Portalis owner & wine merchant extraordinaire, Jens Strecker
I’ll tell you upfront, we get our dog food, our toilet paper, our kids’ fruit roll-ups and a few other basic supplies at Costco. I would rather pay a few cents more and not have the hassle of going there, but Jens doesn’t mind and so he makes the run every couple of weeks. Of course, he always checks out their wine … and what wines people are buying. On this particular day in December, Jens was browsing the wines when a woman approached him, asking “Do you know anything about wine?” Jens told her he did and she proceeded to tell him she was having a large dinner party with friends and relatives, she was serving duck and she wanted to serve something that was really good but she didn’t want to spend a lot. He recommended the Perrin Côtes du Rhône, telling her it was a solid producer from Southern France, it would go well with duck and would be good wine for the money (it was in the $11-$12 range). “Thanks,” she said, pausing, and then asked …“Which wines do you get here?” “Oh, I don’t buy my wine at Costco,” he told her, “I buy wine at a little wine shop in Ballard called Portalis.” “Why there?” she continued. Remaining incognito, he told her that Portalis has an excellent selection at good prices and the people who work there really know wine and are good at helping you find what you’re looking for. She told him that she lives in Edmonds and that Ballard was too far, but that she has a local wine shop there she might check out. He encouraged her to. In the meantime, another woman who had been politely eavesdropping turned to Jens and said, “Excuse me … do you know anything about beer??
We cracked up that evening as we sat on the couch with our feet up, drinking our wine and visiting about our day. I’m retelling this little vignette in our blog, 1) for the sheer entertainment of it, but 2) as an unabashed plug for your local wine merchant. Portalis is a beautiful venue with an excellent, adventurous, lovingly selected lineup of wine jewels from around the world, ranging in price from $9.99 to $99.99 and yes, we have a wonderful selection of notable Côtes du Rhône table wines in the $12 range. The experience of buying wine from us doesn’t come at a premium, especially not with a 20% case discount. Without a doubt … it’s worth the extra stop.
Hope to see you soon & cheers!
Julie Howe, Co-owner
Portalis Wine Shop + Wine Bar