With the season comes many a holiday party, which means plenty of opportunities for wassailing and even more for drinking. Showing up to a party empty-handed is a surefire way to garner a “Scrooge” nickname, but with so many liquor stores to choose from, the selection can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know your Sangiovese from your Syrah. To aid in the quest for the perfect hostess gift bottle, here are three region-specific wine shops offering a taste of something different.
For Chilean wines — Puro Chile is the first exclusively Chilean wine store in the whole United States, and stocks over 200 wines from over 50 wineries in the South American country. In addition to wines, the shop sells Chilean food products like afe juices (which comes in flavors like plum and pear), dulce de leche, and olive oil. Handicrafts like carved rauli bowls and Mapuche Llepu woven baskets round out the selection. 221 Centre Street, 212-925-7876
For Italian wines — “Go Big or Go Home” might be Italian culinary emporium Eataly’s motto, but its wine shop, Eataly Vino, takes the same approach, offering 700 different Italian wines from 350 producers, covering every region of Italy. 200 5th Avenue, 212-229-2560
For Spanish wines — The diminutive East Village wine shop Tinto Fino features wines from Spain, including well-known cavas and sherries as well as lesser-known varietals like Mencía and Monastrell. And for post-holiday imbiming, consider signing up for the store’s wine club, available in subscription for three, six, or nine months. 85 First Avenue, 212-254-0850
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 21, 2010