A 'wow' State Store


"Wow" is not my usual first word to describe a Pennsylvania wine store, but the PLCB's new mega-space in Northern Liberties (180 W. Girard Ave.) is vast and shiny enough to prompt it. Of course, Ugh is my next word when the hunt begins for someone (anyone!) to help knowledgeably navigate the 3,300-plus selections. No such luck on a midweek day.

So here I am, offering up two hot tips for great bottles to be found in the massive collection of Store #5125. First, there are a few bottles left of Domaine Durand's 2008 Cornas Empreintes. Get it. It's one of the most intense expressions of southern French syrah I've tasted at this price point (discounted to $19.99 from $55) with cassis, earth and spice - the ultimate lamb wine.

Then treat yourself to this lush and exotic verdelho from one of my Aussie faves: Mollydooker. The Violinist is full of juicy pears and creaminess, but also a tropical note, a squirt of lime and a peppery sparkle to keep you drinking.

- Craig LaBan
Mollydooker The Violinist Verdelho McLaren Vale 2011, $24.99 (code 17281); Domaine Durand Cornas Empreintes 2008, $19.99 (code 32271)