I regularly visit Bubble Brothers in the English Market(why does it not have its own website?) in Cork. The main reason I go there is that I’m clueless about wine but I know what I like and ask for variations on my taste or ask to try something different. The staff in there are passionate about wine and love talking about it. Seriously, the enthusiasm is addictive and you come away from the place energized. (And often with a few more bottles than you thought you’d purchase.)
If I were to go to an offy or Dunne’s or Tesco’s I wouldn’t hear the story of the wine, I wouldn’t get recommendations. I wouldn’t get the enthusiasm. I think it was Hugh Macleod who talked about Stormhoek and it having a story. I like this idea and I’m happy to pay extra for this kind of service. I just wish that there was a blog on the Bubble Brothers website where the rest of the world could feed off this enthusiasm. Yeah, they do give reviews to an extent in the product descriptions but I think they could do so much more than that and gain a lot more custom as a result too.