There's no shortage of contenders for Best Wine Store. You won't go wrong at big-volume, big-discount Hennepin-Lake Liquors; masterfully stocked Surdyk's; or critical darling Solo Vino. And if we dipped into the ranks of next-best, well, this item would run off the page. But sometimes a good thing can be too good, you know? If you're not a Master of Wine (a certificate that's a little harder to get than a medical degree), how are you supposed to know which of 150 Chardonnays is unoaked—much less why you might care about such a thing? It's so much more fun when someone sets glasses in front you and says, "This is grassy, this is leathery." Enter WineStyles, a franchised chain that has opened faux-Tuscan storefronts from Champlin to Chanhassen, and sundry other not-Uptown parts in between. The selection in each shop is limited, but cleverly chosen and arranged. Shoppers can easily find—and afford—to pick up a Chardonnay aged in oak; a Chardonnay that wasn't; and, for extra points, a Chablis—a tart, crisp French wine made from the same grape but grown in a particular district known for its mineral-dense soil. Voilà—instant tasting party! Already sipped (or gulped) your way through the basics? WineStyles hunts down unusual bottles, critical darlings not yet available in other local stores. Jason and Jill Horstman, owners of the Shakopee outpost, recently special-ordered a case of dry red Lambrusco for a customer who'd fallen in love with the wine, Ca' De' Medici Lambrusco Cubista, when the store featured it. Dry Lambrusco in Shakopee? Believe it.


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