It was my first time visiting a retail beverage shop. From the given suggested list of stores, I had chosen Ambassador Wine and Spirits located at 1020 2nd Ave. However, when I called them in advance asking if I could arrange a meeting with a manager or any other store employee, the store informed me that they will not be able to assist me during my visit due to the blizzard warning for the city coming on Tuesday, all their employees will be on a very demanding schedule. Even though, I have encountered the same situations with a few other retail shops I decided to visit a store that is not too far away from my house. As a beginner who does not have much experience visiting a liquor store, with my father’s assistance I could visit Slope Cellars which was a family owned retail shop, located at 436 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215.
Upon entering the store, we were welcomed with its friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere. As I kindly explained the reason for me visiting the store, one of the owners who is Stephen Moses was happy to show me around and answer all my questions.
The store was not that huge, the front room was spacious filled with well-stocked shelves of wines from Old World, and a large selection of spirits on the left side of the room. The back room was stacked with boxes marked “cheap & tasty,” with a great selection of wines for under $10 per bottle. All the New World wines was also stacked in the back of the room, in addition to the small section for the kosher wines.
Looking at the shelves, I could tell that Slope Cellars offered more of Old World wines than New World. However, all the wines in the shelves were properly organized by its region and grape variety (red and white).
According to Mr. Stephen Moses, when it comes to the prices, the Slope Cellars carried a wide-range of wines from popular to rare, affordable to wildly expensive. For example, he simple stated that dry red wines, and Prosecco among the sparkling wines are sold fast because they taste good and affordable to everyone. Furthermore, after the section of “cheap and tasty” the store also had a small section of “boxed wines” to those people who are buying for celebrations, party or any other events.
In addition, Mr. Stephen Moses also informed me that the temperature at the store was about 50°- 55°F to keep all the wines in its good quality. When I asked about their best variety of each red and white wines, he kindly explained that it depends on the climate which is not constant and different every season. For instance, summer in each region might be dry, hot, cool or wet and there might also be a frost which will affect the grapes quality. Interesting thing that I heard from Mr. Stephen Moses was that while frost is a disaster for many, sometimes it can be a good thing to produce an ice wine, where it is pressed from grapes that are frozen while still on the vine.
Upon leaving, my father was interested in buying one of their bestselling medium bodied red wines. As the store was getting busy at the time, Mr. Moses introduced me to one of their staffs Winston Caesar, who graduated from CIA, and earned his master at NYU. He was also very knowledgeable and suggested couple of medium bodied red wines from different regions. Among the ones that he listed, my father ended up choosing an Italian red wine Valle dell’Acate 2015, “Il Frappato” for $19.99 with 10% discount.
In conclusion, my experiences visiting a retail beverage shop for the first time was fun, exciting, and very informative. As a student who is studying wine, I am glad to be able to use the knowledge I have gained in the class; as well as being able to recognize, identify and to discuss the selection of wines that they offered in the store by using a proper wine terminology words.
Overall, I am happy with my decision choosing the Slope Cellars and would recommend the store to anyone who are interested in stopping by.