WBW 18 – Fountainhead Wines

I often write about wine shops in New York City (, , and the new Astor — coming soon!). And I even have an of shops including my favorite places in the city. So I thought I would venture outside the city to see if I could find a “wine shop that feels the love” for this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday.

When we walked into the small Fountainhead Wines in Bedford Hills, NY, about 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan last Saturday, we were the only people. Mike, one of the shop’s owners bounded in behind us and greeted us. [friendly: check!] He had four samples to pour for us–in glasses, not plastic [check!]–all Monastrells (aka Mourvedre) from Spain. [off the beaten path grape: check!]

He gave thorough descriptions of each of the flavor profiles the wines and discussed the overoaking of crianza wines that plagues many Spanish wines. [knowledgeable: check!]

As more people started to drift in, I browsed the shop’s selection of about 300 wines and began pondering the absence of Australian wines. I asked Mike why there were only six Australian wines in the shop and he replied, “Oh I didn’t know there were that many.” The shop is very deep in French wines, followed by California, and a dollop of vino latino (Spain, Chile and Argentina). He said that they used to have more Australian wines a few years ago but that they grew tired of them.

As to the question of shelf-talkers, those annoying little flaps of paper that many wine retailers who don’t feel the love paste everywhere with simple reprints from magazines or–eegad–simply numerical ratings, there was not one in the shop. If you want info on a wine, ask Mike. [BIG check!]

The four entrepreneurs who own the shop have managed to navigate New York’s bizarre laws by owning a wine bar and a restaurant in Norwalk, CT. This gets them some purchasing power, which, sadly is not always passed on to the consumer. [a minus] But the purchasing power has been able to get them some custom cuvees from California and France.

One note of caution for those shoppers with allergies: the shop has an odeur du chat, not pipi du chat mind you, just straight up chat. She must be their mascot or somesuch since their thin-crust pizza place in Norwalk is called FatCat.

Overall, this shop gets a thumbs up. It’s good to know that the love can easily be found in New York–even out of the city!

Fountainhead Wines and Distillations, 19 Depot Plaza, Bedford Hills, NY 10507. 914-244-8973

PS I did try the Casa Castillo Monastrell 2003 $11 (find this wine) and thought it was a yummy bargain, with vibrant dark fruits and a hint of spice.

PPS OK OK We did purchase a white from Quincy too, the Adele Rouze 2004 (find this wine) which was a beautiful expression of Sauvignon–crisp acidity but with a certain suppleness, almost creaminess too.

PPSS Thanks to bloggers around the world for participating in this event! Drop me a line aboout your WBW posting and I will include it in my roundup of blogger-approved shops in a few days.

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2 Responses to “WBW 18 – Fountainhead Wines”

  1. My wife and I have been Fountainhead and Fat Cat fans for about a year now— and while it has been great to learn a lot about wines from these guys ( we mostly go to the Norwalk store – and have talked with Mike there) what has been much better is that we have enjoyed dozens of reasonably priced wines from places off the map which we would never have tried elsewhere. By the glass at sitting the bar at Fat Cat (in Norwalk) and at their pretty-much-weekly Saturday (free) afternoon wine tastings there in Norwalk as well. It’s worth the trip- especially if you go late and stay and have dinner; Salad ( I hate salad but I love it in the context of their cuisine), thin-crust pizza, a chracuterie or cheese (!) plate, and dessert.

    No hype, just flavor. Where else can you taste a wine before you buy a glass- without even asking?

    These guys are straight shooters with big hearts who love what they do and use wine to paint a bigger picture of the world.

    No, I don’t work for them or invest in them- It’s just a pleasure to recommend good wine and good people.

  2. I enjoyed reading your site because the writers often give us well thought out posts about computers and technology. Well written blog post… Awesome Job once again. I plan to add this website to my favorites list. I believe I will subscribe to your feed too. Discovering a 2nd language is awesome…


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