Wine rules might be commonly recited, but Liz Avera doesn't think that makes them true.

So here are hers: The most expensive wine isn't necessarily the best. Older doesn't always mean better. White zinfandel and zinfandel are far from the same thing. And rieslings aren't all sweet.

Avera, 44, is co-owner of Vino 100 Polaris, which offers a selection of 100 wines for less than $25.

Before opening the shop with her husband, Don, in 2007, she spent a year reading, researching and attending as many wine tastings as she could find. "My father is a medical researcher, and I inherited his insatiable curiosity," she said. "So

I'm always looking for the next thing, and the next wine, and the next grape."

That means her shelves are stocked with off-the-beaten-path bottles.

"People come in here and say, 'I don't recognize any of these wines,' " Avera said. "And I say, 'That's a good thing. Because I want to show you new stuff. I want to broaden your horizons.' "