When people find out I’m a wine professional, the most frequently asked questions I get are “Will you teach me about wine?” and “Where’s a good place to buy wine in Dallas?”
I think the answer to the last question is a little more complicated. When I’m not buying bottles through work, I’m visiting stores around town sourcing off the beaten path juice for tasting groups. I recently launched a bi-monthly education class for our staff. We started off by studying the principal grapes of the world, and moved on to famous growing regions, all the while developing their tasting skills.
The truth is, I buy the stuff every chance I get. When I visit my family in California, no trip is ever complete without a stop at K&L Wine Merchants in Los Angeles. I’ve been known to blow my budget on bottles of Equipo Navazos Sherry, Olga Raffault Chinon, Domaine Huet Vouvray, and ARPEPE Valtellina Superiore.
When I first arrived in Dallas I was convinced my career was taking a colossal step backward. The food and beverage scene was radically behind the times compared to other cities a fraction of its size. With that said, great restaurants are opening up all the time. Smaller distributors are representing wines that deserve our attention. Bottles that are unique, balanced, well priced, and thoroughly delicious. Vinos I hope to see more of on restaurant lists and store shelves.
There are a lot of corporate, big box stores you can buy booze from here in Dallas, but I don’t ever send people there. I believe in small production wines and boutique shops, where the price point might be a touch higher, but the quality is something you can taste in the glass.
Here’s a short list of my favorite places to buy juice in Dallas.
Undeniably my favorite place in the city to purchase wine and booze.
I send everyone here, and most have never heard of it. You can usually find me on Saturday afternoons, taking advantage of one of their free tastings, and buying bottles for the staff to taste. Their staff is knowledgable, and they have a huge French selection.
Wine isn’t their only forte; they also carry a great beer, sake, and liquor and spirit selection too. When I’m trying to find a relatively obscure bottle for my home bar, odds are I can find it on their shelves.
Don’t miss the staff value shelf in the store, as it’s the place where you can find great wines for under $20 a bottle. Whether it’s everyday drinking bottles or blow the budget with special occasion bottles, Pogo’s has you covered.
Hands down, the best Italian selection in the city. Every grape growing region located inside the boot is represented here. If you can’t find it on their shelves, odds are you won’t find it in Texas.
Jimmy’s also sells frozen pizza dough, Italian sausages, delicious sandwiches and ready made lasagna. It should be a stop on everyone’s route if Italy is what you’re looking for.
I don’t know who’s doing the wine buying here, but it’s pretty spectacular. I want to be friends and drink wine with them because we love the same bottles. The selection is straight out of my handbook, from Dönnhoff Riesling to Teutonic Wines from Oregon, Cru Beaujolais to Provence Rosé.
You can also grab a great cup of coffee made with Stumptown espresso, hot and cold sandwiches, fresh produce, and flowers.
What this selection lacks in size it makes up for in substance. Every cheese you purchase comes with a wine recommendation. If you love stinky, alpine cheese you can grab a wine there made to match it perfectly.
Scardello boasts one of the most amazing cheese selections in the city, and you can taste just about anything in the case. I can’t get out of this place for under $100. I go crazy and buy all the delicious things.
Very similar to Scardello, the wine selection is on the smaller side, but every wine on their shelf is unique and delicious.
This is one of the few places where I can find killer bottles of rosé that are impossible to find just about anywhere else. It’s a perfect weekend stop, and not very far away from Royal Blue Grocery.