The Weekly Wine Review
We could easily wallow in the restrictions that a control state implies on us wine lovers. We could lament over the wines we wish we could buy and feel slighted by the state for depriving us of the personal touch that independent package stores provide. Dry your tears folks and stop the whining. Here are just a few reasons that being a wine lover in Utah rocks. Utah provides a 30 percent discount for all wineries in the world that produce under 10,000 cases per year. Believe it or not, this means you can often find wines at the local Utah wine store that cost less than they do at wineries in California. Wines come in from regions like Santa Barbara in California, the Priorat and Rueda in Spain, and Cahors in France, at prices lower than anywhere else in the country. Not to mention, the great and rare wines such as Salon of Champagne, Chateau d’Yquem of Sauterne, Chateau Trotanoy of Pomerol, and many other houses that never make more than 10,000 cases annually, they always come in at great prices. One of the joys of wine grazing is finding a great small producer such as Longoria of Santa Barbara and their elegant Pinot Noirs. Thanks to the Utah small winery discount, these wines are a true bargain.
Utah has also provided my favorite day of the month. That is of course the Monday closest to the 1st of the month when the state puts a number of great wines on half off at the Salt Lake "Wine Store". You will be sure to find me waiting outside their door waiting for the clock to strike 11:00 a.m., preparing to wrestle my way through the 30 or so other wine lovers that bum rush the sale boxes like a massive family on Christmas morning united, hoping for our favorite wines to be only half their normal price. Good times; let me tell you. The supply usually runs out pretty fast so try to be punctual.
The wine stores are also more than willing to special order anything your heart desires. Most of the employees at the various wine focused liquor stores in Utah are wine lovers themselves and are extremely helpful with special ordering. All you have to do is order by the case and be somewhat patient. It is not the fastest process and sometimes it takes so long that you forget what you ordered. That way when it finally does come you are totally surprised by what you’ll get.
All in all, the Utah wine situation is actually pretty good. Our selection is actually better than most cities in the U.S. There is representation from the majority of the important appellations in world on our shelves and pricing is more competitive than people give it credit for.
Zev Rovine is the sommelier and resident cheese monger at the Spotted Frog Bookstore Cafe and Wine Bar where he teaches weekly wine classes. His wine education comes from the American Sommelier Association in NYC and he tries his very best not to spill the Pinot on the bestseller section. If you have any wine queries or comments he is easily contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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