Monday, January 8, 2007

A Veritable Vino Smorgasbord

Remember the feeling of walking into a Toys R’ Us for the very first time and seeing that new GI Joe action figure you wanted so badly? Well I experienced something like that this past weekend. No, I didn’t go to the toy store for an action figure…my experience was much more grand and relevant to this blog. This weekend was the first time I walked into the Wine Library, a wine specialty store located at 586 Morris Avenue in Springfield, NJ. It was like something out of a movie: I walk in and all of the sudden I hear almost heavenly music – harps, violins, chanting, the whole bit.

Now, those of you who’ve never been will tell me to get a grip, but those of you lucky enough to have walked through those doors, will understand exactly what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about your run of the mill wine shop. I’m talking about a wine Mecca, the aisles of which seemingly never end. Rows and rows of wines, and stacks and stacks of even more wine. Everything from Alberino to Zinfindel; $5 bottles to $5,000 bottles. The place was amazing.

The inventory was truly impressive (even intimidating). But fear not young oenephiles, the service in this store is just as impressive as the inventory. They weren’t right on top of you, don’t snicker at your silly questions, and generally are knowledgeable of the inventory in the store. The guy who helped me presented me with an Argentine Malbec that he highly recommended. The best part was, he saw the bottle of Malbec I had in my hand and offered a cheaper alternative that he deemed was just as good. The same guy also helped me find Riesling.

I think I know enough about wine to navigate a store with a large selection, but it’s always helpful to hear from the people who do it every day. I had ordered several times from Wine Library’s website (, but I will now make a point of going to this amazing Mecca of wine at least once a month. I would also like to point out that I am not an employee of the store, nor affiliated with it in any way. If you spend any amount of time blogging or surfing the web for wine info, you may be familiar with the name Gary Vaynerchuk, the direction of operation at Wine Library, who also produces, a series of video wine tastings and wine commentary.

In fact, I was so impressed with the store that I got to thinking…wouldn’t it be cool to take a poll and see what you folks thought was the best wine shop in every NJ county? Stay tuned, because I’m working on putting together that poll (likely a 3 month poll), and will post when it’s ready for your feedback.

Until next time, remember to swirl, sniff and swig. Cheers.


CSH said...

Congrats and good luck. As an avid wine drinker myself (my wife and I put a bottle or 2 away every weekend and have started to bring wine instead of beer to parties)I will be interested in hearing about and trying new wines. Currently we have tried over 240 different wines (we have 10 wine journals with the labels of most and a summary)and an extensive collection of corks. It is a shame they will be replaced with either the screw on cap, which the aussies are perfecting or the rubber crap that constantly gets stuck on my "Rabbit".

To be the first, I would like to recommend a new wine we just recently tried that, while cheap, bites but has a nice clean finish. It is made from 4 different varietals of red. It is called Voga Quattro. Their website is a bit cheesy but the wine was good and the bottle was different. Check it out if you can.

MyManMisterC said...

Welcome back from the dead gents.

Something you guys should check out, Amanti Vino in Montclair has a wine club - $95 a month. Along with various in store specials, one of their perks is they will deliver a bottle of wine for you at any Montclair restaurant that you are eating at. Even pair wines with their menu.

Look forward to reading more.

The Doormatt