June 11, 2012

Wine shops of Manhattan - NYC, Part 2

After the pouring at Chambers Street, I spent much of the next three days walking and training to the wine shops of Manhattan. As many as I could fit in anyway. Special thanks to Dr. Vino for his enormously helpful map I recommend it highly. I used it extensively to find shops worth visiting, and some perhaps not. My goals - wine geekery, naturally. But I wanted to visit places that have my wine, places I'd like to have my wine, and places I wanted to see if they might want my wine. See a theme? I was on the wine schlep, but I really enjoy it.

In no particular order, I visited shops downtown, including Frankly Wines, around the corner from Chambers Street. It's a small shop that has a well chosen selection of things, including several from the Jura and lots of natural and natural-esque wines.

Fun to see Vincent on the racks
I went over to the East Village and up to Union Square to visit shops like Astor Place and Union Square Wine Merchant. Astor is a classic and I chatted up a clerk about Oregon wines, a frequent point of conversation in place of pushing myself and my wines. This was reconnaissance. My distributor doesn't have much wine to sell but next year and beyond there should be more. The cold room at Astor was amazing. Union Square was also impressive. Lots of Burgs and a good selection from Oregon. Didn't catch anyone's attention but I was in a hurry. I also stopped at Warehouse Wines. The shop is warm and there are "bargains" but some I'm sure are spoiled. I'm testing Dr. Vino's advice. $30 Gouges Nuits St. George 1er? I couldn't resist. The bottles looked new to the shop, capsules spun, etc. I'm thinking the low price is more about the 2007 vintage than compromised goods. We'll see.

If you're on the Upper East Side, check it out
On the Upper West Side, I breezed through Acker Merrall. Then hit 67 Wines and Spirits and found the expansive upstairs. Had another nice chat about how Oregon wines sell - favorably it seems. Then to Nancy's Wines for Food, no longer owned by Nancy (at the counter in the pic above). They have my wine and it was nice to introduce myself and chat a bit about the lingering effects of the 2008 financial meltdown. I felt naive. In Portland, of course we were and are affected, but things in NYC seemed still so raw. It was a common refrain at other shops and even with family in the area who speak of '08 like it's still happening. Which it is. Strange times, these. We're a bit insulated in Oregon.

One of Crush's treasures
lso made it to the Upper East Side, to see the sleek Crush, the old school Sherry Lehmann, the stalwart Garnet, and made my way over to First and Vine, another smaller shop that has my wine. Had a lovely chat with the owner about the times and what wines are moving, like that. Got another report (there were many) of how my distributor is great to work with. All told, a great visit and I'm so grateful for the support I've gotten in New York so far.

The spoils
Along the way, I picked up a few bottles to stash in my luggage for the return trip. Chidaine Montlouis Brut, Ramonet Chassagne, the aforementioned Gouges and a rare to Portland anyway bottle of Olga Raffault Chinon Blanc. Yes, all French wine. Not cheap but not ridiculously expensive. All for research purposes that I swear I'll write about when I get around to opening them. Really. Promise.

Of course, looking at the Dr. Vino map there are days and weeks worth of stores I missed. They will have to wait for another trip. And there there are the on premise accounts. We tried to get to Dovetail and a few other places like SHO that have my wine or soon should. Unfortunately, nothing worked out this time but, again, I have little wine available in NYC still so we'll save those appointments for next time. I did have two lovely lunches at the West Side Steakhouse in Hell's Kitchen. More on that next time.


John N Pasmore said...

Two you might also enjoy in nyc:

1. http://www.pasanellaandson.com/home.php

2. http://www.vestrywines.com/

Vincent Fritzsche said...

Thanks for the suggestions John. Are you connected with either in any way? Just want to be clear.