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May 31, 2010 06:50 PM

ISO: Helpful wine shop with decent prices

Hi- I admit I know very, very little about wines. I'm looking to buy several bottles ($25-75 range), and would love to go to a place where somebody can hold my hand through the process and not rip me off.

Does such a store exist in Manhattan?


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  1. Italian Wine Merchants are pretty good. You can learn a lot there if you want to.

    Italian Wine Merchants
    108 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003

    1. My favorite wine store in Manhattan is Nancy's Wines for Food on the Upper West Side. The staff is knowledgeable and approachable. Even if you choose not to consult with a staff member, each selection has a handwritten description of the wine and what food it pairs up with.

      Nancy's Wines for Food
      313 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

      17 Replies
      1. re: j. marie

        Nancy's is a great shop, as is Acker Merrall. i've seen where they've sold wines for $3.99! that other stores have for $9.99 and restaurants for $26!

        if you really know little about wine, i suggest choosing a varietal and tasting several different labels in different price points. you might find that more expensive doesn't always equal better. we tend to drink a lot of Malbecs, personally. one, because of a personal connection, and two, because they're typically affordable even in restaurants.

        1. re: coasts

          Thanks! I think I will check out Nancy's (as the hours are a bit better than Italian Wine Merchants). and let you know how it goes.

          Normally, I'd be fine with getting a more affordable wine, but these bottles will be for people who did me a huge favor.

          Italian Wine Merchants
          108 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: Bone Thug n Hominy

            While Nancy's is excellent, it tilts towards German wines. For a much broader choice of wines, with decent prices & hand-holding, I'd suggest Astor Wines & Spirits.

            Astor Wines & Spirits
            399 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                Agree with Astors, also must say Chambers Street Wines, one of favorite wine stores in the world great wines for a really good price

                Chambers Street Wines
                160 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007

                1. re: muskie

                  I love Chambers St, also love Rosenthal....but I think for this purpose a less esoteric shop with a larger selection and range might be better.

                2. re: gutsofsteel

                  nthing Astor Wines. Fantastic selection and prices. Very helpful staff. The best selection of sparkling wines at every price point I've ever seen (Yum! Cremant d'Alsace!) And sometimes they have tastings!

                  I also like Warehouse Wines & Spirits a few blocks away on Broadway near Astor Place. It's not much to look at but they actually have a pretty great selection and some real bargains. They have crazy prices on closeout liquor - sometimes you'll see $30 bottles of spirits for less than $10. But they also have a nice selection of wines, with a great many inexpensive French, Spanish and South American Selections. It's my favorite place for fun wines under $10.

                  Warehouse Wines & Spirits
                  735 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

                3. re: drumwine

                  Another vote for Astor. They have wines at all price points, but they seem to specialize in wines that just SEEM like they're expensive. and we can all appreciate that!

                  1. re: drumwine

                    I've never liked Nancy's. Limited selection. Astor Wines totally the best for breadth of selection and prices.(I just placed an order for delivery.) For French wines and enthusiastic, charming staff, I like Le Du's. Jean Luc is charming.

                    1. re: chow_gal

                      For the best buys, if you can wait a few days, go to
             their prices are very good, shipping is free and NO NYS sales tax.

                      Join and you'll receive several e-mails a day, but you have to act quickly, as the name implies, "till sold out." I usually check out the wine in other stores (on line) to make certain that it is a good buy. I've save much money and had some great wines over the years.

                      Try it, you'll like it.

                      1. re: Stuartmc910

                        I use that all the time, but it is not right for someone (the OP) who knows nothing about wine. It's very 'caveat emptor"

                        1. re: gutsofsteel

                          Well, they give an excellent description, and I ALWAYS go to several wine web sites comparing price and getting reviews. So far, I've never been disappointed.

                          1. re: Stuartmc910

                            The OP asked for:

                            "...a place where somebody can hold my hand through the process and not rip me off.

                            Does such a store exist in Manhattan?"

                      2. re: chow_gal

                        It sounds like the original poster is not looking for either a comprehensive selection of wines nor an education; he just wants to be assured that he will be able to buy some wonderful choices that will be appreciated and whose quality is in line with his price range. Most wine stores are pretty intimidating to those who don't know wine. I suggested Nancy's because they are focused on making wine choices accessible to those who are not knowledgeable. I love the fact that each selection has been tried and the description is written by them, not copied from the vintner or a magazine. Their selection may be not be extensive, but it's all good stuff and he should be able to find what he's looking for.

                        1. re: j. marie

                          Um, uh, OK. I don't like it, never have. So there.

                          1. re: j. marie

                            I'd actually love to be an educated consumer of wine. Just not on this particular quest, since I had a pretty tight window of time. Some day, though.

                        2. re: drumwine

                          Thanks for this suggestion. I ended up going to Astor Wines, and the service was incredibly helpful. I was in-and-out in minutes and felt like I got exactly what I was looking for. Prices seemed quite reasonable, too.

                          Edit: I went here because it was directly on my way back from work, and open past 8.

                  2. I have no suggestions but I *love* your username, bone thug!