West Coast Wine Dispatch
The latest news: a great Seattle store in an old auto-body shop and a San Francisco bar with barrel fever.
Wine and Pizza Mecca: Soul Wine, Seattle
Michael Teer's Pike & Western Wine Shop has been a Seattle staple for over 30 years. Now Teer has opened another shop in a sprawling auto-parts store, specializing in wines from Piedmont and small producers. His friend star chef Tom Douglas also opened a new outlet of his Serious Pie pizza parlor in the industrial space.
From Barrel to Glass: Barrique, San Francisco
This new Jackson Square wine bar serves 18 California wines straight from the barrel. To get customers to focus on the wine rather than the producer's prestige, barrels are labeled only with the name of the grape and the region of origin.
Top Vintage, Low Price
The anticipated 2009 Bordeaux from top châteaus won't be stateside until mid-2012, but superb bottlings from lesser-known producers are already on sale at Whole Foods for under $20.
Beer for Wine Snobs
Cutting-edge brewers are aging beers in wine barrels, and now some of them are even adding wine grapes. Try the Bruery's slightly sour Pinotlambicus or Allagash's Victoria Ale.