For wine lovers, there is no more extraordinary place to be than a well-curated wine shop. Row upon row of well-traveled labels that make their way to our favorite wine shop from various corners of the globe – it’s incredible.
Many boutique shops specialize in particular regions or wine styles, setting them apart from a store down the way. Most do an excellent job of curating, organizing, and displaying wines so customers can buy exactly what they want.
We went to the SOMM TV cast to ask where they shop when looking for a unique or specific bottle. Here are the spots they shared that never disappoint when it comes to selection, service, and overall experience.
What is your favorite wine shop and why?
My favorite wine shop is Bay Grape Napa. It’s great for new wines to collect or discover and an even better place to get together with other winos. I love how connected to the community they are. It’s a commitment, and they stick to it. Also, I think it’s closed now, very sadly, but La Cantina del Convento in San Gimignano was my favorite wine shop in Tuscany. Lorenzo was a wine collector, winemaker, and olive oil producer, and it’s where I got a lot of my Italian wine collection. He made the best ribollita soup you could find. —Maryam Ahmed
My parents and oldest sister live in Anchorage, Alaska, a town no one expects to go to for wine. But the shop LA Bodega in midtown has a smart and tight selection with some good wine from around the world. There are even a few standouts I can’t find in California. If you go, be sure to say hi to one of their managers Nikole and tell her Elaine sent you. —Elaine Chukan Brown
Vinoteca Centro Storico in Serralunga d’Alba. Alessio and his wife Stefania are such laid-back and cool people. Producers, collectors, and wine-folk from all over the world are there at any given time. Did I mention it’s at the top of Serralunga!—DLynn Proctor
I have to shout out to my local K&L Wine Merchants here in Hollywood. They have knowledgeable buyers with really excellent palates who bring in a lot of amazing smaller producers and allocations along with the big guys. They are always very accommodating, as well, and helped me out a lot with the virtual tastings I was running during lockdown. —Claire Coppi
Hmmmmm, I’d have to say my store: Verve Wine 😉 It’s filled with all the stuff I like to drink (and also why I don’t need to keep much around the house). —Dustin Wilson
Casa del Vino in Florence. It is everything I dream of when I think of what I would do in a wine shop/enoteca. First, they have a fun assortment of wines to try from all over the world, but some of the most sought-after wines from Europe. Second, they serve a great selection of bruschetta – you can buy a bottle off the shelf and enjoy a snack, the bottle and the flow of Florence all together. Finally, they have one of the best wine selections in the world. It has the finest of Chianti Classico, the Langhe, Burgundy and Champagne. It’s a true dream!—Jeffrey Porter
Berry Bros. & Rudd in London. If you have been, then you know. It embodies 300 years of family legacy with tunnels under St. James street. They twist and turn and make their way like catacombs with history all their own. They tell stories of wars, kings, queens, the spice trade, and whiskey, honoring the past while keeping an eye on the future. Berry Bros. & Rudd lets you hold bottles you’ve never dreamed of and unicorns that would make even Armen Khachaturian giddy like a school girl. It is a wine shop that reminds one of the nobility of our profession. It makes you want to wear tweed and reach for a bottle of Good Ordinary Claret. Stop by when you’re in London. But don’t sit on the scale; it turns out they frown on that. —Jonah Beer
My favorite wine shop abroad is La Dernière Goutte. This shop stole my heart the first time I walked in. It’s in the Saint-Germain neighborhood of Paris, and I love their selections. It’s been around for 30 years in the 6th arrondissement, and the owners also have a few wine bars and restaurants in the area (Freddy’s & La Boissonniere). My local pick is The Wine House in West LA, an institution in LA wine owned by the Knight Family. They continue to bring top wines to us from all over the world at the lowest prices you’ll find. Whatever you need, they have it or something just like it.—Matthew Kaner