We know what it’s like to not be able to leave the house when you finally make it home after a long day at work. We also know what it’s like to buy so much wine that you cannot carry it home yourself. Never fear: we deliver! Our standard delivery hours and area can be found below. For information on deliveries outside of these paramaters, including to Manhattan, please call the store.
Monday – Thursday: 5-9:30
Vine Wine is pleased to announce the first ever* Pet-Nat Week. While we all love Riesling, we believe that there is enough room in summer to celebrate more than one wine. For six days, we’ll share our love of petillant naturel through a series of tastings and events.
Pet-Nat is a nickname for petillant naturel, a method of producing sparkling wine by bottling the wine during the the primary, alcoholic fermentation to capture the carbon dioxide that is naturally released. This differs from wines like Champagne that undergo a second, bubble-producing fermentation. Pet-Nats are made using only the sugar of the grapes and native yeasts, making them a pure reflection of their regions and varieties. But, most important for us, they just taste great, varying from dry and cider-y to happy, alcoholic raspberry soda.
To celebrate this summery bubbly, Vine Wine is hosting a week of complimentary in-store tastings highlighting a range of Pet-Nats.
Monday, June 25, 6-9pm
David Bowler Wine
Tuesday, June 26, 6-9pm
Jenny and Francois Selections
Wednesday, June 27, 6-9pm
Savio Soares Selections
Thursday, June 28, 6-9pm
Friday, June 29, 6-9pm
T. Edward Wines
Saturday, June 30, 3-6pm
Vine Wine will say goodbye to this glorious week with a day drinking party featuring products from the Meat Hook and bubbles from the French region of Bugey.
* Well, we’re pretty sure, but this is not a verified statement.
I read this article today on Slate and was moved to anger. I love cheap wine, especially if it is delicious and doesn’t provoke a mind numbing hangover, as much as the next person and my owning a wine store doesn’t change this fact. Even with the entire store to choose from there are days when all I want is an easy drinking red that won’t challenge me but will be truly enjoyable. I wish I could stock my store with hundreds of wines for less than $10 but as it turns out this is only possible if you are willing to sell mass produced wines. I too am disgusted by the salesperson who steers you towards a $30 bottle when a $10 bottle of Cabernet would suffice, and I am still slightly intimidated by the salesperson who suggests three wines that are all in the $20 plus price range when I really just want a glass of wine not an education. But I refuse to fill my store with wines based on price alone.
Wine is an agricultural product and just like carrots, milk, or meat it costs money to grow grapes, especially if you are interested in growing your grapes organically or even sustainably. To paraphrase Michael Pollan; if you are concerned about the environment, or the workers health, or your own, you should be drinking wine made by winemakers not corporations. When you see a $4 bottle of wine at Trader Joe’s or Costco, think about it for a minute. Is it really possible to grow grapes, ferment them, bottle them – often in glass bottles with corks – ship them to various parts of the world, and then have them retail for $4? Yes, if you are spraying your vines with chemicals, yes if you are underpaying your vineyard workers, and yes if you are unconcerned about the end product and only concerned about your bottom line. Wine is a luxury item, as much as I hate to remind you of that fact, and as such I think you should be interested in buying the best possible luxury item. We buy organic cotton t-shirts, organic chocolate bars, locally grown apples and meat with a verifiable chain of production, not to mention Heritage Turkeys and glass baby bottles, so why should you buy crap mass produced wine? So, yes you are often shown bottles of wine that are almost $15 when you are shopping at Vine, and yes I don’t blame you if you cannot stomach spending more than $8 per bottle , if I am invited to your house for dinner I will in no way judge you. Instead I will either bring my own wine to share with you, or abstain from drinking any of yours.
I’m beginning to believe that it will take me 40 years — at least — to truly learn wine, and since I’ve only been drinking wine seriously for about 20 years, I have some time left, and some serious work to do. The good thing about owning a wine store, though, is that part of my job is learning.
It may sound odd, but I know very little about wine. I’ve never referred to myself as a “somm”; I’m still not convinced that a $40 Chablis is better than a $14 Aligote; I love to drink a chilled bottle of zinfandel and as an apertif (and I remember when it used to be called red zinfandel, back when white zinfandel was still popular).
The truth is that I opened a wine store because I was a frustrated new parent that wanted so badly to buy a bottle of wine that I enjoyed drinking. I knew enough about wine to know there was something better out there than the Rosemont Shiraz being sold at the store on my corner. And whatever that something better was, I wanted it.
True to form, I decided to learn on the job — I opened a wine store in Long Island City on a dark and mostly desolate stretch of Jackson Avenue that I was convinced would one day be a great boulevard (it still hasn’t quite made it). So you can only imagine my fear/irritation/surprise when an older man in spandex shorts and clip-on bike shoes came in one evening and began a barrage of questions about the inventory, who I was and what I was doing. I felt simultaneously put on the spot and ready to call the cops until he finally admitted that he was a wine importer and that he wanted to sell me some wine. A perfect, sweaty, uncomfortable introduction to Joe Dressner. (Not that Joe sold the wine — luckily he had young showered sales reps to do that.)
Apparently I was on Joe’s route from work to home and he biked past the neon blinking VINE sign (thank you to Sean Krainik of redandwhitewines.com for pushing me to get it) enough times to want to check me out. For a while, Joe took to stopping in and chatting on his way home for a few minutes and he did in fact drag in one of his sales reps. And he didn’t care how unlikely it was that I would ever sell more than a case of his Rucche. His book is full of quirky wines that are often very difficult to sell. But the reason you buy his wines is that you like them because they’re full of life. It’s like the difference between eggs from a farmer’s market and eggs at C Town. Joe liked what I was doing. And I knew I’d met a kindred spirit who cared more about your expression as you tasted a wine than what you said about it.
I could tell myriad of other Joe stories, including the time when I showed up at a Louis/Dressner tasting with my then-4-year-old (who had been bribed with a My Little Pony castle to come with me). I had forgotten to RSVP and was very nearly turned away because I didn’t have a business card, until Joe swooped in and, with his most welcoming side, showed me in and right to a bottle of red that he liked — and that I liked too. (Meanwhile, my daughter played happily in the corner of the room for the next hour while I power tasted.) Months later, Joe and I had a very public accidental-on-purpose falling out and I stopped carrying his wines for years. When I moved the store to Brooklyn, however, I called him. We talked about the ridiculousness of it all and his much-missed wines made their way back into Vine.
What makes me saddest when I think about Joe’s passing is that he knew everything about wine, but more importantly he loved wine. And in a weird way, there are moments when I taste a Dressner wine and I get the feeling that I’m understanding it — and loving it — in the same way that Joe tasted and understood and loved wine. It’s not because of vast knowledge or experience — it’s because the wine is delicious in the glass. You can ascribe any of the words that people love — natural, biodynamic, etc. — to why those wines are so good; the real reason is that they are damn good to drink. Joe, wherever you ended up, I hope the wine is delicious and inspiring. Thank you for believing in me and my tiny shop in LIC.
1. Hire an attorney and receive a stack of documents that need to be filled out and a list of documents you need to amass. Do so and then wait. After a few months of waiting, call and discover that said attorney forgot to file the paperwork. Start all over again. Do so, then wait some more, then call to ask after the license and wait some more. Repeat.
2. While you are waiting, design the new store in your head, then on paper (or cocktail napkins), with friends. Feel good about the design. Get to work. Then invite more friends to see your work and based on their input, begin redesigning everything. (Luckily you have plenty time! See Step 1.) Make new chandeliers, take the tasting table apart and have one custom built. Order 1000 pounds of steel shelving and beg friends to come over and help move it around. Hope that they don’t offer more design input.
3. Call attorney and get a wait-and-see answer, press him, and receive an email in which he pushes the SLA to hurry its ass up and get to your application.
4. Put shelves together, start painting them. Grub Street will want to come take pictures. Pray that the photographer coming is smart and talented and willing to photograph only the small portions of the store that are ready and not photograph the rest of the store, which is in shambles. (Still 10 days until opening, right?) Discover said photographer is a magician because the photos look like you’re done and just hanging around waiting for the rest of the wine to arrive (instead of tearing your hair out).
5. Get the call that you are on the SLA hearing schedule. Schlep up to 125th Street and watch as another wine store owner-to-be has his application rejected. Contemplate crying or showing the board pictures of your daughter, the one who won’t be able to eat if the store doesn’t open soon. If you’re lucky, the board will like your attorney and approve the application with a congratulations and a We know you are going to do a great job in your new location. Repress desire to scream with joy. Ask for expedience in the issuing of the license — the days of getting a temporary on the spot are no more.
6. Back at the store, make sure that you choose a very toxic paint that is impossible to deal with. Hire anybody you can to help you paint. Place orders with all the companies you hope to be getting wine from.
7. Discover on Monday that your attorney is not in his office, so no license. Tuesday, then, is out of the question. Hold out for Wednesday! But receive no good news on Wednesday. Get attorney to push the SLA to issue the license due to economic hardship. Receive the call on Thursday at noon: The license is here, come get it. Let the crazy begin. Learn that Verizon doesn’t like Williamsburg, so your phone line won’t really work, but somehow you jerry-rig the situation and simultaneously try to fax the license copy and resale certificates to at least 12 different wine companies within the one hour you have before their order boards close for the day. Manage somehow to order 249 cases of wine to be delivered and put away the next morning, opening day.
8. Friday is here! Spend some time obsessing about finding the right flowers for the window display, get to the store to find half the wine there, all of which needs to be entered into the POS system, tagged, and put away. Feel overwhelmed. Enlist your neighbor to put away wine for hours while her daughter happily watches Yo Gabba Gabba on the iPad. You are open now! Customers arrive, gingerly treading on broken-down boxes and finding wine they like. Then discover that your credit card line still doesn’t work, your voicemail — which you are locked out of for some reason — says you will be opening in a few weeks, so use the phone line for credit cards and hope that everyone who calls will psychically intuit that the message is old. (This will totally happen.) Find out that the new sleek keyboard you ordered is incompatible with your scanner so everything has to be manually entered.
9. Wake up Saturday and be amazed at how busy you were on Friday, and then buckle in for an even busier Saturday. The out-of-the-gate running type of busy. Look around and see all of the wines that need tags and what needs to be restocked or taken downstairs, ignore this, and sell to the best of your ability. Find a way to be kind to the person who dropped their gum in your newly planted planter box and cannot stop shouting “Did you know Malbec came from France” and “Who knew Malbec came from France?” Resist urge to say “We knew.” Lock the door at 11:30 and hope that the next day will be more calm.
10. Now the fun starts in earnest. Order spirits. Talk to the many great new customers. Resist the urge to cry when yet another lovely person tells you how happy they are to have you here, how beautiful the store is, how great your wine selection is. The salespeople start coming to call, like zombies pulled from their graves in hunt of fresh blood. The good ones are polite and will email you their information in advance. The old-school ones will want you to buy 20 cases of mass-produced cheap Italian wine because that, of course, is what people want and at $4 a bottle, how can you say no? Reply that $4 bottles of wine are wonderful but only if they come from winemakers instead of corporations. Receive blank stares. Go home and cry, because your desk is not set up and you need to file a million pieces of paper and set up your media marketing better, tweet more, write more blog posts, finish the spreadsheets, hire at least 2 more people and also run your very well-received and busy wine store.
Postscript: I love it, but wow, I would marry my housecleaner if she’d have me.
Thank you to all of Williamsburg, and especially to our old favorite customers who have come out to see us. We are almost there!
We here at Vine are so excited to unveil our new digs. After months of painting, scraping, shelf assembling, and nail biting, we are officially open for business noon tomorrow, FRIDAY, APRIL 8!
To celebrate our opening day tomorrow, Shane from Jenny & Francois will be pouring some natural wines from 5-9pm. And on Saturday, April 9, Rob from T. Edward Wines will be pouring some special selections from 4-8pm.
We know those photos on Grub Street piqued your interest. Come by and see us in person! We can’t wait to meet you.
Dear friends and loyal customers,
After many wonderful years here in Long Island City, we are excited to let you know that Vine Wine is expanding and moving locations. Sunday, February 27, will be our last day in the neighborhood. Vine Wine will take over the former Brooklyn Kitchen space (616 Lorimer Street, at Skillman Avenue) in Williamsburg, and will be opening later this spring.
Please note that your gift certificates and frequent buyer cards will still be valid for use as soon as we open our doors.
We sincerely thank you for your support and patronage and hope to see you at our new location soon.
Now that it’s February, we are in the thick of NYC Winter. And really what a Winter it has been so far. I think most of us are suffering from a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Now I’m no doctor, but I can tell you from personal experience, that drinking a delicious bottle of wine (in moderation) can really brighten my mood. This Wednesday’s wine tasting we’ll be cracking some happy, crowd pleasing, mood lifting kind of wines. Included in the mix, will be a slightly fizzy white, a spicy red, and the old time favorite: Rioja Vega. Get out of your house, it’s good for you!
* Cantaluna, Carmenere
* Rioja Vega
* Casal Mendes, Vinho Verde
White wine is not just for the Summer. We promise. Sometimes rich Wintery foods actually call for a refreshing white wine to pair with them, and lift up their heaviness. This Wednesday’s wine tasting will conquer just that. We’ll taste 3 bottles of refreshing whites, from Spain, Germany, and Austria. Stop in from 5:30 – 8:30pm.
* Perelada, Blanc Pescador
* Summerer, Gruner Veltliner
* Mosel St., Riesling
For this Wednesday’s wine tasting we are going to open some classic bottles of wine. Included will be a Bordeaux, a Cotes du Rhone, and a Chianti. These reds are all great representations of 3 tradition styles of wine. Also, they are all reasonably priced under $15.
* Poggio Romita, Chianti
* Chateau La Grange de Grenet, Bordeaux
* Notre Dame de Cousignac, Cotes du Rhone
Monday - Thursday: 12-10
Friday - Saturday: 12-11
Join our mailing list
Wednesday, June 19, 6-9pm: French Wines from Selection Massale
Wednesday, June 26, 6-9pm: Txakoli with Andre Tamers of De Maison Selections
Friday, June 28, 6-9pm: Spirits from Domaine Select
- No public Twitter messages.
June 2013 M T W T F S S « Dec 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30