It’s Friday. Work is over. Time to pick up a bottle of wine … but from where? Before settling on Two-Buck Chuck (not that there’s anything wrong with that), get to know your local wine shop. Below, a few favorites:
Chalet Fine Wines & Liquors | River Oaks
Heights Grocer | The Heights
This corner store boasts a heavily curated natural-wine selection, with about 100 labels available most of the time, including a few Texas wines. The owners do tastings on Sundays.
Houston Wine Merchant | Montrose
Since 1984, back when it was called Wines of America, the seller has remained a popular choice for local aficionados. The selection here includes labels from the Texas Hill Country and High Plains. The staff will order you a special bottle, too, so this is the place to come if you’re craving more of that awesome Mencia you had last night at Nancy’s Hustle.
Light Years Natural Wine Shop and Bar | Montrose
Houston’s first all-natural wine bar also sells bottles, particularly from unique wine regions like Austria and Vermont. While the selection is ever-changing, look for offerings from Texas wineries like Lightsome and Southold Farm + Cellar.
Memorial Wine Cellar | Memorial
Dwayne and Mary Harrison’s Tuscan-inspired space is part bar, part shop, with 300-plus labels. Enjoy a wine flight, pair different varietals with a plate of cheese and pâté, and choose a bottle to take home.
Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods | Multiple Locations
This Houston-based chain dominates the local market for a reason. Knowledgeable employees help with wine-pairing suggestions and recommend affordable bottles among a vast selection that includes several dozen from Texas; the shops also host tastings and educational events.
Vinology Bottle Shop + Tasting Bar | West University
Since 2016 Patrick McCray, chef/owner at Italian restaurant Divino, a Montrose favorite, also has run this sharp shop, a favorite among patrons who want to sample and buy under the same roof. The place stocks more than 300 bottles and offers weekly wine flights and regular seminars.