A great meal is made even more memorable with a great bottle of wine - a bold Cabernet Sauvignon for that perfectly cooked steak, a great bottle of Shiraz to go with those sweet and spicy barbecued ribs, a beautiful Pinot Noir to enhance an earthy dish of mushroom risotto, a luscious, buttery Chardonnay for that grilled salmon, or a nice Gewürztraminer to tame a spicy Asian dish. (More on pairing food and wine!)
But where can you find that unique bottle of wine that will complement your meal? If you can find a local wine merchant with great customer service, shop them frequently and build a relationship with them. They will soon offer you suggestions and you will be the first to know when something new and wonderful comes into the store. If you're not lucky enough to have a great wine shop nearby, check out one of these online wine shops. They have some incredible wines for sale and excellent customer service.
Plonk Wine is a fantastically vibrant wine seller that has only been around a few years but is creating quite a stir with its selection of cheaply priced rare and artisanal wines. "The world's best wine under $30" is their motto.
Besides a very interesting selection of bottles, Plonk Wine Merchants offers very enticing monthly wine clubs including a red wine club, a white wine club, and an international/seasonal wine club, which make the perfect gift for wine enthusiasts and novices alike.
While certainly not carrying the largest selection around, each bottle is carefully selected by owner and founder Etty Lewensztain (certified by the esteemed Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the American Sommelier Association). A cool feature of their website is the video review accompanying every single wine listed.
Vitis is a very interesting site for wine lovers. I definitely recommend checking them out. Only one wine is offered at a time to members. However, it is a rare, small-batch (micro-produced) wine that has been tasted and recommended by the folks at Vitis (which includes 2 masters of wine). Discover fantastic wines that will make your friends impressed while saving big bucks.