Doug Salthouse did very well in his former business. So well that he is well acquainted with the world's most famous wines. Not only has he drunk them, he has visited them. He is at home with Lafite, Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Vega Sicilia and Gaja. So how did he become one of the finest retail sources for wines that have modest prices, but big character and loads of complexity.
I met Doug several years ago on his visit to the Piedmont region of Italy to research the great wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. I knew right away he was a kindred soul when it came to wine and food. This was an unfortunate event for our spouses, who we eventually pushed over the line.
With his former business out of the way, Doug took the plunge and purchased a wine and liquor store in New Jersey and Smart Buy Wines and Spirits was born. Doug, of course, offers all the heavy hitters of the wine world, but what makes this store special is that Doug has taken his well-developed and sophisticated palate and applied it to discovering a tremendous selection of wines selling for under $25.00 - many less than that.
Several months ago I asked Doug to send me an assorted case a month, a kind of impromptu monthly wine club. The results have been a long list of really exceptional wines that are real bargains. It reminds me of when I started buying wine thirty years ago and it was easy to find great bottles for under $20.00.
You can find many of these wines (and some of the more expensive wines too) in Doug's e-newsletter. You can subscribe to this educational newsletter by visiting www.smartbuywines.com. I have also started an ongoing thread of my tasting notes on Doug's wine selections that you can find here:
Real wine merchants that rely on their own palates and opinions have become increasingly rare in this age of wines-sold-on-points, but Doug's selection are based on his own convictions as to what makes wine so fascinating. I can't wait for the next shipment.
Smart Buy Wines and Spirits
102 Linwood Plaza, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Phone: (201) 242-WINE (9463) Fax: (201) 242-9601