Originally Posted by john_sf
Thanks very much. I went to what appeared to be a fairly high end shop in downtown Mill Valley. Don't remember the name. I also went to the shop on the corner in San Anselmo ... right on S.A. Ave. - which I didn't have high expectations of, but was surprised that they had almost NO french wine, etc. If there is a shop in Marin that is head and shoulders above the rest, I would be glad to visit it ... Thanks.
You went to Vintage Wine and Spirits in Mill Valley. While the selection may not have been what you wanted, I would encourage you to return and speak with Richard, the owner. He will most likely be there during the week. Grey haired, with a beard and glasses. He's as knowledgeable a person as you will find when it comes to wine, be it French, California, or whatever. He's also gracious and would be happy to direct you to a good source for whatever you want that he doesn't carry. He's been in the wine business for a very long time in a variety of capacities, and he's a really nice guy. Ludwigs in San Anselmo is a good wine shop, but as you discovered, CA is their specialty. They sometimes have nice older CA wines at very good prices. There isn't a great source for European wines in Marin. Kermit Lynch in Berkeley, K&L, Wine Club in SF, Beltramos in Redwood City, and Vin Vino, further down on the peninsula, are probably your best bets. Premier Cru in Emeryville does a huge futures/grey market business, but their delivery times can be excruciating. The selection in the brick and mortar store is spotty, and the staff are generally assholes. There are a few wine shops in the neighborhoods in SF that have good Euro selections, but I need to noodle for a while on them as I've forgotten their names. There was a place out in the Richmond that had a lot of Kermit Lynch wines, but at better prices, but the name escapes me right now.