I was flattered into writing the best wine store and wine bar in New York for New York Magazine Best of New York issue last month. The reason I needed to be pressed into service? I was leaving for France in a few days and would have to drop everything to do research.
The other reason I needed to be flattered into action is because I need my byline attached to my writing. It seemed 'off' that New York Mag should want me because I had 'authority' but then tell me the pieces were to run anonymously. As they had a flicker of interest in a wine column penned by me (with my name), I thought, sure, let's relationship build.
I filed from France.
Did a rewrite.
Then was told the Friday before the 'Best Of' issue that it wasn't going to run due to 'space' issues.
I like the little snippets. I feel they are valid (however, if I wrote the piece now as opposed to then, the brand new Blue Ribbon Bakery's wine bar, would win 'best of.' Love that place).
For those of you study 'voice' here I am in 'magazine speak,' as opposed to the unexpurgated me.
CHAMBERS STREET WINES: BEST WINE STORE
Even with the current proliferation of hip, petite wine boutiques, it’s easy to wax poetic about the independent wine geniuses behind Chambers Street Wines.
Has any other wine store in New York proudly offered fabulous older vintages of cult muscadet? No. Has any other amassed a more dazzling collection of cru Beaujolais from Morgon or intense assortment of old vintages of Bordeaux? No. Any other have an equivalent line-up of the Loire’s finest? Hah!
Independent thinkers, owners and wine veterans, Jamie Wolff and David Lillie built their six-year old store around a solid (yet eccentric) portfolio making them the destination for the wine drinker (serious collector or novice) not interested in the obvious. With a bias for honest wines, truly representative of the region they come from, if you’re looking for something like Yellow Tail or seeking new 95 pointer cabernet, please go elsewhere. Better yet, open your mind and take their passionate guidance for something like that lovely organic $12 Fronsac from Peybonhomme that will forever change the way you feel about merlot. Finds like these as well as access to those important or older wines has placed them on the map, not only in New York, but around the country.
Chambers Street Wines
160 Chambers Street
212 227 1434
THE MONDAY ROOM: BEST WINE BAR
What passes as a wine bar in this town can make a white wine turn pink. But, The Monday Room, the better half of Little Italy’s Public restaurant, gives hope that our urban drinking situation is improving dramatically. Monday is not so much urbane wine bar than clubby, wine lounge. In fact, there is no ‘bar,’ per se. Instead, personalized wine service is provided banquette-side, under romantic lighting, by the bushilly mustachioed sommelier, Ruben Sanz Ramiro. Ramiro, who chooses the wines, has a knowledge and passion that is entirely infectious. Like the best of the genre the Monday offers a luxurious sense of choice and flexibility with about 30 choices of wine available in various wine flights, ˝ glass, full glass, ˝ bottle or full bottle. At first blush a $14 half glass for the delicious, animal-ish Levet Cote Rotie might seem uber expensive yet the actual ounce pour, coupled with the giant taste satisfaction makes it seem a bargain. Pair that with winning bite sized tapas (pork belly perhaps?) and delicious cheese from Saxelby’s makes this newcomer a precious rarity. Reservations recommended.
The Monday Room
210 Elizabeth Street
212 343 7911