April 22 2009, 10:34 AM
I'm standing with Steve Antonio, the buyer and manager of the Winejester, and we're both scanning a wall full of wine. "How many bottles do you keep here?" I ask, in awe. "Around 54. And we've got some smoking stuff," he replies. The Winejester, at 4340 Tennyson St., is a small wine shop housed in a bungalow. The wall in question is filled with $10-and-under bottles. This is the wall that makes me able to appear fancy when I show up to dinner parties, birthday celebrations, and when I'm cooking for two. I ask Antonio how he finds all of these great wines that aren't the typical cheap-college fare, and he says that small wine distributors are to be thanked for 85-90 percent of their stock. "There's nothing on this wall I don't absolutely love," he says. Though wines are often rotated, I ask him for recommendations. He points to some Argentinean reds, a white wine blended just for the store, and a rose. I ask him what he'd pair with the rose. "I pair it with after work." I pick up the bottle ($9.99) and take his suggestion. Fun tip 1: If you head to Winejester, be sure to ask questions. Antonio is a former chef and sommelier and loves helping you pair your wine with dinner. Fun tip 2: Go for tastings of the different wines from 3-7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, you can sign up for an e-newsletter; the shop tries to do a special event off-site every month.