With the barrage of holiday events, present buying, and kitchen stocking soon upon us, it's time to dust off the old wine cabinet and start stocking up on new bottles of reds, whites, and bubblies. Preparing feasts of roasts, hams, Tofurkey, or coq au vin requires not only something to sip on, but also cups to cook with, and so we all head to the store with lengthy lists.
This year, instead of tossing a bottle into the cart at the regular old grocery store, make just a single trip (or two) to one of this city's renowned specialty wine shops. After all, Seattle abounds with sommeliers and shopkeepers who busy themselves with the business of other people's grapes, so why not take advantage of their vast knowledge?! In the spirit of giving the gift of wine (to your guests, your impeccably crafted dishes, and of course to yourself) we've rounded up the top five wine shops to turn to for Thanksgiving and every other Happy Holiday from Halloween to Hanukkah.
5. Pike and Western Wine Shop (1934 Pike Pl.)
As Seattle Weekly's own Maggie Dutton sums it up, "Picking your personal house wine shouldn't pain you, but before you get stuck with 12 mediocre bottles, hold auditions. For my latest white, I trucked to Pike & Western. These people taste far more wine than I do, which makes perusing that section of this small shop above and beyond promising to me. Everything's been vetted, so it's just a matter of taste."
4. The Tasting Room (1924 Post Alley)
The Tasting Room Seattle presents a collection of some of Washington's most celebrated wines. Tucked away on Post Alley, this haven of hard-to-find artisan Washington wine feels like a cellar. Consequently, there's a giddy feeling that you're hiding out here amid the racks of exceptional wine while you're sipping something that few people will ever get to try. Once you've imbibed, you may buy bottles retail for carryout or to be shipped home, and there are discounts for full-case purchases. The food selections are slim, designed to go with glasses of artisan wine: cheese plates, Salumi meats, nuts, and chocolate.
3. The Cellar at DeLaurenti's (1435 First Ave.)
Could you spend hours wandering the aisles here? You could. In addition to providing a glorious selection of imported foods, DeLaurenti also caters to the gourmet in a hurry, with hot and cold sandwiches, panini, and pizza. But the secret is in the cellar in the attic. Wait, what?! DeLaurenti's has a wine cellar upstairs in the market, above all their grand isles of imported goodies, so you can pick your grape and then look across all the flavorful accompaniments you'll pair it with before heading home.
2. Esquin Wine Merchants (2700 Fourth Ave. S.)
Esquin Wine Merchants has been hawking bottles for over 40 years, with free monthly tastings and good introductory wine education courses to boot. Bringing the worldly wonders of wine to its customers through their extensive and entertaining blog posts and vast stock of every varietal in-store, Esquin doesn't skimp on anything but high prices.
1. Pete's Wine Shop (58 E. Lynn St.)
Pete's Wine Shop (with two locations in Seattle and Bellevue) sports a ginormous stock of over 2,000 labels from around the world. Winner of SW's 2011 Best Grocery Store for its killer and semi-hidden back-wall deli, the Eastlake location's staff and selection need no introduction. There is next to nothing they can't source, haven't heard of, or don't have on hand.