Monday, June 14, 2010

Where to Shop: Wine Edition

I love wine, but hate what normally passes for it in a social gathering. More often than not it is nothing more than food coloring with splash of rubbing alcohol and grape juice. I try not to blame my hosts as many times the poor selection is the result of being led astray by the store they frequented. This has even happened to me on occasion and I was really pissed as I upped my normal purchase price for a special occasion.

I mean a bottle of 2 buck chuck may be passable in a sangria (key word: MAY), but drinking it as-is is a no go for me. My mom likes to say it is because I am snob or a yuppie that I demand more out of my wine drinking experience. Personally, I just think I just demand the most bang for my buck. That is why I find it absolutely essential to find a store with a great selection and price point.

My favorite's on the Upper East Side/East Harlem where I live are:
  1. Mr. Wright Fine Wines and Spirits (1593 Third Ave; between 89/90): This is my go to store for everything. They have hard liquor as well and they deliver to my house. The salespeople know their wines and overall I have never been disappointed with my purchases.

  2. My favorite wine from here is a sparkling Shiraz called The Chook ($15.99). It has a great textured and sweet flavor that goes pretty much with everything. If you love Lambrusco you will adore this!

  3. Astor Wines and Spirits (399 Lafayette Street; at East 4th St): I used to go here when I worked downtown every once in awhile. They have so much wine and if you snag the right person you will wind up with a great bottle. I love to use them for parties for that very reason. Also, they have these amazing wine education classes and ship all over the USA.

  4. My favorite selection from here is surprise-surprise a sparkling wine! Scu Do's Prosecco Brut ($8.99) is what I use for toasts or for after dinner/desert drinks. It has such a great light but sweet flavor, so it goes over well with dessert or on its own as a post dinner treat.

  5. Vinyl Wine (1555 Lexington Ave; between 99th and 100th): This one just opened up in my neighborhood and I stopped by yesterday. Where I live literally there was nowhere to buy a decent bottle of wine within walking distance. Ok, Mr. Wright is within walking distance but it is NYC - I want a stone's throw god dammit. I was a little leery that it might be like Best Cellars (bleck), because they were pretty heavy on the design aesthetic. (It is pretty awesome by the way - just made me wonder if they were light on wine like BC.) I was happily proven wrong upon entering the store when I was greeted with great price points and awesome selections! The best thing about the store hands down (well besides the wine) is the speaker lined cash register.

  6. I bought a bottle of red for I *think* $14 or so and it was absolutely fantastic. Also, they have quite a bit of organic wines and now come to think of it the one I bought was organic too! (If you are interested it is called L'Alba).
A bit off topic I know, but as it says in the header I am a "weapon of massive consumption". Well, especially when it comes to wine.

Got any great places to get wine from? Leave them in the comments!

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