Wine Stores in Manhattan
criteria : price, selection, location, knowledge
i will grade each criterion individually A-E
1. Warehouse Wines & Spirits (astor place) A-B-B-C
2. VINtage New York (broadway and 93rd) B-B-B-B
3. 67 Wine & Spirits (columbus and 67) C-A-C-B
4. NY Wine Exchange (broadway and exchange place) C-B-B-B
5. PJ Wine (broadway and 204th free same day delivery in nyc) B-A-E-A
if it wasn't for location, #5 would be at least #3. Post your comments, additions etc.
I recently stopped in at the wine store inside the Chelsea Market, and based soley on the descriptions of the wines on the shelves selected two full bodied reds that were immensely enjoyable and reasonably priced. It was a little random and haphazard of me to select this way, but based on how good my random choices were my impression was that their wines were carefully chosen.
I also love Bottlerocket on 19th and 5th.
I have to give Vintage much worse marks than you on price, selection, and knowledge. They recently embarrassed me after I asked them to recommend two good bottle of L.I. wine (one red, one white) for me to take over to a dinner hostess's house. I paid dearly, but the wines were really terrible. Embarassingly bad. My impression: overpriced, low quality wines selected by staff that haven't a clue.
My GF and I have been to Moore Bros. a few times and have generally been very pleased. I really like their environment. Besides being really cold (at least when compared to the outside temperature in the summer), its a very pleasant space with polite and friendly staff. They are also very knowledgeable about their wine. Based on our conversations, it sounded like Greg and Dave tend to send their employees on trips to some of the producers. The wine selection is a little limited (vs. Astor's or even Warehouse), but still covers all the basics, plus some. Prices tend to be crowded around $20's, but there are plenty of $10 wines. I really enjoyed trying and liking some wines I haven't normally been a fan of, like German whites. I find it a little expensive to stock-up on wine from Moore, but I like to stop by every so often to pick up a few interesting bottles.
I guess I'm a bit surprised that you find it expensive to shop at Moore Brothers Wine Company on 20th Street in Gramercy on a regular basis. Since they opened last summer it's the only place I shop. I find that they have a lot of bottles in the teens and some even lower than that. Aside from their extemely knowledgable and helpful staff, they also have wine tasting classes that have really opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn't know about. As for the limited selection - I think their whole point - as I've gotten the schpeil already - is that they don't want to cater to everyone and carry every single bottle of wine out there. That would go against what they believe as far as hand-crafted, artisinal wine goes. They don't want to carry the mass-produced wines that most wine shops do. That's only one of the things that set them apart. I love them. Honestly - I'm hooked!
Crossroads on 14th at 6th is FAB. They always have great surprise bargains (Saturday I got 2 bottles of 96 Chapoutier Cote Rotie and 2 bottles of 01 Candido Salice Salentino for $23 (for the whole lot!). The place is tiny and cramped, but their prices are the BEST, imo.
If Moore Bros. in NYC is ANYTHING like their store in Wilmington, DE, it's the BEST place to shop. The folks there are so very knowledgeable and helpful. They've gone out of their way to be accomodating. One time I went in to get a couple of bottles to bring to a wonderful BYO here in PA that changes its menu frequently. The sales person actually called the restaurant while I was in the store to find out what was on the menu that evening so she could help me pair up just the right wines. Also, when my husband and I were planning a trip to Tuscany, one of the folks at Moore Bros. actually phoned one of his favorite wine producers in Italy and helped set up a private tour of the winery. And I'm just an "average" customer -- it's not like I buy cases and cases at a time. I can't say enough good things about Moore Bros. NYC is lucky to have them.
try moore brothers newly opened shop at 33 e. 20th street. they are not your regular wine store in that they personally chose their wines and will sell no wine which has not been shipped to their high standards. i have been a client of their store in new jersey since it opened and have been thrilled with the service and the fine range of wines. you won't be able to buy the kangaroo wine and such, but you will get lovingly crafted artisanal wines. i really cannot say enough about this store. the brothers, greg and dave, are really nice, down to earth guys who are as happy to sell you a $10.00 bottle as a $100.00 bottle.
i would be very interested to hear nyc chowhounds thoughts on the moore brothers new shop!
I think you've got to give PJ an A for price...Warehouse might be cheaper but you get what you pay for, they have often have old or just not good stuff. Definitely the spot to buy liquor and Champagne, though. Where the wine inventories intersect PJ's price will be just as good. True the location is awful, but PJ will deliver free in the 5 boros if you order $100, I think. I am getting ready to restock so I am going to give that a try. The staff has been really helpful when I have been there. They have a super delicious and very inexpensive brachetto d'Acqui (I challenge you to find a $9 brachetto anywhere) but were out when I went a month ago. They recommended a prosecco which was stellar. PJ's selection of Spanish wine is one of the best in North America.
I haven't tried #s 3 or 4. Vintage is limited to NY State wines, yes?
Astor Wines on Lafayette has a great selection, decent prices (with lots of good sales) and is quite convenient when you are downtown.
I totally agree. Luckily I live uptown and PJ's isn't inconvenient for me to get to. I just took my brother-in-law there over the weekend and he was amazed at the selection and the prices. I have never seen a wine store with such a combination. Their wines are consistently at least 20% cheaper than anywhere else. There was also a very knowledgable and helpful sales person there on Saturday. Their liquor and champagne prices and selection are equally good.
I also wonder about vintage being in this list. How about Sherry Lehman? They have decent prices, great selection and amazing customer service and knowledge.
I agree with you, PJ wine is great and I order from them alot although prices are nevertheless cheaper at spot #1, especially champagne (where else will you find Moet Nectar Imperial at $35 a bottle?). VINtage (#2) is not limited at all but sometimes it literaly gets emptied on weekends, you should visit this spot as selection of good french and italian wine is phenomenal and price excellent. The selection of good but cheap wine is also wonderful : bottle mouton cadet $6, Solaz Osborne $5, Piper Heidsick $22 and less sometimes. I love it!