Village Wine Merchant

World Class Wine at Neighborhood Prices

The Village Wine Merchant offers a carefully curated collection of wine and spirits at all price points that can be hand-selected to fit your taste and budget. Located in Sea Cliff, Long Island, we offer help with food pairings, events, wine education classes and custom gift baskets. 

This Wine - Two Whites for the End of Summer

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1. Buglioni "Il Disperato" Bianco Delle Venezie 2015 - $17.99

It's a "non-Soave Soave." Same grape, Garganega, and from the same general area near Verona in northern Italy as Soave but something else is going on here. The wine's not that clean, in a great way, and it's not typical for the grape or the region. There's rich pear, there's mint, a little funk, very aromatic. 

2. Manoir De La Firetière Chardonnay, Val De Loire 2016 - $13.99 

This is from just east of Nantes in the far west Loire Valley of France. It's Chardonnay from Muscadet Country, and the region shines through. There's no oak here. I find stone fruits, firm white peach, nectarine, and mineral in the finish. It's light and slightly exotic as it opens up (but only if it thinks you're paying attention.) You think that you know Chardonnay? Try this.

Both wines offer great interest and expression. At the table think sushi, lighter seafood, pasta with clams, chicken Caesar salad, scallops in a light cream sauce with fresh tarragon.

It's Time To Change Your Thinking About Champagne

I love Champagne. In truth, this wasn't always the case. Early in my experience Champagne felt like a yeasty, fizzy beverage, lean and slightly sour. Of course I knew that I was supposed to love it, after all Champagne was billed as the height of luxury. As I got to taste more wines my palate grew and I grew to respect and like Champagne, but the love wasn't there yet.

That all changed about 15 years ago when I started tasting some Champagnes that were very "wine like." These acted very much like wines rather than the sour, sparkling stuff that was my previous frame of reference. They had identifiable fruit and non-fruit flavors and were expressive with incredible complexity. Bottles from different producers had unique profiles and they were excellent at the table.

What I was tasting back then is what we now refer to as "Grower Champagne." Instead of wines made by large companies who had purchased grapes these were wines made by the same people who farmed the vineyards and kept the grapes for their own production. Making Champagne is a costly and time consuming process. The specialized equipment and methods had always been the purview of the big Champagne brands. Now this was changing and it was a major revolution in France. Think of getting access to fresh tomatoes from a local farmer's garden.

This changed everything for me. These are the wines made me a Champagne lover and they are what we proudly offer at VWM. Is Champagne expensive? Let's get a little perspective. These are not cheap wines and they're not for everyday. Most bottles are in the $50-$60 range, very special wines and worth it. If you think about it that's not so bad, about the same price of a decent bottle at a restaurant. Instead of going out for sushi, get it to go and pair it with one of these beauties!

- Michael

This Wine - Chateau Greysac

THIS WINE

Chateau Greysac, Medoc 2012

Greysac is a property in the most northern part of Bordeaux, above the commune of St-Estèphe with a history going back to the 1700's. The property is currently comprised of a 60 hectare vineyard (148 acres) on clay and limestone soils.

The 2012 vintage is a blend of 65% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot and was awarded "Cru Bourgeois" status, a mark of quality that has to be earned each year. At $22.99 this wine represents tremendous value.

The expression is very "Bordeaux" with soft dark plum, cedar, and earth. Some tasters get a whiff of espresso and I can see that. The fruit and earthy flavors are integrated very well. At 5 years of age the wine is in excellent drinking shape. If you are one of the "no merlot" clan you are missing out on a beautiful, balanced wine.

This wine goes very well with classic meat dishes, beef, lamb, pork, and roast chicken both grilled and braised in a sauce. It's also one of my favorite wines with a well executed cheeseburger. Being a self-confessed foodie I recommend grass fed chuck with a 20% fat content, sautée in a cast iron skillet to medium rare to get the full experience.

I hope that you try one.

- Michael

Muscadet: A Tale of Two French Wines

Muscadet (móose-ka-day), the dry white from the Loire, is not highly regarded in France. It's known as a dry, crisp white without much seriousness or character and acceptable as basic mouth rinse for a plate of shellfish at a bistro in Paris or from a local seafood restaurant on the Atlantic coast. A lot of this is true as there is no shortage of mediocre, industrially produced Muscadet out there.

There's a secret however, and it's

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