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. 

The VIllage Wine Merchant's Mulled Wine Recipe

One bottle (750ml) of inexpensive, medium to full-bodied red wine; we like "Les Hérétiques" a country red from the south of France, you can also use any basic red from Spain, Portugal, Chile, or Argentina. 

  • 1/4 cup of turbinado or light brown sugar (or white sugar is fine) 
  • Peels from a fresh orange, additional orange slices for serving 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 4 cloves 
  • 2 star anise (optional if you don't have it) 
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Instructions: Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium to low heat, stir to dissolve the sugar and keep the wine at a low simmer for 15 minutes to allow all the flavors to combine. Taste for sweetness, think warm sangria but not quite as sweet. When ready, strain into mugs or rocks glasses , serve warm and garnish with a slice or orange.  

Alternatively, pour the mulled when into a preheated thermos and take it toenjoy at an outdoor event. 

Warm spiced wine (mulled wine) is a traditional prepared beverage favored in many countries during the colder months and at holiday time. It's known by several other names such as Glühwein, Glögg, Vin Chaude, Vin Brulé, and Vinho Quento among others. 

This Wine - Compelling Pinot Noir from the South of France

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Domaine De Clovallon, Pays d'Oc 2016 - $23.99

In my experience great Pinot Noir always comes from passionate farmer/winemakers. In this case Catherine Roque and her daughter Alix have 10 hectares of vines in the hills of the Languedoc about an hour west of Montpellier. Farming biodynamically, they hand harvest and put whole berries and whole clusters in the vat. No intervention, trust nature.The wine ferments on indigenous yeasts and sees 6 months in used barrels with just a tiny dose of sulfur at bottling. 

This is a wild and delicious French styled Pinot Noir. It's lively and nervous, think cranberry, cherry skin, freshly crushed raspberries, balsam sap and lavender. It's also got a "glou glou" factor, you want to drink this one! Give it a slight chill and keep it cool. Clovallon with pair well with white meats, grilled fish, cheeses, and I can tell you it absolutely rocked a fresh garden tomato BLT.

Yes, I'm excited about this one and I hope that you'll try it!

Michael

You Can Learn A Lot From Chablis

If there's one wine that can teach you a lot, it's Chablis.

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  • First, it's Chardonnay, a French grape that's become international and grown in pretty much every wine region in the world.
  • Chablis is almost always unoaked.
  • The main influence on flavor is kimmeridgian soil. This special limestone and chalk soil is loaded with fossilized mollusk shells and imparts the unique character on the wines from Chablis. Tasters might describe it as seashell, mineral, flint, or even wet wool.
  • There's no other Chardonnay (or wine) that tastes like it.

It's understanding the geographical aspect that's the wine education. Although grape variety plays a large part in a wine's expression, all great wines in the world reflect their individual place of origin. This is where the fun is and what truly differentiates wines from each other. It's easy to think of grape variety as identity but this overly simplistic approach contradicts the truth. It's also why most European wines are named by where they come from. You can grow Sangiovese in many places in Italy but you can only make Brunello in Montalcino.

Thinking along these lines, it's important to realize the "Chablis/Sancerre Connection".

  • While Chablis (Chardonnay) is from Burgundy and Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc) is from the Loire, it's only 70 miles between the two villages and the wines share many similarities.
  • Both wines come from similar kimmeridgian soils. While the character of the fruit is different, grapefruit and gooseberry are apparent with the Sauvignon Blanc while Chablis expresses more lime and lemon, the telltale mineral is in the profile of both wines. This is evident in the wine's finish. Get past the primary fruit flavors and wait for the wine to reveal the savory soil notes.
  • Successful pairings at the table are similar. Oysters, clams, white fleshed fishes like flounder, or a salad with goat cheese are excellent with both Chablis and Sancerre.
  • If you like Sancerre, you'll probably enjoy a bottle of Chablis (even if you think that you don't like Chardonnay.)

Perception. In our market Sancerre is branded, people recognize it as a French wine they like while Chablis' name was stained when years ago mass market wines in California used it to attract customers, such as "Almaden Mountain Chablis." This has nothing to do with authentic Chablis, don't fall for the mislabeling.

Try an authentic Chablis. When you taste the difference and recognize that the place determines flavor this will lead to other discoveries which will increase your interest and enjoyment of wine.

 

 

Michael

Introducing The VWM College of Wine Knowledge

You've asked and we're answering. Announcing our new series of wine classes!

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Get real experience tasting and learn all things related to wine. How to taste, what makes wines different, understanding wine terms, how to navigate a restaurant wine list, food and wine pairings, what to serve to your guests at a dinner party. We'll cover all that and more and, of course, we'll taste.

These workshops are fun, unpretentious, informative and suitable for wine enthusiasts of all levels. The series begins with Demystifying Italy and California Cabernet and Boutique Red Blends

Hosted by Michael Amendola, Co-Owner and Wine Director of The Village Wine Merchant. Michael has led hundreds of wine tastings, contributed educational articles and blogs for several wine publications, and has been happily sharing his knowledge and passion for wine with people for more than 15 years. 

 

*Class size is limited. Payment reserves your spot and is non-refundable. If you must cancel your reservation you can receive credit to attend a future class. 

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

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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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