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Finding good wine in Northern California is not a problem. It’s sold everywhere. The state’s alcohol laws are so liberal I’m waiting for Home Depot to add a wine aisle. (Near the garden section, not the power tools.)

That doesn’t mean I can get my hands on every wine I want. There are limitations even for someone who writes about wine for a living. If I could track down the Joseph Drouhin Musigny 2009 (97 points, only 28 cases imported), I couldn’t afford $594 for a bottle, unless my daughter dropped out of college.

As wine dilemmas go, two of the biggest must be 1) obtaining a rare bottle you’re desperate to taste and/or 2) paying for it once you get it. All of us have faced the first one and most of us the second.

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Exploring wine with Tim Fish of the Wine Spectator

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