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THANKSGIVING RECO: For those who want to drink what we're drinking #1

Wendy.jpgStaff picks from Wendy

From her first cookbook at the age of five,
Wendy Crispell's been a culinary wizard. Her Certified Specialist of Wine status from the Society of Wine Educators pairs perfectly with those Master/Professional Certificates from the Artisanal Cheese Center in Manhattan. Wendy’s tasting events have been featured in Time Out NY, Tasting Table, Edible Manhattan, Best Events Magazine, NY Daily News, NY Post and Wine Spectator Online.

And this holiday season, she’s moonlighting with us!

Here’s her take on Turkey Day pairings

Karlsson’s Gold Vodka (Sweden):
I’m usually more of a whiskey girl, but… one sip of this vodka, made in small batches from a blend of golden new potatoes in Sweden changed my perception of clear spirits. Karlsson’s actually has a creamy texture and a hint of baked potato, it’s perfect for a stellar bloody Mary or in my favorite old school winter warmer, the bull shot. After Thanksgiving cocktails, fill your thermos with the leftovers for blustery holidays! Bull shot- 2 oz. Karlssons, 3 oz. warm beef broth, dash dry sherry, cracked pepper to taste, orange twist. Price: $34.99

Weingut Kunstler Riesling Estate Dry 2013 (Rheingau, Germany): The Künstler’s is a family wine estate dating back to 1648! With roots in the Czech Republic and Hungary, today they’re found in Hochheim, a town in Germany’s Rheingau. Gunter Künstler currently runs the family estate, crafting a range of amazingly different Rieslings – each with a distinct flavor profile owing to soil variation and micro climate. This trocken or drier style of Riesling has a subdued nose but bursting on the palate with a kaleidoscope of apricot, peach and orange blossom notes. Its crunchy acidity makes it a perfect starter for any evening! German Riesling is my first love in the world of wine, one sip of this will give you an insight into my lifelong obsession. Price: $24.99

Domaine Ludovic Bonnardot Maranges Sur le Bois 2012 (Burgundy, France): This is my go-to Pinot Noir from the Cote de Beaune, a fabulous value in the under $30 range. Ludovic Bonnardot started experimenting with natural winemaking as a teenager. He found he could drink a bit more using the strictly natural approach without any regrets the next morning. Considering this wine’s value, I think he’s done us all a great service! Flavors of bright cherry, forest floor and a tinge of rose petal make this the perfect wine to sip or savor. It pairs wonderfully with soft, stinky Camembert, cured meats and roast chicken… or turkey! Price: $26.99

To benefit further from Wendy’s holiday pairings or join in her tasting events, you can always follow her blog. To purchase her picks, head to our WINES page and search on STAFF PICKS.


THANKSGIVING RECO: For those who want to drink what we're drinking #2


At Thanksgiving, it really doesn’t matter what you drink as long as what you drink is light enough and refreshing enough that you want to drink more of it.

In that tradition, we’ve done some drinking, uh, thinking for you.

Here’s what Janna, our shop’s manager,
is pairing on Turkey Day 

Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese 2013: From aromatic blossoms to the slated finish of Oberhauser Brucke terroir, every note in this spatlese (late harvest) is classic, cool climate perfection. A casing of stone and mineral erupts into poached quince and juicy granny smith with hints of unripe nectarine. A cleansing finish leaves white peach skins and mildly savory herbs behind in perfect balance – a true cornucopia! Yes, you could drink it anytime between now and 2035. But opt for now and your guests could show their gratitude for at least that long! Donnhoff’s bountiful 200-year history in the Nahe graces Thanksgiving starters with naturally nurtured vines and grapes pressed within 3 hours of harvest to yield a wine of laser-focused clarity. Pair with all from light hors d’oeuvres or spiced nuts to sweetbread-stuffed mushrooms with ginger-jalepeno preserves, just sayin’. Guaranteed to start your celebration on a note of thanks! Price: $55.99

Forlorn Hope "Ost-Intrigen" St. Laurent 2013: Few wines pair better with your locally-raised, organically-fed, free range turkey than this whole cluster fermented, unfined, unfiltered gem from Napa producer Matthiew Rorick. A touch leaner, more serious than a zweigelt and a darn sight more sophisticated than many of its Austrian brethren, this medium-bodied wine fills your glass with aromatics and the soul with joy! It's juicy enough to cozy up to stuffing and balanced with a volcanic earth (Ricci Vineyard) and lingering, dark berried fruits to pair wonderfully with turkey, mushroomed gravy and the discerning judgment of your sister-in-law! (Oh, yes, decant while the turkey is basting.) Price: $32.99

Storchi Reggiano Rosso Pozzoferrato 2012: I tend to skip (or sip) dessert in favor of fromage. So, for those who add a European twist to the American table, this sparkling Italian red with a hint of jammy sweetness is a great cheese course find – particularly with hearty washed rinds or triple crèmes! A dusty, playful palate is softened by gorgeous “Metodo Martinotti” (2nd bottle-fermented) bubbles and lush, abundantly ripe ancellotta. That grape is the secret weapon at Storchi’s low yield vineyard in the Enza Valley microclimate. It bursts with ripe red fruit, berry notes and deep black plum to set this earthy frizzante apart from others – It will pair with easy hor d’oeurves, too, but with chocolate truffles or a cheese course, this completes your feast with a smile. Price: $23.99

Janna notes she's also giving thanks for the amazing patrons of our nearly seven-year experiment in wine, community and maximal use of minimal square footage. She wants us to share that she’s toasting you and yours this season!

To purchase her poetic picks, head to our WINES page and search on STAFF PICKS.


THANKSGIVING RECO: For those who want to drink what we're drinking #3

danielle3.jpgAlright, time for a quick review of our only Thanksgiving Rule (repeat after me):


That said, we know just because it’s easy for us doesn't mean you might not appreciate a few suggestions on how to be cool while observing this rule. Here’s how to delight yourself and impress your guests this season with enough time left to toast your own blessings and enjoy.


Staff Picks from Danielle

Here are a couple wines that complement turkey, but won’t be overwhelmed by the plethora of side dishes served at a traditional Thanksgiving meal. For white, I tend to prefer a nuttier style with a bit of body, since the best part of the Turkey is the fatty, dark meat, while for red wines I favor ones with nice acidity and fruit that don’t overpower white meat, but also compliment things like stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Maison B. Perraud Saint-Veran 2012: The perfect white to on a cold Autumn day: this is rich, round and lush but without the buttery, vanilla notes left by oak treatment. Expect cashew brittle and a poignant minerality followed by a long finish. Great on days two and three. Price: $26.99

Heger Baden Pinot Noir 2012:
This pinot noir was made to guzzle. It’s bursting with black cherries and strawberries on the nose, with lots of juicy fruit and little hint of cinnamon on the palate. In its liter format, it’s a great solution to larger, thirstier crowds at your table! Pairs well with turkey, yams, and even port-stewed cranberries!

Price: $19.99

Vinakoper Sparkling Refosko "Rex" NV: Made from refosco with just a touch of merlot, this is dry with lots of dark fruit and a tongue-tickling fizz. It’s great alone or with your first course. Domaine des Deux Arcs Coteaux du Layon 2012
After dinner, with your pecan and pumpkin pie, opt for a slightly-sweet chenin blanc with lovely minerality and floral notes. This is also delicious by itself in lieu of dessert! Finally, remember, don’t overthink it. Wine is fun! Get something fun that you like to drink and the food will align itself, even if every dish doesn’t pair perfectly.
Price: $13.99

To purchase Danielle’s perfect pairings, head to our WINES page and search on STAFF PICKS. To track her picks across the seasons, follow her @DemurringSomm


THANKSGIVING RECO: For those who need a second opinion

La Clarine Farm Jambalaia Rouge 2013 (Magnum)
(Sierra Foothills, California)

LCF Magnums.jpgI know, we know. We’re always going on about La Clarine Farm. How Hank and his wife Caro make these wines on their small farm located in the Sierra Foothills of California. How the vines share the land with goats and chickens and Hank works with as little intervention as possible, in the vineyard and the winery. How these are wines that taste of where they’re from – and are simply delicious.  And very well priced. And on and on an on.

I could tell you about this bottle of Jambalai Rouge. How it’s a juicy, happy, spicy party for your mouth. How it’s the perfect thing for Thanksgiving because it won’t fill you up or overshadow your fancy turkey or clash with your side dishes.

I could tell you all this (and I just did.) But don’t take my word for it. Get a second opinion. Eric Asimov and the New York Times crew deemed the 2014 one of their favorite red wine of their annual Thanksgiving wine panel.

And even better – we have magnums! Big bottles for the big dinner. The more the merrier – it applies to wine as well!

Price: $42.99 (double-size bottle, double the fun)


THANKSGIVING RECO: For Those Who Aren’t Afraid of a Good Cliché

Yes, everyone suggests Nouveau as a great Thanksgiving wine. It’s a pairing that doesn’t verge on cliché…it is a cliché. But hey, it works. And despite it being extremely unfashionable among the wine geek crowd, I still love it, stock it, and drink it. Yes, nouveau is a cliché…but it’s also a bit of a tradition. So get over your cool kid self and drink some.

We have three on hand… choose your cliché wisely! Or don't chose - grab our 3-Pack Sampler and get the all! Read on.





nouveau.jpgDespite what you may think or have been told, all Nouveau does not suck. There is such a thing as "serious" nouveau. And we have three examples on hand. Two are Beaujolais Nouveau - one is actually a New York Nouveau... our first ever!!! (and yes, that warrants excessive use of exclamation points.)

What's so serious about these nouveaux, you ask? (Or maybe you don't... but we'll tell you anyway.) No/very low sulfur added, no added yeast, no enzymes, bananas or bubble gum - nothing of the stuff that some nouveau guys use to rush their wines to the bottle.

But just because it's “serious” doesn’t mean you’re supposed to take it seriously. You’re supposed to drink it. Lots of it. As if you had just wrapped up the rigorous labours of a successful, bountiful harvest. (Or at least finished your latest Excel spreadsheet.)

And this 3-Pack will help you do that. I tend to think only mean people won't let themselves be swayed by the charms of a nice bottle of Nouveau. So come get your happy on and grab one!

Pack includes:

L. et R. Dufaitre Beaujolais Village Nouveau 2014
Maison PUR La Boutanche Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2014
Keuka Lake Vineyards Leon Millot New York (!) Nouveau 2014

Price: $48 (save 10% off the individual bottle prices)


For Those Who Aren’t Afraid of a Good Cliché: Nouveau #1

keuka lake nouveau.jpgKeuka Lake Vineyards Leon Millot Nouveau 2014
(Finger Lakes, New York):

New York Nouveau! Our first ever!!!! (And yes, it does warrant the excessive use of exclamation points.) This is exactly what Nouveau is meant to be – a celebration of the local harvest. This is the first of its kind (at least that we know of) in New York, so we called in a straight-from-the-barrel sample, tried it, loved it, and ordered up a bunch. It’s made from Leon Millot grape (no, we had never heard of it either.) It has a long history in the Finger Lakes where cool weather demands hardy grapes like this one, a crossing between Goldriesling and Millardet et Grasset (nope, hadn’t heard of those either.) But you don’t need to know about the grapes to know this is a tasty, fun bottle of grapey-goodness. It’s fresh, fruity, purple-y, a little spicy – all around yummy – farm-to-table in a bottle.

Price: $17.99



THANKSGIVING RECO: For Those Who Aren’t Afraid of a Good Cliché: Nouveau #2

La Boutanche PUR.jpgLa Boutanche Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2014 (France):

This has always been the nouveau to beat for sheer fun and juicy deliciousness. From Cyril Alonzo of Maison PUR, brought to us by Cory and Guilhaume from Selection Massale, this year’s various ups the fun factor with an extra-large liter bottle. And yes, the turkey on the bottle is a fun touch (you’ll have to provide your own ‘Yo Gobble Gobble’ – or ask us to – we’re quick with the Sharpies.) But the liquid, as always, is seriously good - darker, a touch more concentrated, silky and fresh with a hint of spice.

Price: $18.99


THANKSGIVING RECO: For Those Who Aren’t Afraid of a Good Cliché: Nouveau #3

dufaitr.jpgL. et R. Dufaitre Beaujolais-Village Nouveau 2014 (France):

With vineyards are mainly in the village of Brouilly, the wines of Laurence and Remi Dufaitre (including this Nouveau) are light, red-fruity and very very pretty. Think fresh, just on the cusp-of-ripeness strawberry juice. But with an earthy kick that makes this more than just your basic bojo novo.

Price: $16.99


THANKSGIVING RECO: For those who want a little Turkey with their turkey

turkey turkey turkey.jpgSearching for the perfect crowd pleasing wine that will go with most everything on your Thanksgiving table? How about a little Turkey with your turkey: Kocabag Okuzgozu.

It's from the region of Cappadocia, one of the most exotic vineyard sites on the planet. Bursting with fresh dark ripe berry flavors, it has a palate cleansing acidity and a chalky minerality that makes it a pleasing partner to everything from your holiday bird to a sweet potato casserole. Sure you could play it safe with a gamay or pinot noir, but, this would be sure to add some buzz  (or... gobble?) to your holiday table.

'Okuzgozo' literally means bull's eye, referencing the enormous round shape of the grapes. This unusual wine is fermented in limestone tanks carved into the walls of the Kocabag Winery (that's one of them in the picture), an ancient method that the winery still uses today.

Get your gobble on and grab a bottle.

Price: $17.99


THANKSGIVING RECO: For those who can't make a decision

mystery - 4 multi.jpgDo you want white? Or red? Traditional? Or something a little unusual? No idea what your hosts like? No idea what your mother likes? Don't sweat it.... pick up a MYSTERY BOTTLE or two.

Give us a $20 (that includes tax) and we’ll give you a bottle of something you’re probably not expecting. It’s sort of like Las Vegas in a bag – sometimes you’ll wine a little, sometimes you’ll lose a little – and sometimes you’ll hit the jackpot! On average, you’ll get more than you paid for.

Each bottle includes a brief tasting not so you’ll know what you’re about to open. We’ll also let you know the bottle’s original price – so you’ll know just how well you fared in our version of wine roulette. 

And feel free to go nuts and pick up multiples – we have a secret code to avoid repeat bottles.

Price: $18.37 ($20 including tax)

Specificy RED or WHITE in the comments box at check out. Or BOOZE... we know have mystery BOOZE bottles!

THANKSGIVING RECO: For those who would rather drink beer

zago.jpgCa dei Zago Prosecco Fondo NV (Valdobbiadene, Italy):

No we can’t sell beer. So this isn’t exactly beer. But it is our “sort of beer-like” substitute. It’s actually prosecco, but unlike your typical prosecco, it’s not made in a pressurized tank. Instead, it’s fermented in the bottle, ‘col fondo’ (with sediment), the old-school, pre-tank method.It’s bone dry, very refreshing, slightly cloudy, more foamy than full-blown bubbly and tastes a little like…. beer.

Price: $21.99



wendy wine cheese.jpgIt’s finally autumn here in NYC. And not the crisp, sweater-weather, football-throwing autumn that makes you happy. Not, it’s cold, rainy, dark-before-the-time-change autumn. At least today. Which makes it the perfect day to share a post from Wendy Crispell, our resident cheese/wine pairing expert who has started to join us for a few shifts behind the counter. Click through to her Sassy Sips blog and learn more about one of our favorite happy-making grapes, gamay, and how to fix it up with her recipe for French onion soup. Sunshine-in-a-glass gamay + a rich, cheesy soup sweetened up with caramelized onions? We’ll brave the rain for this pairing any day.

If you’re getting hungry just reading this, consider joining Wendy for one of her upcoming Saturday Classic Harbor Lines wine/cheese cruises. The focus is on perfect pairings for holiday entertaining. She’ll teach you how to craft a beautiful platter featuring small boutique producers. Many of the wines are available through us – and the cheeses… oh, the cheeses…. listen to Wendy talk about cheese for a bit and you may find yourself wanting to run off and join a cheese cave!

You can buy tickets here. Use the code Frankly’ at check out and get a 10% discount.



perraud morgon.jpgSo you checked out Wendy’s post on the goodness that is gamay and soup and now you’re hungry and thirsty. Grab a bottle of one of our favorites.

Maison B. Perraud Morgon 2013 (Morgon, Beaujolais, France): 

Isabelle and Bruno Perraud make this Morgon and I love it. I'm one of a handful of shops lucky enough to carry it, so if you want some, you’ll either need to visit the Perrauds in France, or visit me. (French winemakers may be charming, but I’m much more convenient!)  It’s one of those wines that shows best with a slight chill and can go for days without losing its tastiness.  Bright red fruits backed a touch of minerality and texture. It manages to be a touch silky and crunchy all at once. (‘Crunchy??’  Yes, crunchy. Think of that snap of freshness when you bite into an apple. That’s crunchy. And it’s a very good thing.) 

Pick one up one to try. And then come back from more!

Price: $28.99



The Well Edited Wine Club

$45.92 monthly (that’s $50 with sales tax)
Bonus: 10% off any 6 bottles; 15% off 12 bottles

Top 5 Reasons to join:

delivery truck - left.jpg1.) Your book club needs more interesting wine
2.) Discover wines you never knew you needed
3.) You want to learn? You need to drink!
4.) Fermented fruit of the month!
5.) You get thirsty. Your friends get thirsty.

What? You need more reasons? It’s $50 bucks a month, including sales tax, for two to four bottles selected by us.

Good stuff.
Fun stuff.
Stuff we really like… and hope you like too.

Do you really need any more reasons? (If you do, read our extra long explanation here.)

Details, details, details:
FREE in-store pick up and delivery below Canal  Street.
Elsewhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn: $10 a month. Beyond that: $15 a month.
Shipping fees will not appear in shopping cart. They will be added manually.

Subscription members billed monthly.
3 and 6-month pre-paid options also available (and are a great gift idea.)


Liquid Sunshine Suggestion: Folk Machine Valdiguie

Folk Machine Valdiduie 2013 
(Redwood Valley, California):

folk machine.jpgLooks like a jewel in the glass. Tastes like liquid sunshine. And that bright pink label? This is a wine that could make the Grinch smile. If you're keeping track of the various Valdiguies we’ve stocked (and we know there are a few of you) this one has more concentration than the “elephant label one" from Matthew Rorick And it’s got a touch more juicy fruit earth than the Broc one. And for those not keeping track, trust us – this wine is sheer pleasure: juicy, berry fruitiness with a touch of earth to keep it interesting and a zippy structure to keep it lively. Grab yourself a bottle. But grab it quickly – it's always a favorite and there's not much of it.)

Price: $23.99


IT'S SO PRETTY! (and also pretty delicious)

tricot.jpgLovely label.
Lovely wine.
Made by a lovely couple.

After early oenophilic training in Beaujolais and time with Morgon natural wines legend Marcel LaPierre, Vincent Tricot met and married Marie and the two went chasing pre-phylloxera vines, settling in Auvergene.. the new hotbed of non-interventionist wine-making. You can taste the result of their 12 years of discovery in terroir, technique, talent and cellaring in each bottle.

Wait… non-interventionist wine-making? Natural wine? We won’t go into too much detail, but these are wines made with as little mucking around as possible. No added enzymes, flavored yeasts, wood chips, Megapurple, etc. etc. etc. Wines that are made as wine… not as “product.”  (Intrigued? Terrified? Subscribe to Alice Feiring’s newsletter and learn more.)

Anyway, back to the wine at hand:

Vincent Tricot "Les Petites Fleurs" NV (Loire Valley, France): $22.99 

The fruit is bursting with juicy, classic gamay notes - red cherry, a touch of black cherry skins and the slightest boysenberry lacing the glass. That bonanza is augmented by an undercurrent of soft, soft tannins and distance hillside brambles that hint at Tricot's care given to "letting the terroir speak through the vine." Great as summer barbecue drinking or savored as an evening's focus.




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