Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Best Places to Buy Wine

The blog drinks a lot. Between studying and having to chase after The Pope, we work up quite a thirst. We quench that thirst with all manners of adult beve leges (as said by a kind checkout worker at Winn-Dixie recently). But wine, well that is our most dangerous habit.

Buying wine, especially for novices like us, always presents a unique set of challenges: How do I pronounce sauvignon? What do they mean by fruit?, etc... But it shouldn't cause you any apprehension. Walk into a reputable wine merchant, strike up a conversation, tell them what wine you like, what wines you don't like, maybe a bottle you remember, tell them what you want to spend, what is the occasion, and what you are serving for dinner. Trust us they love doing this. Develop a relationship. It will pay off for you in many ways. Liked a wine, but can't remember what it was? Their computer will remember what bottle you liked better than you will.

Trust us, buying wine should be enjoyable. Thus, we present to you the Blackened Out List of Top Places to Buy Wine For Your Crunk Cup. Go to one of these spots, test out the above, and savor the results.

Hopper's Wines & Spirits - This is the spot for you if you like producers of Old World wines who are focused on quality in the style of Kermit Lynch. Ric Hopper has an incredibly vast knowledge of all things Burgundy. Also a great place to stop in and chit chat and likely spy some of your favorite chefs and restaurateurs. Located in the Uptown Square Shopping Area, which allows you to pick up a bottle of something nice for Grandma at Lambeth House. Bonus: Tuesdays after the CCFM, swing on by and pick out a Summer wine. We like the Clos St. Magdeleine 2007 Cassis Blanc right now.

Martin's Wine Cellar- A legend. This spot has been around forever. More than just a wine shop, this is the spot to pick up a chicken salad sandwich, one of the best burgers in town, a tub of orzo, a six pack of Hoegarden, and a bottle of Black Currant Vodka. With multiple locations around the Greater New Orleans Area(this includes Baton Rouge and Mandeville), finding a Martin's should not be a challenge. The wine selection is incredibly immense spanning the globe from Chile to Long Island. This spot is the Harrod's of food and wine only if Harrod's was on Veterans.

Elio's - If you can fight off the Tulane kids purchasing kegs of Abita Amber, a conversation with Elio or his son's will deliver results. Tell them what you like and let them guide you through their selection. They always have one or two deals, and once you become an insider, they will tip you off to spectacular savings. A case of Moet&Chandon Rose for $150? We will take two. Located on Calhoun and Claiborne around the corner from Bud's Broiler, Elio's offers a convenient place to pick up some wine and head to the Fly. This is the place if you like big California wines.

Cork & Bottle - Jon Smith, aka Bloggle, has assembled a crack-pot team of wine investigators. Although their selection covers all areas of the world, the main emphasis is on finding a $15 bottle of wine that drinks more like $30 bottle. Which in this economy is a recipe for success. Located in the American Can Company, a vibrant Thursday afternoon Farmer's Market couples fresh food with free wine tastings. Plus, the recently opened Clever (next door) serves up classic and inventive cocktails from the deft hand of the General, Kimberly Patton-Bragg. Their Wednesday Wine Sense series is a good way to gain some knowledge and taste new wines. The hardest thing about visiting Cork & Bottle? Leaving.

Dorignac's - The dirty little not so secret among all wine drinkers in the city is that some great wines are to be found here at good prices. While you may not be able to get the service at Dorignac's that you can at say, Martin's, if you know what you like this is not a bad option. Plus, the old ladies who work the counter won't card you, they just ask to squeeze your butt.


QB said...

2nd Elio's! Although disappointed the legendary Wall of Shame is gone.

Anonymous said...

What about The Wine Seller?

Rene said...

Anon, first love your poetry. Second, Wine Seller is a great spot, no disrespect meant. I just don't shop there very often so didnt have enough info. But it was always a spot I went to on my way to St. James (which now has a likker license).

Anonymous said...

If you live all the way out in River Ridge, Metry, Kenner, Kennairie or any of the other outer burbs, the Cellars of River Ridge is AWESOME. They also have a kitchen which serves food and have Friday night wine tastings.

Natalie said...

Hopper's Wines is fantastic! I walk in, tell Rick my price range and the meal I am about to have, and walk out with the perfect bottle every time, in no time. I also ordered a case of sparkling for my graduation and he matched the Whole Foods discount - 10%.