The Bottle Shop

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HV Bottle Shop doesn’t look like much and the name doesn’t really make sense (as in Hope Valley), but further investigation reveals a much needed spot for more casual wine drinking and two very helpful owners.  Thomas and Drew have been around the block for a while (having worked at Nana’s and Foursquare(?) or the like) before opening their welcoming bottleshop in Woodcroft Plaza.

All of the Carpe Durham squad has been there by now and the results are officially tallied: it’s a great place.  They have a handy-dandy wine dispenser for tastes and up to full glasses.  There are frequent tastings as well.  Every Saturday from 4:30 to 7pm they pour free tastings, usually three whites and three reds and a smattering of crackers and cheeses.  I’ve found some fantastic stuff during these tastings and they usually mark down the featured wines significantly.  And tastings aren’t just for Saturdays.  It has seemed like every week now there has been an odd-ball tasting on a weeknight (a Monday, Tuesday, and the more common Friday).  Tonight was a so-called 90+ tasting, meaning all the wines scored ninety or above in the wino magazines.  Delicious.

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The wines are nearly all neatly lined up against the wall in a readily recognized fashion.  There is also the beer corner, full of great stuff, lots of it in big bottles.  And there are nice couches to hang out on and try some juice from the dispenser.  But even more than that, the place excites me because of their promotion of alternative packaging.  They are constantly looking for more tetra packs (the carton looking thing) and boxed up wine.  No not that box wine.  Please.  There is nothing bad that can come from storing wine in a box or carton.  Maybe aging is up in the air, but who’s really sitting on bottles and bottles instead of drinking and drinking.  Which is what you can do when you get three liters of wine for a whole lot less.

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They also have a few of these liter bottles.  They have a bottle cap.  I bought one, it was tasty.  Crisp and apple like as I remember it.  If it is ready to drink, why risk the cork?  The organic treatment of the grapes keeps the cost up more than I’d like.  But at about $10.50 or so for the liter it was still worth the try. 

Keep an eye out for their Irregular Bin of random single beers and their Fire Sale wines.  I got a box of Pinot Evil for real cheap a little while back.  I might remember the cost if I didn’t enjoy my three liters so much.

Tomorrow’s tasting is all North West wines.  I’m excited about the pinot gris and noirs from Oregon.  There’ll also be a cab blend that should be serious business.

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Published in: on June 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm  Comments (8)  

8 Comments

  1. The ‘Irregular Bin’ intrigues me. I might go check this place out some time…

  2. This is hands down the best wine shop in the Triangle. They make buying, drinking, and learning about beer and wine fun, which is a novel approach in this day and age. I have walked in there and told them what I was cooking for dinner and Thomas and Drew have been able to pair for me on the spot. Furthermore, their work with neighborhood restaurants is highly commendable. It’s high time we got a place like this in Durham. Thanks, guys!

  3. This isnt Drew from Piedmont, is it?

    • I’ll get my story straight on this at today’s tasting.

    • Drew from Nana’s.

  4. This store is excellent. The two owners are very helpful every time we go in. The tastings are a fun way to experience new wines, and I love the beer selection. Highly recommended!

  5. I agree! This place is fantastic. I have gone to several of their tastings and they are always a great experience. FYI: They are having a tasting tomorrow night. They will feature some fantastic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

  6. How does it compare to Wine Authorities? I was surprised to hear that the Bottle Shop has a wine dispenser, since W.A. makes such a big deal about theirs. Sounds like two stores with similar styles within 4 or 5 miles.


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