You have to be 21 to be able to buy wine and liquor any wine and liquor stores that are located all over the city just as you have to be at least 21 to gain access to the many bars and clubs that dot the city’s nightlife landscape. While bars and nightclubs seem to stay open until the wee hours of the morning while conforming of the common perception that New York City is a city that never sleeps, wine stores operate during normal business hours. They do tend to remain open seven days a week, except for major holidays.
New York City is a mature wine market and wines imported from all over world are easily available in the many wine and liquor stores that are found in the city. Moreover these wine stores also sell the highly acclaimed wines from the Californian wine producing regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, as well as other well-regarded wine producing states, New York included.
Wine stores in New York City also retail kosher wines which conform to Judaism’s religious laws, specifically, the Jewish dietary laws. New York City does have a large Jewish population and these kosher wines are used in the celebration of Jewish festivals like Passover and Purim. Apart from all these traditional types of wines, new age wines or ‘green wines’ like organic, natural and biodynamic wines which are being created by boutique wineries all over the world are becoming increasingly popular in New York City.
Wine in New York City is subject to state taxes but it is quite easy to get a reasonably good bottle of wine for approximately $10 at one of the many wine stores that are located in the city. Most New York City restaurants also offer wine on their menus and wines served at restaurants can be consumed by the glass in addition to by the bottle. Some upscale restaurants are even equipped with wine sommeliers who can ably guide you in your choice of wines.
Specialized wine stores abound in New York City.
Sherry-Lehmann Wine and Spirits (http://www.sherry-lehmann.com/)
This well established and well known upscale wine store offers a vast variety of wines that are sourced from all the traditional major wine producing countries of the world like France, Spain, Australia, Portugal, and South Africa. The store has exclusive contracts with winemakers and also offers wines from newer wine producing regions like Argentina. Sherry Lehman offers online, catalog and in-store shopping and it also offers gift basket services. Outstanding customer service is another hall mark of this store which also sells other spirits and liquors along with wines.
Astor Wines & Spirits (http://www.astorwines.com/Default.aspx?c=1)
This cavernous wine store offers a huge variety of wines at every possible price point. The store also offers free wine tastings and ‘meet the winemaker seminars’ which are conducted at the store. The store is manned by knowledgeable staffs that are on hand to help you make your choice. The store offers free delivery in New York City for orders over $150.
Italian Wine Merchants (http://www.iwmstore.com/)
This store which is located on the Upper East Side in Manhattan offers a selection of high-end Italian wines. The store also has a tasting room and a room for private parties.
California Wine Merchants (http://cawinemerchants.com/)
This wine store which is located in the heart of New York’s financial district offers a large variety of wines from California which are available at various different price points. These range from wines produced by small independent wineries to those that are produced by more famous names.
Best Cellars (http://www.bestcellars.com)
Best Cellars, which has two locations in New York City on the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, is a great place to shop for every day wines as it offers a large selection of great wines which are priced under $15. Moreover, these well laid and easy to navigate stores are manned by a knowledgeable staff who are always on hand to help you make your choice.