What is it about wine that's so intimidating? Most of us have no trouble picking out clothes or food, but we freeze up when faced with a choice between different varietals, vintages, styles, wineries and regions.
Okay, we get it. There's a lot to learn. But that's also part of the appeal. In the big world of wine, there's always something new to explore, no matter how experienced you are. And it's only as snobby or pretentious as you make it.
These shops are the place to start your journey, or fulfil your existing passion. All are staffed by keen drinkers ready to share their knowledge, and most let you sample the goods right there. Leave your discomfort at the door and ask lots of questions. Chances are, you'll go home with the right bottle(s) for you.