Heights Chateau by Marlie Vilfort

The Heights Chateau is a fine wine and spirits shop. It is located on 123 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn New York. The store is not a large store, although they use up the space they have to their ability. .The Heights Chateau offers a wide variety of wines, from your reds to your whites. They also offer liquor. They use wooden stands to hold the bottles of wine.00000It creates a barrier and allows space for more wines. By dividing the wine like this, they are able to house over one hundred different varieties of wine.The Heights Chateau makes it easy to find the wines you are looking for. They have the whole shop arranged by country/origin then by the location inside the country. This picture shows wines from France. Each wine is then divided by its region. This way I was able to find a wine within seconds.They also carry champagne, of which has its own section in the store.0001 They range from prosecco to Cremant de Bourgogne Rose Brut NV.  As I was talking to the store clerk, she informed me that just about every month they get new types of wines. They discount the oldest ones to make way for the new wines. The newest white wine they had received is La Cala from Stella and Mosca with a vintage of 2014. The wine is said to have a full body taste. The newest red wine to hit the shelf was a Malbec from Trilogie with the vintage of 2015. This wine is said to have flavors of ripe plum, and chocolate. It leaves a graceful mouth feel.

003The photo above shows their kosher wine selection. The kosher wine is made through the same process as regular wines, with the exception that it must be kept away from chametz. In order for the store to carry the kosher wine, they are monitored by an authoritative rabbi . The rabbi checks to make sure the wine is handled and taken care of properly so his people can enjoy it. Ironically, not only Jewish people buy the kosher wines. The clerk informed me that because most kosher wines are made with labrusca, they are often sweet.

01 This is a key that I found on the side of the Syrah wines. Some of the bottles are labeled with each symbol. The symbol stands for if its biodynamic, organic, made in New York, or Washington/Oregon . The Heights Chateau has so much to offer. It has something for everyone and will be my first choice at going to buy wine.

Vintage Harlem

For the retail wine visit, I went to Vintage Harlem, (VHNYCINC.COM, as per their business card, but the site is currently down) a little wine shop located on Restaurant Row in Harlem, now quaintly called “SoHa”, on Fredrick Douglas Blvd. harlem vintageLittle known fact that it was previously Harlem Vintage, and then the location shut down, and when it was reopened by new management, banking on the brand equity that was already in place, they simply renamed it Vintage Harlem. Upon Entering, I immediately liked the store, as it was small enough to not be overwhelming, and the wines where properly organized, with large labels on the walls so that you can tell what regions the wines came from. They carried various wines from the regions of France, Italy, Argentina, Chile, North America (California).

harlem vintage2

There  was also a separate refrigerator labeled Champagne, and a larger array of various liquor brands on display behind the cash register.  Sadly, I was a tiny bit disappointed that they did not carry any German Wines, as I would have purchased immediately if they did. Upon my entrance, I immediately asked the gentleman behind the counter, who’s name was Raphael, if they carried German wines, and in a heavy accent indicating his first language was Spanish, he ran down the list of the regions that they did carry. When I then questioned if they carried any German Wines in case I just didn’t notice the display, he seemed extremely confused about Germany having wines and again ran down the list of regions they did have. I smiled at him, and immediately heard Professor’s voice in my head saying “I study wine”, because a few months ago I didn’t know that Germany made wine either.


Although on this day, a cool and bleak Thursday, there was a sole clerk reading a magazine behind the register with no customers, I have passed this location many times since its re-opening and seen various beautiful clerks engaging in a tasting of some sponsored specialty beverage. I asked the clerk about whether or not they carried boxed wine, as I have never seen it and wanted to know what it looked like. Again he was a little confused, so I continued to browse the store, and the lowest price point I happened to come across was $10, and doing the math in my head, they also carried some champagne brands that I know retail for $75 dollars (the Moet Rosé), which is probably due not only to price point, but also to the fact that although the area has undergone a tremendous gentrification, there is still a large gap in the income levels in the area. Half of the population in the 50 block range is low income housing, and half is high priced $2300 one bedroom apartments, so I take it that they are catering to all median household incomes.


As a person who is extremely big on hospitality, the one thing I would recommend for Vintage Harlem is a more hospitable clerk. As someone who has recently learned about wines, I was hoping to be able to go into the shop and ask the clerk about the California wines that would be the topic of our next class, but was unable to, as it seemed there was a language barrier and a slight disinterest in discussion. Other than that, I absolutely love the layout of the store, as it is extremely user friendly and the huge signs above, and the design of the store comes across very warm and inviting. Honestly, the best part of the visit for me was to be able to walk into the store and without realizing it until I was leaving, be able to apply the knowledge learned in class to the bottles that I looked at, or to be able to articulate why I did not like certain types of wines, or look at vintages and be able to use critical thinking skills to access what level of acidity that the bottle would be at.

DonnaMarie Llewellyn

Grand Wines

I visited a retail wine store called Grand Wine in Astoria. I discovered here the wine grown back home in Montenegro called Vranac that sells for $14.99. The appearance is bright purple and the nose is full of red berries and strawberry jam. On the palette it is crispy, acidic, rich. After aging for a year or two the color is dark ruby and the nose develops a complex aroma that has hints of chocolate, cinnamon, herbs, oak, flowers, and liquorice. It is full bodied, very sharp and has a smooth finish.


Their most expensive/luxurious wines were locked up behind glass as shown in this photo I took. The most expensive sells for $500.00 which is a 2005 Recolte St. Julien Medoc.

2011 Vranac pro corde

2011 Vranac pro corde

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