The Noble Writ: Wine Shopping from Afar

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Here is a short list of out-of-state retailers with whom I've personally had very positive experiences purchasing wine over the years:

The Age of Riesling: Impeccable specialist. German and Austrian importer and retailer. Large backstock of older vintages and rare auction bottlings from top producers. Poet and riesling guru Bill Mayer may not have the website inventory up to date, so call or e-mail for the latest list.

Astor Wines: Big NYC retailer with a stellar selection of Italian and French wines. Inventory moves quickly, and prices sometimes reflect the prime real estate, but this is a good all-around source.

Chambers St. Wines: NYC shop specializing in natural wines from around the world, with particular strengths in the Loire, Rhone and Burgundy regions of France, Italy, Germany and Austria. Top-notch selection and very helpful staff. They have been having Internet issues lately, so the site may be down from time to time.

Dee Vine Wines: Specialist riesling retailer with a large, well-stored inventory of older vintages and auction wines.

D&M Wine Merchants: Outstanding Champagne selection, with prices that belie its San Francisco location.

K&L Wine Merchants: Very reliable Bay-area merchant with an excellent selection of hard-to-find California wines and Bordeaux. One of the few places from which I would consider ordering Bordeaux futures. Nice selections from other areas of the world, too.

The Wine Exchange: A high volume Los Angeles-area merchant that gets large allocations of many sought-after wines. You still need to be quick, but great wines from Bordeaux, California, Germany and other areas are almost certain to pass through this retailer. Beware of Southern California temperatures when arranging shipment.

Woodland Hills Wine Company: Another fine Los Angeles-area merchant with an unbelievable selection of Burgundies and special emphasis on Italian and German wines. Great provenance for older vintages.

Dave Nelson is the author of the blog Beer, Wine and Whisky. He writes about wine for Gut Check every Tuesday.
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