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Best Wine Shop  

Vintage Berkeley

The Vine Street Pumping Plant has long kept people quenched. The landmarked was erected in 1930 to pump water, and now keeps people sated as the Vintage Berkeley wine shop. The philosophy here is cheap-and-cheerful, with most of the wines weighing in at under $25. But that doesn't mean you'll be saddled with Two-Buck Chuck. The selection here is pulled from roads less travelled, from small-production California wines like Mercury and Banshee, to less-heralded old-world destinations like Hungary and Austria. There are still solid offerings from fine French and Italian vineyards — a handful of bottles come from Kermit Lynch Imports — but even these tend to come from lighter-trodded soil. What all this means is the knowledgeable staff can recommend exciting, oddball, everyday quaffers that sip like Domaine Romanée-Conti. Check their online calendar for daily tastings and special events. (Vintage Berkeley also operates Solano Cellars in Albany.)

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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