Saturday, November 16, 2013

going to the wine store

Last weekend was spent wandering the Berkshires in Eastern Massachusetts. Have you ever been to the Berkshires? It's lovely. It's the home of Smith College (where Julia Child attended) and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as many picturesque walking trails, cows and chickens. It also happens to be where my dancing sister-in-law, her I-can-turn-wood-into-anything husband and the fancy pants nephew Henry live. We ate, we wandered, we got our eyes turned inside out by Sol LeWitt, and we shopped.

(photo by the talented Dave Shea)

In between all of that living, I went looking for wine. On occasion we've tried to buy a bottle or two along the route and have found the following: stores closed, stores with three bottles of fruit wine and lots of beer and whisky, cheap Kahlua. Last time we found a couple of lovely bottles of Pinot Gris from Washington State in the small corner store down the street. Quelle surprise. This visit we went on a wander in a different direction hoping to find something semi-local to try. Whew. It's a beer and whiskey jungle out there. We eventually found a store with lots of Californian wine and exactly three other bottles of US wine: one from Oregon, one from Washington State, one from the Finger Lakes.

The couple of bottles we tried were good. This Kungfu Girl Riesling was the usual good stuff of crisp apple and sharp acidity.

This Pinot was a bit oaked, but silky and smooth just the same with lots of cherry fruit.

All of this wine shopping gets me to thinking. I know we all love to hate the LCBO for various reasons, but perhaps the other side isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you live in the boonies (all of the on-line research I did had recommendations for wine shopping in the Boston area only), you might be drinking lots of fruit wine, cheap Kahlua, and whiskey... okay whiskey isn't such a bad thing.


  1. The best part about living in NW Pennsylvania (state-controlled liquor stores) is being close to New York with choices :) and a better understanding of customer expectations.

  2. At least you found something worth trying! I've noticed that in some of the corner stores in the States it's mainly really cheap, 'crowd-pleaser' wines. Were the wine lists at the restaurants worthwhile?

  3. We didn't go out at all, so I'm not sure of restaurant wine lists. I'm going to source out some of the larger communities next time I'm that way.

  4. Really? I'm really surprised that the home of Tanglewood didn't have any decent wine shops nearby (I haven't visited NW Mass. in about twenty years, but I seem to remember Stockbridge having a cute downtown, with some excellent dining choices.)

  5. Okay! I just put Tanglewood on my list of places to search out wine. Thanks.