I live in a small mountain community in Southern California. Lake Arrowhead has often been referred to as the "Jewel of Southern California". We are only a short 30 minute drive from civilization, but sometimes, it feels like we are a world apart, particularly when it comes to buying wine, and even more so in winter. Just twelve months ago, we had two wine shops located in the Lake Arrowhead area, plus our local grocery stores. Today, those two wine shops have closed their doors, leaving us with grocery store availability. One of the local stores is a gourmet style market, and has an extensive wine selection (albeit quite pricey). The wine manager (Rob) knows his wines, and can make good recommendations, however, his inventory is limited by what his buyer decides to purchase. Here's the problem...I went there last week looking for a nice Meritage to share with some friends, Do you think I found anything? Nope.
|Blue Jay Village|
My new "go to" store is in Orange. They have a huge selection of wines, their prices are very good, but when I walk in the door, no one knows me by name (and I buy $400 - $600 worth of wine with every visit). No one asks if they can help me. Even as a Sommelier, I occasionally have questions. Yes, I know my wine, and regions and have a vintage "cheat sheet", but if it is a producer I am unfamiliar with, I want some feedback. When I purchase wine, I ask if there might be better choices than what I have in the cart. This is how I "discover" new wineries.