We seem to have quite a few wine stores in the Seattle area, and I'm at a loss as to which ones I should be frequenting. Right now I buy the majority of my wine from Garagiste online, but that leaves me kind of at their whim as to what I'm getting. Sometimes I want a specific bottle. I also used to go to Maple Leaf Wine Cellars once a week for their tastings, but now they are closing. These are the remaining stores I go to:
The Vineyard Wineshop on Greenwood I've found to be a very good place for French wine. More specifically wines from the smaller AOC's. If I want something from the Loire, Cahors, Beaujolais, or Alsace I go here. I tend to like those regions, so this so far is my favorite. The downside is that it's hours aren't great for me.
I like the amount of stuff they have at Esquin. And their prices always seem to be pretty close to the best. They usually have the biggest selections and the store is laid out well. I've never been to their wine tastings, so I can't comment. They're nice enough to order what they don't have, which I've had them do. The downside is I feel that they seem to be more focused on the popular regions.
I like La Cantina on Sand Point for Burgundy and Champagne, but I don't feel that they are great in any other area.
Seattle Wine Outlet is great when I get a mailer about something I'm interested in, but so inconvenient that I rarely go other times.
I've been to both McCarthy & Schiering (I live near the Ravenna store), and I wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be. They also seemed to be priced higher than Esquin for much of the same stuff.
Is there anywhere else I should be going? Also, I was a HUGE fan of the free tastings at Maple Leaf. Is there anywhere else where the tastings are as good?