Thursday, April 12, 2007

Crush on Crush

I paid a visit the other day to Crush, the swanky, super-sophisticated wine shop on E. 57th Street Street, and was reminded how much I like the store, which is only a couple years old.

Crush is designed in such a way as to be quite intimidating at first glance. It's a sleek, modern space, with all the bottles arranged by grape and lined up along the right hand wall in specialized wine racks so that the bottles lie on their sides, labels facing out. A hushed, softly lit tasting room is at the back to the left. And at the rear of the shop is a glassed-in room of Crush's prized and rare stock. It's a cool set-up, and an imposing one.

But if you don't turn and run away in fright, you'll find that Crush is far from the snobbish palace of oenophilia it seems to be. The help is extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. Most clerks are extremely friendly and giving of their time and wisdom. A young man named Trevor, in particular, I have found very approachable.

And then there's their selection. They favor Louis/Dressner and Neal Rosenthal, two importers I admire. Their Riesling, Gruner Veltliner and Chenin Blanc holdings are broad. They stand by small, principled growers. And they keep grapes and ACs you've never heard of in steady stock. Their Jura collection, for instance, is impressive. I've never bought a bad bottle there. And I was pleased to see that almost every bottle that stood out for me at the recent Polaner spring tasting was already there.

Now, if only they'd open a shop in Brooklyn.

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