Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers
The best wine shop is the one closest to your house. That said, I drive across town to visit my favorites, where the staff can introduce me to
a grape or a region I’ve never experienced before.
Solo Vino: Owner Chuck Kanski is a force of nature, and he can tell the story of just about every bottle in his shop. He specializes in wines from Spain and is a rosé aficionado. Name your price point and let Chuck do the work. (Selby/Dale, St. Paul)
Zipps Liquors: Known for its huge selection of kegged beer, Zipps also has a wonderful wine collection. Erica Rokke Kamrowski is the wine buyer and she’s a pro when it comes to pairing wine with foods and discovering unusual bottles. (E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis)
I’ve become the worst kind of wine snob: a mildly educated palate with a thrift-conscious price point. Thankfully, we have several wine shops that stock hard-to-source bottles at affordable prices.
The Wine Thief: This friendly shop will help you pair your wine with everything from a special occasion to the right bottle for Netflix on the couch. The bottle explanations written by the staff are so easy to navigate, and the prices are mostly under $20. (Mac-Groveland, St. Paul)
Sunfish Cellars: I was at Corner Table drinking an outstanding, new-to-me wine and fell hard and fast for a little-known grape from a tiny vineyard that I could not believe was sold at tiny little Sunfish Cellars. Ever since, I’ve found I can depend on this neighborhood shop to help me discover all kinds of new favorite wines. (Lilydale)