Thanks for all the great posts about wine shops that feel the love! We had many very cool-sounding shops reviewed across three continents. Some bloggers even turned it into a road trip if they were dissatisfied with their local options–such dedication! I will tally them all and post a round-up here, probably on Monday. If you haven’t done so, drop me a line about your posting so I can be sure to include it in the round-up. Cheers,
I often write about wine shops in New York City (Crush Wine Co, Big Nose Full Body, and the new Astor — coming soon!). And I even have an interactive map 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.
Attention! One week from today is the
international transnational multinational event known as Wine Blogging Wednesday! Bloggers of food, wine and otherwise from around the world post an entry around a common theme. As the host this month, I have chosen the theme of wine shops that feel the love. So visit a fun wine shop near you, write up the shop in a paragraph or two or three and drop me a line about your post next Wednesday. I’ll do a roundup after the event to provide a handy link back to all posts.
Bonus: while this month’s theme may appeal to wine fans who have never written a wine tasting note (or those who find them a bunch of mumbo jumbo) some die-hard WBW participants may feel incomplete without posting a TN. In that case, sample a good value wine based on the recommendation of the staff and write it up! Cheers,
PS this is the frist WBW where we can actually write about PEOPLE!
PPS if you need a further backgrounder on WBW, click here
PPSS why does spell check on Blogger not recognize the words blog, blogger, or blogging?!?!
Ah, February with its abundant love cliches is soon approaching. But this year we food and wine bloggers will have nothing to do with pink champagne and heart-shaped tubs (at least that we’ll write about). Instead, the theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday #18 is:
wine shops that feel the love!
We all have to buy our wines somewhere and why settle for dreary supermarkets or liquor stores when there are so many great (new) wine shops around the world? The shop that you will write about doesn’t have to be big. Or fancy. But it does have to feel the love for the fruits of the vine with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff, a good selection, periodic free tastings (where legally available) and reasonable pricing. Custom shelf talkers (if any at all), original design, store layout, wine displays, or an informative newsletter are definite plusses.
And for those who absolutely MUST
drink taste wine for WBW, consider it bonus points to write-up a value vino that a member of the shop’s staff recommended.
I’m looking forward to learning about fun new shops endorsed by fellow bloggers that I can check out on my future travels. Wednesday February 1, 2006 is the date for your posting on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, start one! (or I can post the comment of the blogless in my roundup) If you want to post photos to Flickr, tag them WBW and/or WBW18. Thanks to fearless WBW coordinator and founder Lenn–I’m pleased to be able to use the new logo! Cheers,
Dehlinger Octagon Vineyard Pinot Noir 1998
Oops. In my haste, I missed a “new” in the instructions for this WBW and inadvertently posted a simply “new world pinot noir,” an excellent Dehlinger. Jens suggested “new new world pinot noir” that is to say ex-France and ex-west coast US. So my new new WBW wine is:
Mt. Difficulty Pinot Noir 2003 Find this wine
The kiwis are trying to make pinot their red signature grape as they have done with sauvignon blanc for the white. At the Wines of New Zealand trade tasting in New York this spring, I tasted through a lot of examples of kiwi pinot and liked the ones from the Central Otago region the best. Otago markets itself the “southernmost vineyard in the world” and it really is isolated, way down in the South Island.
Mt. Difficulty is a good producer and I have enjoyed at least a couple vintages of their Pinots. If I weren’t having, uh, difficulty in coming up with my notes from the tasting I’d be more specific. Instead you’ll just have to “trust me” (hey better a Pinot than a Supreme Court nominee).