The best place to buy wine in Alabama just may be… a supermarket.
Newcomers to the Birmingham area are shocked when neighbors tell them to go shop at this innocuous market in a Birmingham suburb for serious wine. Mountain Brook is one of the most affluent ZIP Codes in the country, and the well-heeled folks around here know a good bottle when they see one.
The Western in Mountain Brook has a full-time wine buyer who knows what he’s doing. The selection skews towards high-end Italian, American, and French wines. South Africa is also well represented.
And there is a very respectable Argentine inventory – I would say a little smaller than in previous years (I don’t particularly like that Spanish and Chilean wine starting to encroach on my Malbec aisle….) But you’ll find some interesting choices. The locals like Antis Reserve, Catena is respectably priced at $19.99 (but Costco has it cheaper) and there are some decent midrange selections like Luigi Bosca D.O.C, Enamore, and Vina Cobos’ low-end Felino. Alma Negra is fairly popular in Argentina, as I remember.
Up on the top shelf are some of the Trapiche single-vineyards (highly rated), Cheval de Andes (a bit overpriced) and a number of things I’ve never heard of. Anyone tried these?
For my money, the Western is one of the three best places to buy Argentine malbec in Birmingham. Shortly, I’ll be telling you about the other two.