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Published: Tuesday, 5/2/2006

Neighborhood wine shops deserve consumers attention

I m often asked where I buy wine. The answer is simple: wherever it s being sold, if the inventory includes a wine that I want.

The question deserves attention, though, because it seems that consumers often overlook wine shops in their own neighborhoods. Starting today, I ll call your attention each week to a wine retailer in the area.

Start with a Maumee carryout, the Pauken Wine Shop. It s at 221 Golden Gate Plaza on the north side of the Anthony Wayne Trail between Gibbs and Elizabeth streets. The shop also is a state liquor agency, which accounts for a partial share of the business. But look to the left wall of the narrow, deep store room, where there is a remarkably inclusive stock of well-chosen wines, foreign and domestic, whatever type you might want to pick up on your way home for a special dinner.

Wine manager Laura Primas, the daughter of owner Jim Maulucci, is aware of customers interests and changing stock, and is ready to give advice and respond to customer requests for particular wines.

It is, as always, personal attention as well as convenient location that is the key to the survival of a wine-retail business, even among larger competitors such as grocery stores.

Wine expert retires

This seems an appropriate time to note the retirement of Mark Paley, for many years the manager of The Andersons wine department in Maumee.

Besides educating scores of customers, he introduced the business to young men and women who have since embarked on careers.

Wine in Michigan

A major annual wine event in this part of the country is the 24th Ann Arbor Art Center WineFest, with a number of program attractions on May 12 and 13. This year the stars of the program are winemakers from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. For tickets and information, call 734-994-8004, extension 101.

The state of Michigan is offering an attractive, free magazine featuring full-color articles on wine-tour packages and vineyard weddings. If you re planning a day trip or a longer holiday with time for a winery visit and varied wines to sample, call 517-241-1207 or www.michiganwines.com for a copy.



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