T+L Reports: New York's Wine Shops
If you like your reds limited-issue and your whites organic, head to New York, where three wine retailers are focusing on small artisanal producers. Restaurant impresario Drew Nieporent stocks a diverse collection of labels at Crush Wine & Spirits (153 E. 57th St.; 212/980-9463). After viewing the auction-grade bottles in the Cube—a 25- by-25-foot room of glass and steel—stop by the tasting bar to sample the week's six featured selections. When • Gregory and David Moore open the New York City branch of their popular Philadelphia-area shop, Moore Brothers Wine Co. (33 E. 20th St.; 866/986-6673; www.moorebros.com), later this month, they'll keep to their trademark philosophy: wine is a perishable agricultural product. So wear a sweater—the store is kept at 56 degrees. • At Le Dû's Wines (600 Washington St.; 212/924-6999; www.leduwines.com), caviste Jean-Luc Le Dû, formerly sommelier at Daniel, houses some rarities—such as a $2,250 1994 L'Ermita Priorat. But his mostly handcrafted stock also includes great bargains, like the earthy 2003 Châteauneuf-du-Pape by Domaine de Monpertuis for $10.
Le Dû's Wines
Traveling the world, sampling wine from small sun-drenched vineyards, looking for that perfect bottle that holds a sense of place.... this is exactly what Jean-Luc Le Du does for his Greenwich Village wine shop, Le Du's Wines. Chef sommelier for ten years at the prestigious Restaurant Daniel in the Upper East Side, Le Du now devotes his time to stocking his temperature-controlled inventory of wines, champagne, spirits, and sake. He has a predilection for the classics such as Bordeaux, Rioja, Piedmont, yet the selections also include unique bottles from little-known, vineyards across the globe, including South America, Australia, and the Middle East.
Moore Brothers Wine Co.
Not the typical wine shop, Moore Brothers, located in the Flatiron District purchases bottles directly from small artisanal winegrowers in France, Italy, and Germany, as well a select few producers in the States. Most of these companys only produce about 6,000 cases a year, and wine is kept at an ideal 56 degrees the entire way – from vineyard to the store. Grape varietals range from chardonnay to sangiovegse to nebbiolo, and roughly 75% of the shop's inventory is priced at $25 or less, making it affordable to sample different vintages.
Crush Wine Company
An undulating, 73-foot-long wall of more than 3,500 wine bottles—displayed horizontally and illuminated from behind—serves as the focal point of this celebrated midtown wine shop. Restaurateur Drew Nieporent (owner of Nobu and Montrachet) runs the store along with developer Josh Guberman and experienced wine collector Robert Schagrin. The wines and spirits are handpicked from across the globe, although most are small-batch bottles from independent producers. High-end, hard-to-find wines are housed in a temperature-controlled glass room called “the cube,” while free tastings are held in an adjacent room, separated from the store by a wall resembling a wine barrel.