Tannat red wine from Uruguay, a region I did not know makes wine
Sparkling wine from Tasmania, Australia. Not only did I just recently learned that Australia makes wine, but that they make sparkling also!
Sparkling from Italy
Red (Garnacha and Carinena) from Priorat, Spain
Shelf talkers includes everything from name of wine, region, grape, tasting, and pairings
Located in Long Island City, Hunters Point wine and spirits is the perfect mix of the friendly neighborhood liquor store and a knowledgable wine provider.
Walking into the store, you are greeted by the two sales person on the left, where the checkout counter is located. All the liquor is located behind the register, whereas everything else is completely wine. The first room where you first enter has a few selection from different regions presents on the shelf. A small tunnel leads to the room in the back, which is domed and gives off a nice medieval cellar vibe. There is a sink and a station for sampling located in the back also. All of the wine on the shelves are incased in their own wooden section for each bottle, preventing other bottles from being mixed behind one another on top of the clean, organized wooden interior design. Each of the regions are labeled with a gold plaque on the very top of the shelf, and majority of the wine consists of its own “shelf-talker.”
The shop is very orientated towards serving the customer base of the surrounding neighborhood. Marko, one of the sales associate, answered any questions that I presented, and was extremely knowledgable about the wine and the process behind it’s vinification. Unable to make a trip to a wine shop without bringing home some wine, I asked Marko to suggest both a red and white with specific qualities such as a low acidic, floral white and a low tannins medium bodied red. He was able to suggest many different bottles according to my requests, but also narrow things down with contributions based on his experience. Marko was also even able to recommend certain wine due to the way it was made, such as a red that the grapes were let out to sun dry, creating more densely packed flavors and aromas. When it came to finally deciding which white, he ultimately pushed a certain bottle that one of his regular’s daughter constantly buys because of her dislike towards acidity. It just so happens that the regular was also present in the store, checking out at the counter, in which one of the bottles was the very same one he was recommending. When checking out, Marko requested if I would like to leave my name to create an account, this way my purchase history is on file if I would ever need to pull up a purchase that I would like to repeat. One can definitely tell that Marko not only knew his wine, but also the clients that comes into the shop.
Hunters Point Wine and liquor shop as a whole has many strong points. The store is welcoming, organized nicely and appealing to the eye and the senses. They offer a nice variety where one can explore the different wines available and have some tastings to help with the decision making process. Many of the selection are different from the generic ones offered at some other local wine shops (i.e. yellowtail, barefoot, etc…), which is great for any drinkers who are open to explore new options or want to be surprised. Almost half of the wine comes with a shelf talker, which helps non-experienced and even experienced wine drinkers on what to expect within the bottle. Wines are categorized based on region, and offered in all sorts of price ranges. The only thing that could be improved on would be the organization between the red and the whites. Usually being one of the first categories a guest uses to refine the type of wine they would like to purchase, having to look at all the bottles to locate either a red or white wine amongst regions does take some time and can cause people to miss some bottles from the constant eye scanning. Having reds with the reds and whites with the whites within a region helps a big deal. Although understandable that it could take some rearranging with change in inventory, it should be taken into consideration. Overall, the wine shop was a pleasant experience and makes me wish I lived in the area so I can constantly visit the shop to bring home a new bottle to explore every so often.