Wine's patron saint

Richard Kinssies sells great unsung vintages at miraculous prices

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But we're not talking Two Buck Chuck. Kinssies tastes everything he buys and only sells the wines he loves―bargain wines as well as collectibles (which occupy about a third of the store's shelf space). And there are always a few bargain bottles open for customers to taste.

The thrill of the hunt
Part of the fun and excitement of retailing this way is that his inventory is always changing. "I find wines as they become available from wholesalers, wineries, and importers, and I have to take advantage immediately," he says. "I don't know what I'm going to get in, and neither do my customers. I may have no Merlots on a particular day, and the next, I may have half a dozen, and none again for six months."

He tries to balance his stock with the seasons―lighter wines and rosés in spring and summer, sparkling wines and reds around the holidays. However, within that context, he takes what he can get. "I'm an opportunist," he says.

"If I like the wine, I generally take everything the distributor has." Sometimes that's 20 cases, sometimes it's 100.




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