Food Across America: <br />Durham, NC
The Online Advantage
Customers at Wine Authorities can buy lots of well-priced wines from small producers, then log on to the store’s website and record their impressions. They can also peruse tasting notes, fact sheets and labels of almost every wine sold in the shop. Other high-tech highlights include a self-serve Enomatic (a sort of wine vending machine) that dispenses one-ounce samples of wines, at prices ranging from 80 cents to $5, such as the 2006 Val de Sil Montenovo Godello from northwestern Spain and the 2003 Domaine Croix de Chévre Vieilles Vignes Morgon.
Many of the wines at Wine Authorities are exclusive offerings that co-owners Seth Gross and Craig Heffley have secured through contacts they had from their previous careers as wine importers and distributors. As Heffley explains, being able to bypass the middleman helps Wine Authorities keep its prices down. Many of the producers they work with are small family-owned operations, such as Domaine de la Bouysse in France’s Languedoc region and Garofoli, which has been making wine in Italy’s Marche for four generations.
Best Values: France
Although the ever-rising prices of Burgundy and Bordeaux may give the illusion that all French wines are expensive, according to Heffley, France is still a great place to find good, affordable wine, especially from southwest producers like Gascony’s Domaine des Cassagnoles. “They make wines to be drunk every day,” Heffley says. 2501 University Dr.; 919-489-2884 or wineauthorities.com.