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- eskinnyc - 02-25-2002 02:08 AM

Any opinions on the top wine store in Manhattan? I've checked out most of them on the Upper West Side (67 Wine on Columbus is worth stopping by) but would like to find other people's picks.

Preferably I'm looking for a store with a wide selection in the under $20 range. Thanks.

- Kcwhippet - 02-25-2002 05:23 AM

Have you tried is-wine at 225 5th? You should.

- winoweenie - 02-25-2002 06:56 AM

Yea Verily .... Our very own FOODIE is the proprietor of this marvelous establishment and is recognized internationally for his wit, humor, knowledge, good looks and splendid get the picture!!!WW

- Thomas - 02-25-2002 06:19 PM


It's 225 East 5th Strret--between 2nd and 3rd Aves. If you visit is-wine ask for Thomas.

Thanks guys for the plug, even if one of you exaaagerated just a little...

[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 02-25-2002).]

- mrdutton - 02-25-2002 08:39 PM

Despite the fakt that foodie kant speel, he does have a nice wine shop.

There are others. Try that one on Lexington Avenue called GRANTS or something like that....

Garnet's........ (seriously) Either that or stick with IS-Wine. Heck you could visit both and get a great tour of the East Side just by traveling between the two locations!

- Kcwhippet - 02-25-2002 09:50 PM

Is WW looking to get comped a bottle or two on his next vist to NYC?

- winoweenie - 02-26-2002 07:28 AM

DRATS............Foiled Agin'!! WW

- Hal - 02-26-2002 02:44 PM

I live downtown near Union Square. Here's my take on the wine shops I visit.

Franks's Liquor on the east side of Union Square bet 16 & 17 sts. They aren't very helpful, but they have good discounts on popular wines and some interesting variations. e.g. Bear Boat Russian River Pinot Noir 2000 is $14; elsewhere it's 18 bucks.

Union Square Wines. They have an eager, knowledgable staff and four tastings every week, Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat. Choice and variety is good and prices are good but may be higher on some bottles.

Crossroads: 14 st bet 5 & 6 aves. This store is packed to the gills with a terrific variety of wines you are not likely to find in your local liquor store. They know what they've got and are helpful. Good discounts availalable weekly, though they have many higher priced wines. A great place to browse and chat.

Broadway Warehouse: B'way & Astor. Big store, lots of inexpensive wines, the staff is variably knowledgable and helpful, but these guys are not super sophisticated. Many good bargains. Sort of a supermarket.

Astor Wines. Astor Pl. & Lafayette. Big store, reasonably knowledgable staff, bargains are available but not widespread. Weekly tastings.

Is-Wine: E.5st bet 2nd ave & Bowery. This is the only wine store I know that has chairs. Modest, almost spartan by wine shop standards, the staff are true wine lovers and know every bottle. Very few bottles over $15. The boss is a writer, raconteur, former winemaker and opinionated anti-snob. Weekly tastings, seminars.

- wondersofwine - 02-26-2002 04:12 PM

Foodie strikes again! (a home run it appears)

- Bucko - 02-26-2002 05:13 PM


Does he hunt them with hounds? [img][/img]

- winoweenie - 02-26-2002 07:28 PM

SILLY BUCKO !!! That's a Racoonteer. WW

- mrdutton - 02-26-2002 08:08 PM

Sells wine, tells good stories ........

What talent!

Sorry I even mentioned that other place ......

- Scoop - 02-27-2002 12:27 PM

I am naturally biased toward Is-Wine (being on staff), but, in fairness, here are a few more entries, building on Hal's excellent (and accurate) list.

The Chelsea Wine Vault, located in the Chelsea Market (15th St. and 9th Ave.) is run by Wine Master Chris Cree, and has a large, well-chosen selection, decently priced, with temperature-controlled storage available for space-challenged New Yorkers.

For Italian nuts, Vino (solely Italian wines, with emphasis on the south), brought to you by the owners of the restaurant I Trulli (great Apulian cuisine) and Enoteca I Trulli (both located across the street, on 27th between Park and Lexington), is worth a visit. Pretty store, nicely organized. You can go sample some wines by the glass at Enoteca, and then go across the street and purchase a bottle of the one you like (all the wines at the wine bar are for sale at Vino). They've found a good way around NY's legal separation between restaurant/bar and retail.

There is also Italian Wine Merchants near Union square, owned by Chef Mario Battali and others, a very spare and somewhat cold space along with some rarified wines and pretty high prices.

Garnet was already mentioned. It's cramped and claustrophobic, but it has the lowest prices in town -- by far -- and a pretty good selection to boot.

Last, if you are running to catch a train at Grand Central, there is Grand Harvest, a top-end merchant in a gorgeous space for well-heeled commuters.

There are certainly others, but this should get you started.

And do come by Is-Wine!



[This message has been edited by Scoop (edited 02-27-2002).]

- mrdutton - 02-27-2002 05:47 PM

One question please? Isn't "opinionated anit-snob" an oxymoron?

- hotwine - 02-27-2002 08:01 PM

I saw one of them racoonteers scootin' across the back just a while ago, after stealin' the killer cats' supper. Sneaky buggers.

- Hal - 02-28-2002 12:16 PM

Good call, Mr. Dutton.
My expression was meant to tease foodie a bit, but I believe it is possible to be opinionated without being a snob. It's all in how you express your opinions and how you respond to both dissent and the opinions of others. Perhaps our friend foodie is a snob when it comes to helping little people like myself to buy and enjoy reasonably priced wine.

- Botafogo - 02-28-2002 01:08 PM

No one brought up Best Cellars, Soho Wines or The Burgundy Wine Company (who I would expect would get good reviews) or William Sokolow who I thought people would pile on to trash....

- Scoop - 03-01-2002 02:57 PM

I didn't bring up Best Cellars because I thought they were already on the Upper West Side, and the originator of this thread had covered that part of town. Turns out, they haven't yet opened the West Side Store(y!).
Of course, this is Josh Wesson's very successful chain, born on the Upper East Side, and designed to provide the "best bottles in the world under $15" (it used to be $10), segmented by his trademarked nomenclature: e.g. "juicy", "lusicious", "fruity",etc. They have recently added a more expensive reserve section, too -- I guess moving upmarket is inevitable, even JW. For anyone intimidated by wine or who doesn't really want to think too much about the wines they buy, this is your store. And it has obviously tapped a large market. Very pop and slick, with some decent selections, but personally not the environment or approach I prefer. It would be great for malls (if they were allowed in!).

As for the others Botofogo mentioned, I haven't visited them in person, but I've heard some good things about The Burgundy Wine Company.



- Thomas - 03-01-2002 08:37 PM

I don't know, for my money, I'll take is-wine anytime...did I say that?

I do love being an anti-snob, only because I do not love them there snob people.

Roberto, you are so lucky not to have competition nearby...

think I'll go bag me a racon in Central Park.

[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 03-01-2002).]

- Botafogo - 03-02-2002 12:36 AM

Foodie, we not only have three serious (and larger) dedicated wine shop competitors within ten minutes of us but every grocery store, 7-11, Pharmacy and gas station also sells wine which is not the case in New York, is it? I would LOVE to have a Costco or a Beverages and More right next door...what we do is so different that we would convert 10% of their traffic and they would get .001% of ours. Bring it ON, baybieee!!!