Economic stimulus, week one: Local shops

The week after the IRS accepted my tax return, I had a four-day weekend, which I spent wandering around my neighborhood to see what I could see.

(One of the things I saw was a singing fish based on this commercial, but I refrained from buying it. Worst decision ever? Only time will tell.)

I was excited to be able to stop at Oakley Wines, which is a fairly recent addition to the Oakley shopping scene (and one whose limited hours make it tough for me to stop by after work). The shop is owned by Joe and Lois Santangelo, who were setting up for their usual Friday tasting when I dropped in. (It's 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and I believe $5 gets you six tastes, but I could be wrong about that.) They were both super-nice, very excited to talk about wine, and happy to inform me that their shop is now open on Saturdays from 1 to 5.

From now on, if you invite me to a party and I bring a bottle of wine, it will probably be from this shop. Oakley Wines specializes in wines you might not have heard of, and they make a point of selling no bottle over $20. I picked up a Malbec, a Pinot Grigio, and a Sauvignon Blanc for just over $40.

Oakley Wines on Twitpic

The next day, I headed over to Hyde Park Square on a more specific mission: to purchase many fancy cheeses from Hyde Park Gourmet Food & Wine. This shop sells crazy crackers, fun little jams and jellies, tiny desserts - basically everything you think of when you think "gourmet." (They also sell sandwiches, which I didn't realize before I stopped in.) Naturally, they have an extensive cheese case, and with the help of a nice saleslady, I selected four: a Camembert, a brie made with goat cheese, something sharp that involved white wine, and five types of Cheddar compressed into a single stripey block. Yum!


Oakley Wines: $40.44

Hyde Park Gourmet: $36.83

Total for Week 1: $77.27

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