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NYC Wine Shoppes

I'm in search of the best local wine shoppes in Manhattan. Preferably midtown to downtown. Best variety, best deals, best staff...etc. Please share your favorites!!
(i searched the boards and didn't really find too much...is there a thread i missed?)

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  1. My favorite is Bottlerocket on 19th St. They only stock what they like and the staff is extremely helpful. They organize the store by pairing - i.e. Pizza, Takeout, Poultry. Whenever I can't make it to the store I call and ask them to get together a nice box for me based on my previous purchases and they do a great job and don't try to gouge me with pricey bottles.

    1. Astor Wine and Spirits is very good. right by the Astor place stop on the 6 train. they have a good website too.

      I am also a huge fan of Trader Joe's by Union Square. Very cheap but also very good wine.

      1. Check out September Wines on the LES. They have an amazing and very interesting selection at all different price points. Their staff is awesome- so nice and very knowledgeable. http://www.septemberwines.com/home.asp Definitely my favorite wine shop downtown. Crush on 57th is great too, if you're looking for midtown. http://www.crushwineco.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: AimeeD821

          We went to September Wines several times before dinner at Elyssa Dido (now sadly closed) and had good experiences. Selection is small.

          No one mentioned Warehouse Wines or Chelsea Wine Vault. Not a fan of Pasanella, already mentioned. Not a huge fan of Trader Joe's Wine Shop but have found one of our favorite riojas there at a good price.

          1. re: kathryn

            My favorites:

            1) Crush Wine: Some great wine tastings. Fine dining wine served in fine dining setting with great stemware, though the space is often taken over by people processing internet orders. When you buy here, there’s little fear of bringing the same bottle to a party as your buddy from across town (Prom Night nightmare for the wine fan set). Search for these wines, and they’ll only come up on Crush’s site. Strong for small producers and values on collector quality wine. Best for French, German, interesting California. Not much Pacific Northwest (a lot of those wineries work with direct sales). Organization of store by grape is a bold and valid choice. www.crushwine.com. As a bonus, staff look and act like something out of “High Fidelity.” Grand Cru wine geeks.

            2) Le Dû’s Wines: Owner has best palate in the Village. No duds, no Yellow Tail. Wonderfully deep in French. Great price range. www.leduwines.com. Surprisingly strong bargain Italian wines are a plus.

            3) Sherry-Lehmann: Greatest depth and breadth in fine wine, especially Grand and Premier Cru French. Where to go for Margaux, futures, big names and to run into really rich people. If you happen to need a bottle of white Port for ten bucks, they have that too. www.sherry-lehmann.com

            4) PJ’s Wine: Some exceptional values and rarities. Once found an obscure Muller Thurgau here at a steep discount over one other place in town that carried it. Same wine served in Alto. Delivery at 100 dollar mark (versus 150 most places), so remote location isn’t a problem. Wonderful selection of Spanish wine that surpasses the expensive East Siders. www.pjwine.com. Go to place for Sherry.

            5) Union Square Wines: USQ has a pretty amazing marketing device in its tasting machines plus some blowout festive tasting events. Good for the under 15 dollar never offensive wine purchase. Also pretty cool that you can get much of their stuff from Fresh Direct. I prefer to order directly, however, since the selection and pricing work out a bit better.

            6. Chambers Street Wines: Lyle Fass has been in and out there, but he was certainly the best thing about Crush, and I think he's also the best think about Chambers Street Wines. Their mixed cases are almost always a good deal and guaranteed to contain some rarities. I'm a big fan of their Loire Valley selections, an area they seem to know better than any other New York player.

            1. re: Fat and Happy Food Slut

              I believe Lyle has moved on from CSW, but the store remains a great source for wines made in a more traditional style, especially from the Loire, Germany, Burgundy and the Rhone, and they also have an excellent, interesting sparkling section. They also have a terrific, well priced range of older Piedmont wines, and a knowledgeable, very down-to-earth staff.

              Beyond that, Crush has a great staff and selection, as does Park Ave. Liquor, which also has one of the best Scotch inventories in the US.

              1. re: craig_g

                i'll add another vote for Chambers St -- they always have really interesting, off the beaten track wines and very friendly staff. It's worth the trek down there!

              2. re: Fat and Happy Food Slut

                Agree with "Fat and Happy Food S...":
                I just want to add: PJ Wine´s delivery trucks seem to be chilled, since our wine has always arrived cooled, even on hot summer days. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Sherry-Lehmann: once the (fine French) wines they delivered were not only warm, they were very, very warm. We did not accept those wines, and have not had a summer delivery from them since. We do like Sherry-Lehman a lot though, especially for those great French wines.

                PS. Crush Wine's url has probably changed: it now seems to be: http://www.crushwineco.com/ (someone already mentioned it above


                PPS Chambers Street Wines: http://www.chambersstwines.com/

                1. re: FoodWine

                  Be careful about pricing at PJ Wine. On two different orders when got bill with delivery, prices on some items were different than listed online. They would not make right eventhough they saw the difference. l do not use them anymore.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Wow, so sorry to hear that.
                    I am especially sorry to hear that, since we love PJ's. We use them a lot and have never had a bad experience. There was once a mistake (not a pricing mistake) and they corrected it.

                    1. re: FoodWine

                      Had used them for a few years, actually in a doorman building, a treat, then these problems happened twice in a four month period within 4-5 orders, sorry but l am through.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        I understand very well that it leaves a really bad taste in your mouth if a store charges you more than what was stated on their web site - and on
                        the(ir) Internet order receipt (that you hopefully copied or printed and saved).

                        By the way, you had the right to reject that shipment. When you dealt with the store and they refused to honor the price they had posted on their web site, you had the right to say that you had relied on the posted prices and based on that reliance you had ordered a wine at a price of x amount of dollars, not at xx amount - and therefore they will have to come get their wine back.

                        Sorry about your experience.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          I just had two bad experiences with PJ's (since my glowing review a few months ago)!. On one order they did not give me the case discount. Not the end of the world but when I tried to fix it, it took several days of 'We'll look into it and call you back' before someone actually took care of it.

                          Now, I have a certificate for half a case of at-cost wines which they give to frequent customers. I am thinking of getting a few very nice bottles and I know that at-cost wines there are discounted between 10 and 30 %. But when I called to get specific prices, I was told that they don't give prices on the phone and that I would just have to see the price after it was charged. That seems crazy to me. Especially on a $150 bottle.
                          The manager has agreed to quote some prices so I can order my 6 bottles but getting a price quote before you buy doesn't seem to warrant a call to a manager.

                    2. re: FoodWine

                      Didn't PJ's up their free delivery minimum to $150? We have had great experiences with them and even bought the wines for our wedding from them (and I dove them up to NH!). A couple times they have been out of a bottle that I had ordered but they have always called to ask whether we wanted to sub in something else or just get one less bottle.

                    3. re: Fat and Happy Food Slut

                      USQ has possibly the worst pricing in Manhattan. With so many wine stores out there, no reason to go here. Maybe... MAYBE I would go to USQ for German wines though since they tend to have a good selection.

                      The truth of the matter is that most wine stores in Manhattan are priced poorly. Many stores improperly store their wine because of space constraints. The combination of the two leaves you very few that you could consider a good deal.

                      My top picks in Manhattan:
                      1. Astor Wines - generally a very good selection and pricing that is usually at least competitive. Free delivery is good too.

                      2. PJ Wines - only buy in person, do not have wine delivered from them. A good number of their wines are not stored properpy. Stick to more recent vintages, but the prices are great. If you spend enough at the store during the year, you get access to their annual clearance sale, where prices are unbeatable.

                      3. Zachys - not in manhattan, but great selection, great customer service. That said, only buy when they have sales, because when they do the prices are often hard to beat, especially within the boundaries of Manhattan.

                      1. re: Farfalle

                        Is that true about the storage problems at PJ's? I've had a few older bottles there that seemed to have held up fine but most of what I buy are younger vintages. Do you think buying 2001's is not a good idea there?

                  2. Moore Brothers on 33 East 20th is one of my favorites. They source directly from small vineyards, have a great range of prices and the staff is accessible and helpful.

                    1. Astor Wine and Spirits has the best combination of price and selection that I have come across in NYC.A smaller place is Pasanella and Sons.It's by the South Street Seaport at 115 South Street.An interesting selection at reasonable prices with very friendly, knowledgeable service.NY Wine Exchange has a good selection of wine and spirits.It's near Battery Park at 9 Broadway.Another of my favorites is Pour.It's on the Upper West Side at Amsterdam/ West 75th.Very small and not in the area you specified but the owners are really charming and knowledgeable and they also carry a very interesting selection at affordable prices.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TooLooseLaTrek

                        Not familiar with Pour, but one of my favorites is Nancy's Wines for Food on Columbus at W. 75th Street. Good selection and descriptive signage by each selection. Also not in the area you specified, but I moved out of the UWS years ago and I still make the effort to visit Nancy's.

                      2. Union Square, as "Fat & Happy" points out, does have those faboo wine tasting machines. Best of all, though, is that at least 4 times a year they have 25% off everything sales -- that's when I stock up!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: sea97horse

                          Update: they're having a 30% off sale, right now!

                          1. re: sea97horse

                            Wow, that's pretty amazing, assuming their regular prices aren't inflated. Does the 30% off sale apply only to in-store purchases? I didn't find any mention of 30% off on their website.

                            1. re: uwsgrazer

                              Sadly, their regular prices ARE inflated, but there are some good bargains if you know what you SHOULD be paying.

                          2. re: sea97horse

                            Yes, those sales get their prices down to about what you could pay at any other store. *Bargains*

                          3. THANK YOU EVERYONE SO MUCH!! think i have a pretty good list to start with...now the fun begins!! :)

                            1. I shop at the little wine store next to DiPalo's on Grand Street. The shop specializes in Italian wines. It is actuall run by Sal Di Palo's son. I kill two birds with one stone. Buying wine and cheese on one trip with expertise and comfort for both.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: jfmirabella

                                My husband and I have been in several times to their wine store, and bought a lovely Sicilian wine last week for about $40. However, we usually drink wine that is a lot cheaper - around the $12-15 range. Have you seen much at that price level there? My sense was that the wines tend to be more expensive than that.

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  You're right wine is over priced here. I also find the owner dogmatic. He perports to be an expert and believes that only his opinion counts. I saw him ask a customer to leave when they diagreed on opinion.

                                  1. re: jfmirabella

                                    Thanks - I can't speak to overpriced or not, as I don't know enough about the prices of higher end Italian wines, just that I would have liked to see a better selection of less expensive ones. I wonder how the store compares to IWC?

                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      Dear MMRuth:

                                      Try a Mastroberardino- Lacryma Christi Del Vesuvio (Tears of Christ). I enjoy
                                      this all the time.

                                      1. re: jfmirabella

                                        That was my initial white wine love in the 60's and 70's. l assume you mean the white and indeed a lovely quaff.

                                        1. re: jfmirabella

                                          I like the red. The grapes grow on the same slopes as the San Marzano tomato's.

                                  2. re: jfmirabella

                                    Do you know if they have limoncello from Sorrento there? I'm almost out . . .

                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      are you talking about Sogno di Sorrento? I have been unable to find it in Manhattan. Usually bring back a bottle from the importer Cive in Boston (They are aka Cirace's Wine and Spirits on Richmond Street in the North End.)

                                  3. On a similar note - do any of those wine stores have a very good wine club - i.e. sending a few bottles each month?

                                    I see the Italian Wine Merchants store has a very nice sounding one, that includes 2 books, tasting notes, etc.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: stephaniec25

                                      For Italian wines, would the place beside Di Palo do it or Wine Merchants. Don't want to necessarily try, but want to purchase some hard to find bottles ("hard to find" does not equal expensive).

                                      1. re: itryalot

                                        The internet is your friend - Winesearcher.com

                                        If you know what you want, the site will get you pricing from anywhere in the country (or the world). You'll have to consider shipping, which can wash out by no duty/sales tax if buying from a reciprocal out-of-state merchant .

                                        And, of curse, you can always call the store(s) to inquire about bottle provenance, storage condition and stuff like that.

                                        1. re: itryalot

                                          Try Chamber Street Wines (chambersstreetwines.com)

                                          1. re: itryalot

                                            Both DiPalo and IWM are pricey but have some interesting bottles. You're likely to do better at Astor, Chambers, and that place up in Belmont that always seems to have good prices on Italian wines but I've never been to. Mt. Carmel, I think.

                                        2. On the UES I've had good experience with Mr. Wright on Third Ave around 89th--big selection, well priced (and a wide price range), knowledgeable staff gives good recommendations.

                                          1. I know it's an old thread, but it came up again -- my husband's been getting his wine from Chelsea Wine Vault for a couple years now and I'm wondering if there are better options and if so, why do you like it? Must have delivery and plus if they have some sort of tasting event regularly.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: uwsister

                                              We like Columbus Wine & Spirits (Columbus between 95 & 96). Yes, they do case discounts and delivery. They have tastings each Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and do Kosher tastings as well). Sometimes they have tastings on Thursdays too. Tonight they were doing Coole Swan, in addition to something else. We find that they are very good at recommending things if you can describe what you like to them. I very much appreciate that if you tell them a budget range they do not try to push you into a higher price range or upsell you. Recently they recommended a really lovely Malbec for only about 14, which was actually cheaper than the one I had already had in hand.

                                              1. re: LNG212

                                                Awesome! I think we actually received some coupons for them in the mail and meant to check it out but haven't gotten around to it -- and it's right in our nabe! Thank you very much for the recommendation.

                                                1. re: uwsister

                                                  yes!...Columbus Wines is my favorite store in the city...i trust them so much that i'll sometimes call up, give them an approximate average price/bottle on a mixed case, and let them surprise me...never been disappointed...

                                                  1. re: Simon

                                                    Fantastic, we'll be in for a tasting next week for sure. Our red wine supply is dewindling quickly.

                                              2. re: uwsister

                                                Chambers St
                                                67 Wines (for some things)

                                                These are the best in the city as far as I'm concerned.

                                                1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                  Agree with the above, but would add some: Garnet's pricing is very competitive and their selection is broad (ask for Martin, the only guy who's really helpful and knowledgeable.) Crush on 57th is well chosen. There are also specialty places: the Tinto Fino store on First Ave and 3rd Street and if you like wines from Portugal, the best selection outside of Newark is at Olivera's on 7th Ave South between Bleecker and W. 4th.

                                              3. I recently discovered NY Vinters on Warren Street. I enjoyed a White Lambrusco, Grillo and
                                                Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Prices are good and advise and knowledge is available with a smile. In fact, I have yet to a find New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough that I didn't enjoy. I think Europeans are now producing wine there.