Recently, hubby and I took a quick weekend jaunt to the big city to take care of family obligations. It was HOT. New York City, garbage smell hot. Upper nineties, where the little squiggle lines come of of the pavement and your mandatory iced coffee is losing ice rapidly, condensation water dripping to your elbow. Many former New Yorkers are reading this, and starting to feel that homesick twinge. We all must be insane to love the place!
Headed to visit friends, we made our way to the newly revitalized area now referred to as SoHa (South Harlem, or as husband kept repeatedly, and loudly, announcing over his friend, FORMERLY SPANISH HARLEM! Lifetime New Yorkers also do not enjoy change of neighborhood names). The area is enjoying quite a renaissance at the moment, and there has been so much development! Coffee shops, sushi restaurants with outdoor cafe tables, and boutiques line the sidewalk. We felt quite melty walking down 116th St…and then, I saw it, through the heat squiggles….The Winery. (Follow the link here: The Winery : We sell the wines that we like to drink..)
The Winery is a small, boutique wine store, with a focus on artisanal producers and vineyards. Their staff is very knowledgable about the wines and spirits they carry, and my questions were met with a very friendly and informed attitude. We were welcomed, asked if we needed any direction, and it was brought to my attention that there would be a free tasting later that evening (every Friday, from 6-8). The interior was simple, elegant, and air conditioned. Bottles were easily displayed, and my first hunt was for Finger Lakes wines on shelves. Riesling, Riesling, Riesling…?!? Dr. Frank was represented….by the 2010 Rkatsiteli? WOW! Lakewood Vineyards 2012 Vignoles? Reeeaaaally!! Ravines 2012 Pinot Rose, excitably AVAILABLE!! Owner Nobu Otsu is a certified member of the American Sommelier Society, as well as belongs to the WSET. (Learn more about his journey here: Q&A with Nobu Otsu, Owner of The Winery | MORNINGSIDER.) His knowledge has created an oasis in Harlem, and the shop is a beautiful representation of hand crafted, lower to moderately priced, every day drinking wines. Beautiful shop, friendly staff, and a fantastic selection of local wines. Finger Lakes producers, take note…this Harlem wine shop should carry your best products! Check out the shop when in the area, or peruse their extensive website…visit SoHa!