See also: AZ Wine Merchants Included in Food & Wine's "25 Best Places to Drink Wine Now" See also: Blind Tasting at FnB Proves AZ Blush Wines Hold Their Own Against World's Great Rosés If you're planning to pop into Charleen Badman's and Pavle Milic's Bodega in Old Town to grab some farm-fresh eggs, local cheese, fresh veggies, MJ Bread or one of Badman's home-made doughnuts, you'll want to head two doors down to the AZ Wine Merchants shop (also theirs) on the east side of their wine bar and cafe Baratin. The three operations -- gourmet market, wine shop and wine bar -- have always shared the same address; now two of them share the same space.
"It made sense for us to put the two together," Milic says, adding, "It's really freaking cute now. When we finished, we looked at each other and said, 'Why didn't we do this in the first place?' Now, it really clicks."
It's certainly better marketing. If you're buying a nice local wine, don't you want good bread and an interesting local cheese to go with it? Or vice versa? Why make it harder on the customer to do a one-stop shop?
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Up to this point, AZ Wine Merchants has done much of its business online, a set-up that may be innovative but doesn't necessarily translate to more business. The average customer (who likely isn't a wine geek) likes to hold the bottles, read the labels and ask questions about the wine he or she is thinking of purchasing. That's far more likely to happen, now that AZ Wine Merchants feels more like a bustling shop -- with staff around and lots of goodies to buy -- and less like a wine library.