By Kori ~ April 5th, 2010.
For years, Iâ€™ve had friends tell me that they canâ€™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, Iâ€™ve set out on a mission to prove them wrong.
This is the eighth 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, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix. Today, Iâ€™m searching for Washington State wine in the Austin, Texas area. As a native Texan whose hometown of Cameron, Texas, is only about 90 miles from Austin, 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.
Hereâ€™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 donâ€™t live close enough to the store to drop in, you can still purchase their wines.
Based on these strict criteria, I can only find one Austin area retailer to recommend, The Austin Wine Merchant, which has some good higher-end Washington wines. However, the largest wine retailer in the Texas market is Specâ€™s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods, and they have six large stores in the Austin area. Iâ€™ve shopped at a number of Specâ€™s stores in Texas, and they are great wine merchants; but for whatever reason, they are not listed on Wine-Searcher. Most of their stores have a good selection of Washington State wines, but the wines arenâ€™t always the easiest to find because there is usually not a Washington State section in the store. Generally, they are interspersed with California wines by varietal. Iâ€™m hoping that some of our readers will weigh in with your comments if you know of other Austin area wine retailers with a good selection of Washington wines.
When you visit one of these stores, please let me know how you find their service and selection, and donâ€™t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have about any of the Washington wines they are offering.
The Austin Wine Merchant, 512 W Sixth St, Austin, TX
Specâ€™s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods, 4970 W Highway 290, Austin, TX
Filed under: American Wine, Great Washington State Wine Available in (City), Washington State Wine