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Sommelier Than Thou

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Purists might scoff at DISCOVERY WINES (10 Avenue A, 212-674-7833)—it’s too clean, too bright, too well-organized, they’d grumble. Give them a dusty cellar or a labeling system based on soil alkalinity anytime. But for oenophiles who just want a little guidance as to which white to serve at a dinner party or which red will get them to third base, this Avenue A newcomer has a solution that doesn’t require years of gurgling and spitting: Ask their computer. Grab a bottle—likely to cost less than $20—and hold it under the oscillating laser of a scanner. Up pop the vitals: year, origin, taste, vintage, and what it goes well with. On-staff wine experts complement the database with wisdom that’ll impress even cave curmudgeons. After a few glasses during one of the daily wine tastings you might work up the courage to pay almost $400 for a special bottle of, say, 2001 Château Beaucastel Hommage Jacques Perrin, which certainly doesn’t go well with chicken.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 22, 2005

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