Road Trip Pit Stop: Beltramo's

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San Francisco is blessed with the lion's share of Bay Area retailers specializing in hard-to-find wines and liquors. For example, Arlequin Wine Merchant, Dee Vine Wines, D&M, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, John Walker, The Jug Shop, K&L, SF Wine Trading Co., and the Wine Club are all within the city limits.

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Nevertheless, if you're in the Stanford / Palo Alto area, Beltramo's (1540 El Camino Real, Menlo Park) is worth a visit. The store has an exceptional array of hard liquor--six kinds of cachaca, four brands of Pisco, 20 grappas, 40 bourbons--and around 200 liqueurs, one of the broadest selections anywhere. There's also a big wine department with knowledgeable, friendly staff that can offer educated suggestions. The store's inventory is searchable on beltramos.com, so you can see if they've got what you're looking for before making a special trip. (Click the images for larger versions.)

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