A good place to sharpen your oenological nose, Cecile's has a knowledgeable staff, each with his or her own personal preferences and areas of expertise. This is one-stop globe-trotting for quality wines.
Ideally, Cecile's "students" leave not only with information - questions are encouraged - but a satisfying wine fit for the occasion. To make no mistakes, customers have even come in with cookbook in hand. Prices range from $5 or $6 to the stratosphere. A goal, says manager Jonas Gustafsson, is that customers are "satisfied at all price points."
There is nothing like lab work to increase your knowledge. Cecile's hosts two weekly wine-tastings; Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and later. Casual events, they're often opportunities to taste the featured wines of the month; discover, for instance, that roses are not always sweet, or find that lighter, cleaner white for summer.
Posted on the door is one more lesson; the reminder that "wine is alive." Leaving it in the sun, in your car in extreme temperatures, will do damage.
-- Victoria Lemley