A lot of people think that we wine bloggers get all our wine for free – as samples, at events, or for partnerships. And while I do get quite a few bottles this way, I’ve painstakingly purchased and built the rest of my collection myself. Having lived in the New York City metro area for over five years now, there are a handful of wine shops that really stand out. Read on to discover my favorites.
Flatiron has one of my all time favorite wine selections in NYC. Their French portfolio is highly curated and often rotates out with top notch seasonal picks. I love that their website even has a whole subsection simply for grower Champagne! Yet, the best part about this store is how accommodating, kind, and helpful their staff is. I’ve ordered pick up on a few separate occasions and any time there is an issue with the order (like a missing vintage, bottle condition not great, etc.) they are always willing and able to assist with a smile. They’re located a short walk from my office which means I’m always stopping by after work – another perk!
A true New York City staple since 1946, Astor Wines carries some of my favorite French bottles. They made ripples in the wine world in 2022 when they announced that they would be shifting to a 100% employee-owned company, which I love to see, especially in the hospitality space. Even if I can’t go in to visit Astor in person, their website is by far the best search engine on this list, making wine shopping a total breeze. You can get extremely granular (sorting not just by country and region but appellation too – listed on the search as “sub-region”) – and let’s face it, we wine snobs love that. I appreciate that Astor also writes detailed notes for all of their wines and stars a wine when someone on staff really loves it so you know you’re getting an expert recommendation. Astor is the first place I go to look for a new wine!
If cult French producers make the wines you crave, you won’t be disappointed at Verve. This shop consistently sources some of the highest-quality and most sought-after French wines there are. You may not be able to find too many off-the-beaten path wines here, but the ones you will find – from the best in grand cru Alsace to some of the biggest names in the Loire Valley – will not disappoint. Verve also has a fantastically talented editorial staff and online magazine – and I always look forward to their weekly newsletter!
I lived on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for years, and while I did, Mister Wright was my neighborhood go-to. There is an incredible diversity of wines here at every price point and it’s a great place to stop by if you’re on your way to a BYOB restaurant on the Upper East Side. Don’t forget to go into the sizable refrigerated room at the far back for some incredible selections from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne!
Early on in my journey as French Wine Tutor, a follower of mine recommended I check out Chambers Street Wines for all those hard-to-find wines I wanted to feature on the page. It took me a while to get over there, but I’m so so glad I did! Chambers St. Wine is tiny – but mighty. Its narrow aisles must have thousands of bottles – a true feast for the wine lover’s eyes! There is a major emphasis on my favorite kind of producers here: small, family-owned, and organic or biodynamic. I could spend a whole afternoon browsing here, no question.
SoHo’s Wine Hut was one of the first wine shops I discovered when I moved to New York City. I stumbled into the shop one evening after a long day at the office and was immediately smitten. At the time, it was a tiny hole in the wall storefront next to a great little Mexican spot, but has since expanded to a much larger shop a block down the street (and sadly, the Mexican restaurant closed its doors). What I love about The Wine Hut is that it champions smaller producers and has a massive selection of organic, biodynamic, and natural wines to choose from around the world. Great staff selections! I’ve never walked away disappointed.
Since the owner of Empire State of Wine is French, it should come as no surprise this store ended up on my list. Throughout the years, Empire State of Wine has employed some of the New York City wine world’s best and brightest, and their talent, edge, and passion shows through in their store and online. This store has a great selection of producers from around the world, so whether you’re looking for an old standby like Domaine Huet in the Loire or want to try something new and off-the-beaten path in Beaujolais, you’re sure to find something at ESOW.
CoolVines Jersey City (honorable mention)
While not officially in Manhattan (just across the river with outposts in Downtown Jersey City, Hoboken, and beyond), CoolVines is now my go-to wine shop when I’m looking to support a small business closer to home. As their name might suggest, the selection here is effortlessly cool and includes not only wines but a selection of craft beers, ciders, spirits, and fortified wines, too – plus a snack fridge where you can pick up cheeses, crackers, and other goodies for a cheeseboard. I love browsing this store! It’s dangerous because the selection is so tempting, but I never walk out disappointed.
It goes without saying that, when it comes to wine shops, we are spoiled for choice in New York City. Drop me your favorite ones below in comments!