One of the first things that threw me when I moved to New York was the lack of wine in supermarkets. I didn’t miss the typically terrible selection but the complete absence was eerie. It has something to do with state laws, the details of which I won’t bore you with. While this may initially seem like an inconvenience, it’s in fact a blessing. A lack of supermarket wine leads to an array of wonderful independent wine shops.
Brooklyn Wine Exchange is always buzzing with the Cobble Hill community. After a couple of trips you’re acknowledged as a local and within a few weeks you’ve basically made new friends.
Beautifully laid out bottles fill the store. Local New York rosé sits alongside half-bottles of Billecart-Salmon, the finest Burgundy Pinot Noir, a selection of carefully sourced spirits and a hodgepodge table of cheaper bottles for those hurried weekday evenings. If you feel lost, one of the many members of staff will help you out. You’ll probably fall in love with their first offering but don’t be afraid to ask questions: wine shop people love a challenge.
Tastings and classes happen every night and weekend in the Learning Center. If you live nearby, sign up and become a member for first dibs and discounted prices. If you’re just visiting, a Thursday night class on Californian Pinot Noir followed by dinner at one of the restaurants down the road wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Brooklyn Wine Exchange, 138 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Photo: Brooklyn Wine Exchange.