RETAILER WINE SELECTIONS

Nearly 800 wines have been reviewed in these pages since the beginning of 1998, and we thought it fitting that our holiday issue should be dedicated to a recap of the most highly recommended wines of the year.

Our National Retailer Wine Panel — comprised of more than 50 wine-savvy retailers nationwide — made their selections from among the thousands of wines on the market today. With all the wonderful wines available, by necessity many excellent wines were likely overlooked. Even so, our Wine Selections feature has always served a dual function: to identify for our readers the top wines on the market, as well as identify some great wine values that can be passed along to your customers.

Anecdotal evidence — from retailers calling or e-mailing to find out “where can I get that wine” and “if I can print up that review” — suggests that the Retailer Wine Selections is performing the function we had envisioned when we began more than three years ago. Our goal has always been to provide the retailer perspective on the wine market from all regions of the country, so that our readers could use the ratings and tasting notes as merchandising vehicles to sell more wine.

For organizational purposes only, we have divided the following wine recommendations into reds and whites. As always, each selection has a rating, brief tasting notes and a suggested retail price (which varies from market to market).

Rating System

Best Reds

*****
Five Stars (92-100)

A top-flight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/value relationship.

****
Four Stars (86-91)

A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back.

Best whites

*****
Five Stars (92-100)

A top-flight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/value relationship.

****
Four Stars (86-91)

A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back.

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