Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Shops we love: Wineseeker

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Some places may be a little cheaper or have larger selections, but Wineseeker in Victoria St has rapidly become many people's wine shop of choice.

Carl, Nicola and Brie specialise in "matching people with wine", and are always happy to guide you towards something new or different, something that sounded intriguing but that you might not have got around to trying. They can ask you for your likes, dislikes, food choice and budget, then guide you in the direction of a new winery or obscure variety like Aglianico or Carmenère. There's a strong emphasis on local Martinborough wines, but they also cover a wide geographic scope, including South America and southeast Europe as well as the usual suspects.

You can always pop in and grab the same old bottle of Pinot Gris that you always do, but that would be missing the point. There's always at least one bottle open for tasting, ranging from cheap & cheerful quaffers to yesterday's massive Brunello di Montalcino. It's a fantastic place to be a regular: I often think that loyalty cards are for big chains that want to pretend that they get to know you, but it's really worth joining their wine club for discounts and email alerts of today's tastings.

The shop itself is located on the ground floor of an undistinguished high-rise office building, which disproves the notion that such buildings can only support anonymous chain stores, and that independent shops only survive in characterful old low-rise districts. Wineseeker is exactly the sort of friendly, individualistic neighbourhood shop that makes the city a more pleasant and humane place.

Oh and by the way, it's just around the corner from Siem Reap and Balti House, which are both BYO.


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