Boutique wine stores are popping up in unexpected nabes. Momofuku wine director Theresa Paopao helps us size up these quirky spots.
Mon Oct 24 2011
Photograph: Noah Devereaux
Alphabet City Wine Co.
Loisaida: Alphabet City Wine Co.
100 Ave C between 6th and 7th Sts (212-505-9463)
This Avenue C wine store, handsomely appointed with an Oriental rug and four brown leather chairs, beckons hipsters to the hinterlands of the East Village with an affordable collection of lesser-known bottles and free Friday and Saturday night tastings, set to the soundtrack of a vintage stereo. Paopao beelines for the "awesome half-bottle selection in the bathtub." "Half bottles are hard to find," she says, eyeing the antique white tub filled with selections like Florian Mollet Sancerre Roc De L'abbaye 2010 ($12). "A lot of people live alone and can't crush a whole bottle, so it's cool that they offer something if you just want a glass or two." She also points out a La Kiuva Arnad Montjovet 2009 ($20)—a juicy, light red made by a small organic cooperative in the overlooked Italian region Valle d'Aosta—which she serves at Momofuku Ssm Bar, and a Weingut Carl Ehrhard Rdesheimer Berg Rottland Riesling Spatlese Trocken 2008 ($22.50). "Most people say they don't like rieslings [because they think they're too] sweet," Paopao notes. "This is richer in style, it's fuller in body, and it's totally dry—it doesn't have any of that residual sugar."
NEXT: Vinyl Wine