Remember Eataly Vino NYC? Yes, the wine shop that is serving six months in the penalty box for liquor law infractions. Well, the at-grade storefront on the 23rd St. side of Eataly New York has been transformed at least temporarily into…wait for it…a Nutella bar!
Eater reports that, building on the success of a Nutella bar in Eataly Chicago (pictured above; Eater credit), the Italian gastroplex will roll one out in NYC on Monday. The Chicago spot offers Nutella on rustic bread, square pastries and crepes for prices ranging from $2.80 – $5.80 (see menu). Eater says that the line on weekends is 45 minutes long. Nuts!
That might be the case. The New York SLA (State Liquor Authority) has posted to their website a list of items on their March 25 meeting. On the agenda are several items relating to liquor licenses held by Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group, for Eataly, Del Posto and other of their restaurants.
The item for Eataly states two charges: (1.) Read more…
Crain’s New York ran a piece over the weekend pointing to a 14% rise in wine shops in NYC since 2010. Will the proliferation of shops “bottle up profit” they wondered?
The short answer is: no.
There’s a huge thirst for wine in America right now and especially in New York City. The city has some terrific shops and, throwing in the knowledge and offerings at the city’s restaurants and wine bars, it is today the best wine destination on the planet (here’s looking at you, Paris). Sure, the existing 1,368 wine shops can serve the city’s residents and tourists. But a growing market that’s relatively protected (grocery stores can’t sell wine) will probably mean more stores in the coming years.
Today, there are discounters and full-service shops. There are ones focusing in small estate wines and others with lots of well-known brands. There are shops with particular slants such as selling wines made by women, wines from California or Chile, wines from a single importer, shops that sell wine by occasion or food pairing rather than region, or shops that have tastings every day of the week.
Not all of them will succeed. But the more the merrier. While some of the unsuccessful approaches may be reoriented in another four years, I’d venture to say that, barring economic collapse or a shift to allow chains or wine in grocery stores, the number of wine shops will be higher still, by a similar measure as over the last four years.
One thing that could improve the finances of these small shops (chains are not allowed in NY), is if they could also sell craft beer. That happens in Connecticut and levels of social unrest are not higher as a result. In places like Illinois or New Jersey, wine shops can even sell gourmet comestibles, such as cheese. Imagine!
Registration for my fall wine class at NYU is open. It starts on 10/16 and runs six consecutive Wednesdays.
In the class, we survey the wine landscape, discussing they story of wine in several key countries and covering hot-button issues. Each class includes a tasting to highlight points from the discussion. It’s a non-credit course without grades, so you don’t have to worry about failing a wine class appearing on your transcript!
It’s always great to meet site readers in the class–so check it out!
Consolidation strikes the Empire State: The Vintner Group, the Virginia-based distributor, is acquiring Martin Scott Wines, a distributor based in Lake Success, NY.
Founded in 1990 by Martin Gold and Scott Gerber, Martin Scott Wines has grown to have a thick “book,” distributing wines from about 450 wineries, ranging from Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Bonneau du Martray, and Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier in Burgundy to Ponzi Vineyards and Chateau Montelena from the US.
The Vintner Group, formerly known as The Country Vintner, is an importer and wholesaler of fine wine and spirits. CEO David Townsend has led the company on an acquisition spree of late and the company now has operations in nine states in the mid-Atlantic and southeast. They now add New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to that list. According to Shanken Daily News, the company recapitalized in the mid-2000s and now have Brockway Moran as a private equity partner.
What does this mean for the New York City wine market? If you’re in the trade, share your thoughts in the comments. Here’s a link to the press release.
Both UC San Diego and San Diego State announced this week that they are offering craft beer classes–for credit, not in dorm rooms. Much to their credit, the press release actually had a beer pong joke. Then it pointed to the commercial opportunities in the $300 million a year craft beer industry.
On a related note, I’m thrilled to be teaching my first-ever wine class for credit later next month. I know, what if a student gets an F in “Fundamentals of Wine” on their transcript?
The class is offered at the New School in the Continuing Education school. Starting on a Wednesday evening, we will have a three-hour lecture/seminar about some of the macro-historical, economic, political and critical aspects of wine. Then on Thursday, we will head to wineries in Long Island to kick the dirt, talk with winemakers, and sample wines. The next three days will offer tastings at the International Culinary Center. On Sunday evening, we will conclude by meeting in a wine shop to discuss the business of wine and retail.
I haven’t finalized the syllabus yet but each part will count toward the final grade and there will be a final essay/writing project.
As far as I know, this is the first for-credit wine course offered at a university in NYC. Should be a pretty fun two credits.
Fundamentals of Wine NFDS2830
A 5 session(s). Wed. thru Sun., 6:00 PM-9:00 PM, beg. June 26.
Michael Skurnik, Polaner, Winebow, David Bowler, Verity, Wildman, Martin Scott and others are each pouring their fifty best wines at a public tasting to benefit Sandy recovery. So that’s 600 wines–yikes! The $50 entry goes to the Mayor’s fund to advance NYC – Hurricane Sandy relief. May 1 – 6:00 PM
In a surprising setback for selling wine online, the New York State State Liquor Authority ruled yesterday that the sale of wine by third-party “advertisers” violates its code. Some online sales and marketing companies, such as wine clubs and Lot 18, sell or market wine online without a New York retail license, instead rely on a licensee to process or fulfill the orders. Read more…