate to what you might like. We like to get to know a little bit of what you tend to like before we start recommending things,” says store manager Jeff Owens of Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg. “That being said, we’ve gotten in some killer boxed wines for an amazing price that people have been really responding to recently.”

At Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet in Abingdon, “We begin by asking the grape varietal they are looking for and the price range they wish to stay within. The next question we ask is if they are trying to pair the wine with any particular food,” says owner Katherine Rose. “At the present time, with spring upon us, I am enamored by many of the Virginia white wines.”

VintageCellar.com, KatbirdsWine.com

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