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In today's Express' Weekend Pass Dining column:

Decant This

Unpretentious Little Wine Store Opens in Fairfax

Don't know the difference between Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio? Could you care less about the soil differences between Napa County and Sonoma County? WineStyles, the national wine-demystification franchise, opened up a location in Fairfax, where customers shop for wine by color and style instead of the traditional way, by varietals and regions.

And the best part: Most bottles are priced $25 and below. Each wine category is organized by style—crisp, fruity, silky, mellow, rich, bold, bubbly and nectar—with an accompanying description of the wine's characteristics and flavors, and suggested food pairings.

This is WineStyles' second location in the Washington area; the other one is in Centreville. The national chain has concentrations of locations in Florida, California, Texas and Chicago.


Release the hounds!! :lol:

Anyway, seriously, what are our resident wine aficionados' opinions on this place? Good idea, bad idea, at least better than relying on Wine Spectator...?

Edited by Principia
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If they have decent wines I could care less how they market it. I think anything that helps people enter the 'scary' world of wine is a good thing. As people try and like, they can decide for themselves if they want to learn more.

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They could organize it alphabetically for all I care, as long as the selections are, well, somewhat inspired.

I am not hopeful, since it is a chain, but I'll give it a shot since I generally drive from my home in Fairfax to Rick's in Alexandria when I wish to purchase wine not sold by Brown Foreman, Cliquot, Diageo, et. al. (although Total does have a nice variety of Kacher wines)

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I can't speak for this chain, but my mother-in-law sits on the board for another chain of wine stores (none of their 50 current of soon to be opened stores are in the area). They have a team that concentrates on finding good wine at decent prices. They deal with large and small players in the wine industry, however, they will not sell a wine that they would not consider drinking. Most of the wines that I have tried have ranged from decent to quite good. Simply because they are a chain does not mean that there are not people who care about the selection on the shelf.

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Since I seldom buy wine from shops anymore (I get too much thru my allocations as it is) I'm not going to run out and look these guys up, but it is a great way to market to the less knowledgable, casual wine buyer. I'd be curious to see what type of selection they have though.

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