A friend and Wine:Thirty Flight reader sent me this question one morning last week. Should local wine shops sell wines from nearby regions? There was some background here, but suffice it to say, he was perplexed as to why a shop in Manhattan with a self-professed focus on "wine education" not carry any bottles from New York at the very least, nor from (relatively) nearby wine regions in states like Virginia or Massachusetts.
It's tough to be unequivocal on this. Wine shops are businesses like art galleries and record shops (back when there were record shops); as much as the owner and a minority of customers who really know and appreciate art (or are simply adventurous in their taste) might be eager to try something local(ish) or loss well known, the laws of supply and demand require that one stock the staples demanded by those who haven't thought or studied the medium quite as deeply. In other words, wine shops need $15 Burgundies (that's Pinot Noir from the French region of Burgundy) as much as record shops need pop music and seaside art galleries need paintings of harbors.
That said, Wine:Thirty Flight is a major proponent of wine from emerging or under-appreciated regions that include aforementioned Virginia and Massachusetts, and also places such as Spain's Méntrida and -- bless the person who finds us a bottle of this -- Tasmania, makers of lovely Pinot Noir. We also love wine that would have been considered too strange (think urban wineries) or obscure (think Balkan wine) until recently.
I wrote in a piece last month titled Adventure, alternatives, and the fallacy of online wine services:
Background Reading: Adventure, alternatives, and the fallacy of online wine services
Most wine drinkers, and the shops that serve them, are not lucky enough to live within striking distance of regions that produce any quality wine. I have special respect for a wine merchant who is -- like this blog -- adventurous enough to share a bit of the local unknown, the strange, and the obscure with curious drinkers and casual winos.