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Best Wine Shop 

K&L Wine Merchants

Already a well-established outpost for value and splurge-worthy selections, K&L recently moved a few blocks from its original SoMa location, and we're happy to report that things got better. K&L, which has stores in Hollywood and Redwood City, finds itself in that happy medium between the watered-down booze empires dotting suburbia and the dedicated yet small speciality shops we hope to find in all neighborhoods. Their mojo is direct imports, and virtually everything they offer is a few dollars less than everyone else at least. Pair this with a staff that drinks everything they opine about — K&L's website is extensive with both in-house and professional reviews — and you'll need a hand truck to get out of the place. California is covered well, but K&L truly stands out with its European offerings. Start in England with sparkling wine you didn't know existed, head east to Bordeaux for 10-year-old wines under $20, and then maybe swing through Rioja for something with more age at $15 or less. Ever tried an orange wine from Hungary, Georgia, or Slovenia? Or a Zinfandel from Croatia? Now's your chance.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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