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Why I buy wine from a small local shop instead of big chains.

Buying a bottle of wine is intimidating. How much should you spend? What should you buy? Most people either stick with what the know ir heard or guess. I have had great success with buying wine from a small liquor store in town. Here are some the reasons I keep going back even though bigger stores are nearby with sometimes cheaper prices. 

    1. Customer service

    Big stores are large and finding someone to help you is challenging. Small stores have someone right there, and sometimes the owner, who can help you find something that fits your needs. They want you to leave happy. 

    2. Smaller collection is easier to choose from

    My local place store is small yet has a wide assortment of wines including from outside the US, especially Spain and Italy, but occasionally South Africa. He has the popular wines but other lesser know wines too. It is easier to choose a Cabernet  from California when I have 25 good bottles to pick from rather than 250. 

    3. I can ask for help and it is natural, not weird.

    I usually go in to my store looking for something but if I can't decide i ask for help. I'm looking for a red wine to go with whatever food I'm planning and how much i want to spend (usually $15 -$25). And the owner gives me some good suggestions - usually a few options, and often something I'm not thinking of. I get suggestions for lesser known wines that rate higher than more common wines. 9 times out of 10, I get something I like. Better odds than picking something based on the picture on the label. 

    4. Finding special wines

    I have found some very special wines that can't be found at big stores. Maybe the distributors like the "small guy" or the small business owner is better at relationships. Or that wine is one available in small quantity and thus not attractive to the big stores. Im not sure. 

    5. They get to know you and what you like.

    When I get on a kick for Spanish wines, I notice that part of the collection gets better. Because the small guy knows I come in looking for that. I get a good recommendation and come back to relay my pleasure and more like that shows up in the store where it can't be found in the big stores. Again, they want you to be happy. 

    6. Less likely to get a bad bottle

    I have bought multiple bad bottles of wine. It is such an awful feeling when you pop the cork and wine splatters and the pop is a bit too loud and I know something is off. Confirmed with a taste ofcourse. I have had more bad bottles from big stores than my small local store. And I buy 5 times more from my local guy. 

    7. Supporting small businesses in your community.

    There is something that makes me feel good about supporting a small store than a cold big enterprise. Wine is an intimate thing, very personalized, and I think small business is better capable of connecting with me. 

    8. It is sometimes cheaper

    Most people think that the bigger places are cheaper. And most times they are if you know what you are seeking. But I have found multiple times the local guy is cheaper.  And sometimes I get a few bucks off or a free bag of ice or something nice around the holidays. 

    9. They can order things for you.

    I once really liked a bottle of Cabernet and my local guy ordered a few cases for for the store do I could buy it. I ran a wine tasting and he bought some hard to find wine that fit my theme. 

    10. My local guy educates me.

    My local store owner is a wine nerd. He knows a lot about different wines and can geek out with me about certain wines. He also knows I'm always up for something off the beaten path and he can tell me why I might like it. 

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