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Total Wine should be called “Google Wine.”  The next time you’re looking for wine (and you and I know that’s today) get to Total Wine in Alexandria.  That’s where you’ll find Jack. Whether you’re pairing wine with ramen by yourself, throwing a dinner party for 20 or looking for one very, very special bottle, you’ll be astonished by how much Jack Costello knows about wine.

Tell him what you’re looking for–type, price, purpose, occasion–and like a powerful search engine with legs, Jack will personally walk you through several wines that you will love and end up drinking again and again. Jack has been working at Total Wine for six years, after retiring from his private consulting practice.  He suspects his wife was just trying to get him out of the house.

He’s not a certified sommelier but believe me, Jack knows his $#@%.  He’s lived and drank wine all over the world, including France. “But that was quite a few years ago and I drank mostly Beaujolais!” he laughs.

Then while living in Paris, his wife introduced him to Champagne. “Champagnes are a lot of fun because there are cremants which are as good or very close to as good as many true Champagnes.  Cremants are sparkling wines made in the Champagne fashion but can come from Burgundy, Noir, or my favorite–Alsace.” And he’s been drinking and learning everything about wines ever since. Such as not splurging on Champagne to make mimosas.  “If you’re going to pour all that orange juice in, all you want is something with some bubbles,” he says in exasperation.  Tru dat, Jack.

Total Wine stocks 8,000 wines, and you’ll find Jack there on Saturdays.  If not, look for his photo posted next to his favorite recommendations.  When you see his photo, that means he likes it, and he only recommends wines he likes.  You will come to drink only what Jack tells you to drink.  I do.

  • Salmon Sancerre Vieilles Vignes 2010, $19.99
  • Domaine Chatelain Chablis 2010, $19.99
  • Albrecht Gewurztraminer Reserve 2010, $19.99
  • Adler Fells Pinot Noir 2009, $17.99
  • Chateau de la Perriere Brouilly 2009, $17.99
  • Martin Ray Chardonnay Russian River 2010, $16.99
  • Graham Beck Brut, $16.99
  • River Road Chardonnay Russian River Valley Reserve 2010, $14.99
  • Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz 2010, $14.99
  • Genouilly Bourgogne Aligote 2010, $14.99
  • Chateau de Nages Nimes Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2010, $13.99
  • D’Autrefois Reserve Pinot Noir 2009, $12.99
  • Mulderbosch Cabernet Rose 2011, $11.99
  • Milton Park Shiraz 2009, $9.99
  • Reserve St. Martin Pinot Noir, $8.99
  • Garnacha de Fuego Old Vines 2009, $8.99
  • Rondel Brut, $7.99
  • Nostrada Tempranillo Tarragona 2009, $7.99
  • DeBeaune Connoisseur White, $7.99

Total Wine & More
Various locations throughout the U.S.  Shipping is available in certain states.