Great Washington State Wine Available in Houston



By Kori ~ December 7th, 2009.

Kori with her Grand Champion Red Brangus heifer at the 1986 Houston Livestock Show and RodeoFor years, I’ve had friends tell me that they can’t find the great Washington State wines that I tell them about where they live. So with the help of Wine-Searcher.com and a lot of legwork, I’ve set out on a mission to prove them wrong.

This is the fourth in a series of posts to help you find great Washington State wines in the major cities and areas all around the country. So far, the series has featured New York City, Chicago, and Atlanta. Today, I’m searching for Washington State wine in the Houston area. As a native Texan who was born in Houston, I am especially excited to explore their wine scene to see how easy it is to find great wines from my adopted home state of Washington.

Here’s the format: To be selected, a store first has to have a Wine-Searcher.com rating of 4 or higher on a scale of 1 to 5 for customer service, reliability, etc. Next, it has to stock Washington State wines that we really like. Finally, they need to be an online retailer as well, so that if you don’t live close enough to the store to drop in, you can still purchase their wines.

Based on those strict criteria, I wouldn’t have any Houston-area retailers to recommend. The elephant in the Houston market is Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods. I’ve shopped at a number of Spec’s stores in Texas, and they are great wine merchants. However, for whatever reason, they are not listed on Wine-Searcher. The downtown Houston store on Smith Street has a good selection of Washington State wines, but the wines aren’t always the easiest to find because there’s not a Washington State section in the store. They are interspersed with California wines by varietal.

Unfortunately, none of the stores that are listed on Wine-Searcher have a good selection of Washington State wines. Party Pantry Liquors & Fine Wines and Houston Liquors are probably the best of the rest. I’m hoping that some of our readers will weigh in with their comments if they know of other Houston wine shops with a good selection of Washington wines.

Listed below are the three retailers with their street addresses and links to their websites. Please let me know how you find their service and selection when you visit in person, and don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have about any of the Washington wines they are offering.

Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods, 2410 Smith St, Houston, TX

Party Pantry Liquors & Fine Wines, 8277 Windfern Rd, Houston, TX

Houston Liquors, 16226 Loch Katrine Ln, Houston, TX


Filed under: American Wine, Great Washington State Wine Available in (City), Washington State Wine

Reader's Comments

  1. @nectarwine | December 7th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I’m always excited when I travel and I see Washington wine on the wine list. Unfortunately their usually pushing a $10 bottle of Sagelands (which isn’t horrible) for $25 a bottle or $7 per glass. Have you checked out @vinegeek – he’s from Texas and shops at Specs – maybe the two of you could do an old fashion Texas / WA Shootout.

    Josh @nectarwine (twitter)

  2. Brian White | December 9th, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Kori…..
    I figured your Houston report would end up just like it did. It seems that Houston’s wine climate is still developing to a degree and obviously when you have one HUGE player in the market (Spec’s) it’s tough for others to compete. That being said I think it is sad that Spec’s is not on wine searcher.com, but then again they do not have a e-commerce side to speak of really. Not sure why to be honest whether it is their desire or a TABC regulation.

    Oh and for folks reading you might want to try Houston Wine Merchant. They sometimes have a least a few WA wines different than Spec’s.

    Spec’s is good, but I have to say that their knowledge base for WA wine is just okay…..I wish it was better!

  3. Kori | December 11th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Josh,
    You are right; it is often hard to find some of the better Washington wines on wine lists when traveling. I do follow @vinegeek but haven’t thought about doing a TX/WA shootout. Interesting idea!

    Brian,
    I’m with you; I was hoping to find more good options for WA wine in Houston. Oh well, in time. Thanks for recommending Houston Wine Merchant. We’ll have to check them out.

    Cheers!

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