Our 10 Best Wine Shops in NYC (and NJ)

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Some wine shops go crazy with the signage, as with this European vineyard vehicle parked in front of the Seaport's Pasanella & Son. But will it make our top 10?

What does Fork in the Road look for in a wine store? A broad selection of wines, from France, Italy, Spain, and California; smaller selections from such further-flung locales as Oregon, South Africa, Chile, Austria, and Australia; quirky, surprising choices from places like Hungary, Morocco, Canada, and even Mexico; and vintages from the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, and Long Island, making it possible to savor our own terroir; a vigorous $10 and under section, loaded with wines that you might expect to pay twice as much for elsewhere; knowledgeable salespeople who don't try to upsell you, and have as much enthusiasm for cheaper wines as for more expensive ones; easy availability of wine reference materials to examine on the premises; and, finally, a computer system that allows counterpeople to recall the bottles you've glugged in the past.

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Some stores specialize in the wines of a single country, including Tinto Fino in the East Village.

These same principals apply to wine stores that specialize in one or two countries, or even a few regions within those countries. Above all, we desire reasonable prices--and wine store owners should realize that it's easy today to check Internet prices and make comparisons.

We haunt the wines stores daily, looking for good deals and interesting bottles, but we're sure there are places that we've missed. Accordingly, we'll compile a list of your suggestions, and feature it on the last page of this post. So, pour yourself a glass of chardonnay, slouch in your computer chair, and enjoy our list.

Runners-up To Our 10 Best Wine Shops

67 Wines, 179 Columbus Avenue, 212-724-6767; Tinto Fino, 85 First Avenue, 212-254-0850*; Enoteca DiPalo, 200 Grand Street, 212- 226-1033-**; Sparrow Wine & Liquor, 126 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ, 201-659-1500; Greene Grape, 765 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-797-9463; Le Du, 600 Washington Street, 212-924-6999; Appellation Wine & Spirits, 156 Tenth Avenue, 212-741-9474; Casa Oliveira, 98 Seventh Avenue South, 212-929-0760-***

*-Spanish wines exclusively
**-Italian wines exclusively
***-Good collection of Portuguese wines

Next, Numbers 6 through 10


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