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Dec 20, 2012 08:10 AM

Great Wine store?

Hi everyone, I am need quick need of a recommended place to buy a bottle of great wine for a gift. Anywhere in manhattan, though preferred south of Central Park. TIA!

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  1. Sherry-Lehmann, near Park and 59th

    1. Astor
      Sherry Lehman
      Union Sq Wines
      Italian Wine Merchants
      Le Du

      What are you looking for? What region? Variety? Prices?

      8 Replies
      1. re: thegforceny

        Apologies for the previous vagueness, I was typing while walking amongst throngs of children in Rockefeller is not from me, it's for a friend of my mother's and I think she wants to spend between $150-250. I just know this guy is SUPER into wine and scotch while I know nothing so am hoping for a place that won't lead me astray, have something somewhat impressive/rare, and not cheat me (at least too much) for it.

        Sherry Lehman is on my list! Actually, is there anything equal in the LES?

        1. re: baloney

          LES? No.

          Closest would be El Tinto Fino in EV, but it's only Spanish wines.

          If you're in Rock Center (work there maybe?), go to Morrell's

          1. re: baloney

            Closest to LES would be Astor,

            1. re: baloney

              If a huge fan of scotch, Park Avenue Liquors is generally regarded as the mecca of liquor stores in NYC for scotch -- particularly single malts. They often have special bottlings that distilleries make just for Park Ave. Prices for easier to get scotches are inflated compared to online, but you can also find things you cannot get anywhere else. I cannot speak to the wine selection.

              1. re: Pago77

                Compared to the Astor / CSW / S-L / Pj, wine selection pales at Park Avenue Liquors.
                I guess, based on your comment, it's in the scotch department where they excel.

                1. re: baloney

                  <Actually, is there anything equal in the LES?>

                  Not equal, but September Wines would be a good first stop, if you're in the LES anyway. The selection isn't vast - it's a small shop - but the staff is very helpful and will work with you to find something special.


                  1. re: small h

                    Just wanted to second September Wines. Got wine there for two years when i lived in the LES, and I learned a lot about wine through them. They have a well curated selection of smaller labels, some fun and semi-obscure stuff. If you're looking to purchase a gift and you don't have anything too specific in mind, I think it'd work well.

                1. re: FrankJBN

                  Not south of CP. If you're going to expand parameters to UES may as well go to S-L

                2. I agree with everyone who suggested Sherry-Lehmann.
                  I think they are friendlier than the staff at Morell's. I also think you have a lot of choices of wine that will be appreciated. Perhaps more than, the excellent Spanish wines at El Tinto Fino. Since we don't really know how knowledgable the person is on wines. I think a well known French Chateau would work well. Of course forget any 1st growth wines. But Sherry- Lehmann has for example a 2009 Lynch Bages ( Pauillac) for $250, The person will surely be familiar with this Chateau. Or the 2011 for only $112. Of course we don't know if this person wants to drink the wine now, or lay it down for a few years. Wow, going through their website makes one's mouth water. They have a 2005 Figeac for $215. I like these two Chateaux very much.
                  There are s many other choices, even a case of lesser known but very good Bordeaux wines for around $150. I suggest go to Sherry-Lehmann and you will do very well.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    Of course, as we all know, Sherry-Lehmann's prices are quite high and if the OP has available time and can be more more flexible in sourcing bottles, there are much cheaper alternatives elsewhere.

                    For example, 2005 Figeac ($215 from Sherry-Lehmann) can be purchased for as low as $120-plus-$10-shipping (3-days) from a store in Chicago or for $159 at America's Wine Shop at 3rd and 28th.

                    2009 Lynch Bages ($250 from S-L) can be purchased and shipped for $170 from a store in NJ or for a much closer store, only $224 from Morrells.

                    1. re: RCC

                      America's Wine Shop sounds like it could be interesting.
                      For lower end wines at good price I usually go to Crossroads for a good deal. I used to go to Brill's on Chambers. Anyway, I guess Sherry Lehman is a ripoff, so is Morells but at least when you walk in you know they will have a great selection of wines. Astor always disappoints me. Acker-Merrill on the UWS, had an seriously amazing Burgundy selection ( several years ago). I have to buy 2 cases of good wines this weekend averaging $100 a bottle. So thanks for probably helping me save a few bucks.

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        I didn't say that Sherry-Lehamnn is a ripoff. Your words, not mine. I've bought many bottles from them (mainly Bordeaux futures) and have been happy with the wines I've received, bottle condition, etc. It's just that the wines you listed are all available elsewhere for much lower prices than Sherry-Lehmann.

                        Unless I'm traveling abroad and happen to be looking to buy wines, I very rarely step into a wine store here in the US over the last several years. You just need to know what exactly you're looking for and wines can be sourced here in the US or anywhere else worldwide (I use winesearcher pro) for delivery to straight to me or to my offsite storage. Of course, I ask for references on the merchant if it's one that I'm not familiar with.

                  2. Plenty of good suggestions here. I'll toss in a store no one has mentioned yet, Grande Harvest Wines in Grand Central Terminal:


                    They were extremely helpful in assisting me when I was looking for a special bottle of wine for my oenophile spouse.