At The Winery with Eric White in Harlem

 

One of the first things you notice entering The Winery at 257 West 116th Street, is how clean and well organized it is, and how welcoming and comfortable you feel once you’re inside the store.  I see beautiful bottles of wine glistening under warm lampshade lighting.  Not a speck of dust or fingerprints anywhere!  There’s a nice design element as well with each shelf containing a featured bottle next to bottles stacked, some in the shape of a pyramid. Note cards provide information about the wines, such as the region, vineyard, type of grape, and wine paring suggestions.  On this day The Winery was hosting a wine tasting featuring French Boudreaux wines from the South West region of France with Geraldine, a distributor/importer who has an excellent portfolio where The Winery purchase some of their wines.  I arrived early and had a chance to tour the busy shop with Eric White, the head Sommelier and store manager while he answered questions from customers who were buying wine for the Thanksgiving + Christmas holiday season…

AUDIO: Eric shares his philosophy behind The Winery and the importance of choosing wines for your customers, not for the masses like “volume pushers”.

Eric explained the layout of wine bottles throughout the store and how they’re strategically placed by country, region, and climate where the grapes are grown, which
play a part in educating their customers about wine. They buy their wines from some of the finest New York importers and wineries that offer them good prices! Price being a
deal maker or breaker with the Winery because they want to share their discounts with customers to allow them an opportunity to try out new wines on the market and try some
expensive wines at a lower price.

The wine steward’s approach to wine tasting…

“Start with your dryer wines then move into your sweeter wines. The sweater the wine
becomes, the more your pallet becomes enhanced with some of the residual sugar which
makes it difficult to taste the dry wine with the sweet in your mouth. Start with white
wines then move to your red wines and sample wines with subtle and more delicate tones
then move to wines that are denser, heavier and more aromatic”.

Below are some of the Boudreaux varieties I enjoyed sipping. My favorite wine is the
2007 Chateau Vari Monbazillac.  A sweet, white desert wine containing, 85%, Semillon,
10% Sauvignon Blanc, and 5% Muscadelle.

The Winery will be hosting more in store wine tasting events through Christmas and the
New Year!  For more information about the Winery, call 212-222-4866 or visit them online @
http://store.thewineryonline.com/

French Bordeaux wines featured at The Winery:
2007 Château Vari Monbazillac
Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
Retail: $16.10
Product Description:
Grapes: 85% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, and 5% Muscadelle
Region: France> Bergerac> Monbazillac
Notes: Baby Sauternes.
2011 Château Capbern-Gasqueton
Retail: $25.60
Product description
Rich, aromatic, full-body red
Grape: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.
Region: France> Bordeaux> Saint-Esteph.
Notes: Aged in oak barrel.
Chateau Grange-Neuve 2011 Pomerol Grand Vin
Retail: $28.45
Grapes: 99% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: France> Bordeaux> Pomerol
Grapes: 99% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: France> Bordeaux> Pomerol
Notes: Formerly Ch Bourgneuf established in 19th century. 35 year old vines.

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