Best Wine Shop 2012 | Mondo Vino | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Courtesy Mondo Vino Facebook page

Shopping for wine can be unbelievably intimidating. Do points matter? And exactly how the hell are you supposed to decipher dozens of bottles whose labels are in French? (No, we can't remember our eighth-grade conjugation, either.) Mondo Vino removes all the fear from the process by delivering a user-friendly experience that'll make you feel as comfortable as if you were browsing for books or scouring record crates in search of your favorite beats. Practically everyone we know has a Mondo story, and heaps praise upon the store's crazy-good selection and near-fanatical dedication to customer service. In search of a special sparkler to present to the host of Saturday night's dinner party? Mondo has a bottle for that. Thirsty for something cheap and uncomplicated to pound after a tough day at work? Mondo has a bottle for that, too. The staff is full of wine wizards who routinely reel off as many (or as few, if you're just not into it that day) obscure facts as you can absorb about practically every product in the store. Mondo delivers, it offers free tastings and, oh, yeah — it's about to launch a series of wine tours, crisscrossing wine regions from the Western Slope to Europe.

Readers' Choice: Mondo Vino

Courtesy Marczyk Fine Foods

You know the term "small but mighty"? That might as well be the slogan for this Uptown shrine to wines that are both excellent and represent excellent value. Tucked into a tiny spot behind the original Marczyk Fine Foods, Marczyk Fine Wines manages to sling some seriously sexy juice, with a major focus on indie producers (Chile's Oveja Negra and Oregon pinot maker Rascal) and indigenous varieties (Italy's cortese, Spain's txakolina). And you don't need to worry about dropping major coin on an obscure offering; with price points that routinely ring up under $15, you can afford to gamble on having your mind blown by something unknown. Never mind that slogan we just suggested; owner Pete Marczyk, who possesses a stellar palate and also has a way with words, has already come up with the perfect one: "the best wines you've never heard of."

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