Harlem Vintage is the wine shop I went to visit for my analysis. They are located on 2235 Frederick Douglass Boulevard on 121st in Harlem, New York. Growing up just south of this neighborhood, I have noticed that many new stores have opened, so there was no surprise to find Harlem Vintage serving the up and coming clientele who now live in the area. This store first opened in 2004 and was featured in the Wall Street Journal as the first wine retail store in Harlem.
Upon entering the store, the first thing I noticed was how small it was. I have been to other shops where they either have two floors or one large first floor. All of Harlem Vintages wines are stacked or lined up along the walls with wood decor. Featuring the wines, are also books to give more insight on grapes and their region. As soon as I entered, I was greeted very warmly by the shop manager, Tania, who showed me around and answered all of my questions. One of the few things that I noticed that separates them from other shops is that instead of categorizing by regions, they do so by grapes. They display wines from champagne, pinot noir, gamay, rose’s and many more. Their prices range from the very cheap $8.99, to the very expensive $400 bottle of champagne. Speaking to Tania, she explained to me that they had carry vintages from 1971 to present years.
Harlem Vintage not only carry top of the line products, but they pride themselves on educating the community and hosting events. On Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s, they host free public wine tastings with cheese pairings. Also many organizations host private wine tasting events for fundraising. As well as the public wine tastings, the owner of the shop, Jai Jai Greenfield, hosts classes every Wednesdays for about two hours and teach people about different wines, grape variety and how they would pair them with food items. Harlem vintage also cater to the wine enthusiasts if they wanted to buy a crate of wine. They call it a Benjamin Basket, where the manager, Tania, puts together 12 wines in a basket for $100. She noted that she prefers to arrange the wines by season. So because we are going into a spring season, she would have more whites than red wines, some rose’s and champagne.
I really enjoyed my time at Harlem Vintage. Tania was a great sport in showing me around and answering my questions. She even also suggested some wines to me after I told her I like rieslings. I would definitely go back to this wine shop and go for the wine tastings.