Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Coldest Wine Store in New York

I stumbled upon the Moore Brothers Wine Shop on E. 20th Street yesterday. It's been there for a year, but I never noticed it. (It's a small storefront and looks vaguely corporate from the outside.)

This is a wine store with a lot of differences. One is immediately clear: it's damn cold inside. About 56 degrees. The brothers are very big on keeping their wines at the same temperature from the time they're shipped to the time they reached the store. No need for them to shoot up to 70 degrees upon hitting the shelf, they say.

Knowing there are lots of neurotic New Yorkers who will fear catching a bug by staying in such a store for five minutes, there's a coat rack at the entrance hung with five or sick fleece jackets. And knowing there are lots of wine loves who have to cart kids around, they have a little play area equipped with toys, books and crayons.

The shop concentrates on France, Germany and Italy mostly. Very little California or other New World locales. One drawback about the place is they deal with only one importer: Fleet Street. Apparently, the owner of the Fleet Street is an old pal of the brothers.

Still, there are a lot of good wines to find. I lucked out on the daily tasting. They were pouring a 1990 Vouvray from Prince Poniatowski. The Prince is best known for owning the Clos Baudoin plot. They have that wine in stock, but weren't pouring it. The featured wine was his Aigle Blanc, a mix of grapes grown elsewhere. But, hey, it was a 1990, and had aged beautifully, with plenty of character, and a good balance between the acidity and residual sugar. There's nothing like an old Chenin Blanc. And they're selling it for $25 a bottle! They've got lots. Go get it.

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