Always Drink Responsibly

24 May 2013

From the Winemaker's Studio: Support Your Local Washington Wine Shops & Winemakers

My work on the street selling wine has convinced me that the recent change in Washington State liquor laws is seriously hurting small wine shops and small wine producers.  I won’t bore you with examples, but I could give them. 

While it may be more convenient to buy alcoholic beverages from corporate chains like Total Wine, BevMo, Safeway, and Costco than previously at state owned liquor stores, it also supports large national corporations rather than local individually owned stores and wineries.  Profits flow to New York, California, and Florida.

Standardized wines are a good thing.  They are mostly soundly made and affordable.  But they are the same, year after year, vintage after vintage.  They do not show the differences in time and place.  They show the vials of the chemist hired to make certain the wines make a profit. 

They do not show the hand of the sole winemaker attempting to create a wine reflecting the years and the place where the grapes were grown. And the small wine shop Sommelier often tastes each wine purchased and often knows a customer’s preferences and often knows the winemaker and how the wines are made.
Do your best to support locals who are deeply interested in wine and wine making instead of those being deeply interested in making a profit and dominating a market.
-Hugh Remash, Eagle Harbor Wine Company, Bainbridge Island 

Local Libation would like to emphasize the following benefits you receive when visiting your local, independently run wine shop versus a corporate chain:
  • You will discover a greater inventory of local offerings from regions of the state you may not often visit (Walla Walla, Yakima Valley, etc...)
  • You will receive more personalized service with experienced staff who can tell you details of the wine and point you in the direction of something new to try based on your palate preferences
  • You will have a greater chance of going home with a bottle of something you will enjoy rather than blindly selecting a bottle off the shelf at a grocery store
  • You will learn about local events, tastings & classes offered
  • You won't feel lost about what to purchase because of the above