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It happens to the best of us while shopping for wine. We find ourselves standing in an aisle staring blankly at rows and rows of wines from around the world. “Should I get the chardonnay? What is the difference between the one from California and France? Do I even like chardonnay?” Well, you shouldn’t have to go it alone. Enter: the professional.

I think many people forget store employees are the ones you should seek as soon as you walk in the door. They are the knights you want to take into battle. Most liquor stores and bottle shops with large wine selections have at least one employee who is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about wine. In fact, they are most likely waiting for you to ask for help.

Many have passed credentialed testing, been a part of the buying and tasting process, are up to date on trends, and at the very least are familiar with the store’s selections.

Speaking up for help also has many perks. The more you shop with them and the more they get to know your taste, likes and dislikes, the easier they can make your shopping experience. They may even start telling you about new wines coming in, tasting events and even some wines you buy regularly that happen to be the special of the week. With this insider information comes the most important of all for you the consumer, a personal wine educator. You can learn so much from just asking for advice and trying recommendations from these professionals.

My advice has always been, let the hospitality of the employees guide you. On almost every trip to shop for wine I seek out advice from the ones who know the most in the store, the wine clerk.

These are a few suggestions from the many out there helping to make wine buying easier. Thank you for your guidance!


  • 2015 Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc, California (about $13 retail)
  • 2015 Broadside Chardonnay, California (about $15 retail)
  • 2014 Apaltagua Winery Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile (about $12 retail)
  • 2015 Lorenza Rose, California (about $16 retail)


  • 2015 Raptor Ridge Pinot Gris, Oregon (about $19 retail)
  • 2014 Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay, California (about $26 retail)
  • 2015 Azur Rose, California (about $21 retail)
  • 2015 Force of Nature Mossfire Ranch Merlot, California (about $25 retail)