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Walking into a wine store can be intimidating. James Bond could fall out of a plane, crash through the ceiling, and still pick out the perfect Bordeaux. Not you, though. Hundreds of bottles stare back at you, mocking your inexperience. The labels are in different languages, you can't pronounce the grape varietal, and you wouldn't know what to serve with a Spatburgunder if someone put a corkscrew to your head.

Well, relax. The wine store is there to impress you, not the other way around. You're not supposed to know all the different wines. They are. Great bottles exist at every price range for all occasions. The key to finding them is to pick the right store, develop a relationship with the staff and learn more about your personal taste.

Choose the Right Store, Tip I
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Choose the Right Store, Tip I: Given a choice, avoid stores that carry more liquor than wine, as well as those where you only see big-name brands and no smaller boutique wines. In your case, the more wine you don't recognize the better.

(Photo from the AP)
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