Wine and the acquistion of better wine

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Living in the city has taught me one thing:

If you want it right, go to the pros.  Go to a specialist.

It may in fact be the only option sometimes in the Urban landscape.
You want dog food?  Go to a dog food store.  You need shoes repaired?  There are many to choose from.

And if you want wine, go to a wine shop, listen to the owner, and ask questions.  Today’s ride was a shopping mission.  I’m getting over a nasty cold, and it is cold… but a little Seattle street riding has me feeling clear and strong already.

My four favorite wine shops are:  The Vineyard, Greenwood.  This shop is small, and offers the 9.5% off (basically takes care of the sales tax) half case.  Affordable and ready to drink Euros, local, and interesting organic wines are here.  Then there is European Vine Selections on 15th in Capitol Hill.  Doug, the owner, is friendly and is nearly always offering a sample.WINE.

Author and wine merchant Doug Nufer
Author and wine merchant Doug Nufer

Then there is Esquin, which is in SoDope where the SoDo liquor store is open later than others of its kind.  Located on 4th and Lander, this huge wine shop you could get lost in, and their beer selection is insane too.  All of these shops have allowed me to bring my bike in, and today I filled my panniers with a fine selection from Champion Wine Cellars, which is right on dreaded Denny just North of 1st.Nothing like the champion

Emile, the proprietor, went around and pulled bottles off of the shelf that were pretty close to the ones I’d pick if shopping on my own.  In shops like this, every wine has been tasted before cases were bought.  I found his prices to be spot-on if not lower than many of the upstart wine shops and wine departments at QFC.  Safeway – don’t bother.  Crap-o.

To hell with stemware, I like my little jar
To hell with stemware, I like my little jar

Honorable mention to Jack Cellars – which was my first exposure to Seattle wine shops, and Jack hosts fun, informative tastings. Jack Cellars.

Just like the old bike shops that are still going, the wine shops are the place to find GOOD wine.  They are part of the treasures a city has to offer, and in Seattle, the connections to importers and distributors are complex and refined,  basically, the opposite of the wine and liquor store in Concrete.  If you find yourself there, stick to booze or walk out with nothing like I did.  There is no nice grenache there.

The other day I was moving on to the University Bridge slow enough to get a picture of this statue adorned with paper cranes.  The story of Sadako and 1000 paper cranes is one of the saddest I’ve ever read. Peace Park is a tiny piece of ground to remind us the insanity of war.

Sadako in Peace Park
Sadako in Peace Park

As a veteran I have no more words, just the image above, worth more than 1000 empty government promises.


Seattle Readers and riders – this is the second to last post I will make as your Seattle corespondent, until I should return.  Next week, on Thursday Nov 18, I invite anyone over 21 who likes beer to join me on a pub ride.  We will be stopping at three of Seattle’s finest brewing establishments, taking pictures, and reporting back via my last post on the evening.  It will start at 6:00PM, from here:

If you can't figure out where this is, there's no help for you.
If you can't figure out where this is, there's no help for you.

The ride will start with a little climb into Queen Anne.

State your favorite brew-pub in the comments, and bring your helmet.  See you there.

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

24 thoughts on “Wine and the acquistion of better wine

  1. Ask one of the gentlemen above through the interwebs. I have found that bourbon goes best with bacon and bacon goes with wine. Wine is a good ‘chaser’ to sip after you drink the fire liquid, if you don’t water it.

  2. You know, I would love to do this ride on Thursday.

    How do I explain to the man that I need to leave really early Thursday to drive 6 hours to SEA and drink a bunch, and that I won’t be in Friday??

  3. I am sorry to say I will be a thousand miles away… You guys have fun, though. I look forward to reading about it from here in Phoenix.

  4. The plan’s current status is for the rig to be launched, piloted by me, down the road south on a 5 day trip to Tucson. I will have a passenger other than my dog Lance. We will be departing on or before Thanksgiving. Itinerary is forthcoming. If extended DC family is along the way, we’d love to have a place to stay. Oakland is covered.

  5. If you want a bomb Shiraz without spending a nut, try Piping Shrike shiraz. One of my ‘Goin’ out to the Wine Loft to play scrabble and listen to mediocre live music’ favorites.

  6. kick’n post LJ. Keep me posted on your travels. you have a place to stay in FLG should you need it. We can hit the Wine Loft and enjoy some wine.

  7. Elysian is high on the list. Has anyone had their pumpkin ale? I didn’t think I’d like it but damn, it’s good!

  8. I’m no beer snob, as I’m known to pick up a 24 oz of Rainier in *gasp* an aluminum can. However, the idea for this pub ride is to go to places that MAKE the beverage – the brew-pubs. I like getting a taste of the real, fresh, and damn good. The decision on where to go will be a consensus one – but please don’t drive 6 hours to ride around Seattle with me… I’m not that special.

  9. so respectfully BOOOOOOOORINNNNNNNG.

    it’s like reading the pre punch-up script for a failed Frasier pilot episode.

    i can’t bounce to this shit.

  10. Perhaps, but there’s no real beer on the Frasier set. And Frasier don’t ride. Fuck. If Seattle didn’t kick ass as a city to ride in, I would not have moved here. Yes, stagnation is parcel. Worry not, my friend… this cookie cutta gonna break. You just wait.

  11. …snake hawg…did you get that case of ‘mogen-david srawberry-kiwi wine’ i sent you ???…sometimes when something classy & ‘special’ like that comes along, i like to make sure folks get a chance to appreciate ‘the finer things in life…

  12. if anyone cares, I’ll see yez @ the Needle @ 6:00 p.m. Keep the rubber side down and stay warm.

  13. oh, and starting out at EMP around 4:30 p.m., I have a fistful of guest passes, four twenty five, two twenty one, seventy seven fifty nine.

  14. Yah, man. I’ll be there. I’m on the tail end of a tenacious cold but I’m going with the adage that ‘Beer helps’