Someone I don’t know said once that sex is like wine, and in that line of thought, 7th Avenue in Park Slope is like the ‘Dam’s Red Light District. There are at least four wine shops within a twenty block radius, not even counting 5th Avenue. I suppose the rather comfortable living standard of the area makes for a lucrative steady supply of customers in the mid to high end market. Of course, you’ve still got my people; the $10 wine club -who occasionally spike to $15 if there happens to be a scotch tasting between walking in the store and the picking of the bottle.
Slope Cellars, my current go-to, is located on 7th between 14th and 15th streets. Clearly a labor of love, Slope Cellars is what it is: a welcoming, warm place with a metric sh*# ton of carefully palate-picked booze.
In the front, you will find a really great selection in all price ranges, in particular from the Burgundy/Rhone Valley region in France. But keep walking towards the back of the store and you will find the treasure trove which is the “Cheap & Tasty” section. In these boxes lie some very interesting finds for the wino. Prices span from $6.99 to $9.99 and believe me, it’s all game. Funnily, I learned from one of the owners that the Smith & Vine people are friends of theirs and adopted the 10$ and under section, which I think we can all agree is a top idea.
Of course, like any wine shop there are some duds here and there, like one particular bottle of Cahors red we tried, but you know what, nothing is fun without the occasional letdown. Wine is not an exact science, and neither is pleasure. Most of the whites in the cheap and tasty are stocked in the adjacent fridge but occasionally you may have to put in an ice bucket when you get home if drinking soon. American wines are also in the back, and again there are some very sweet looking picks.
Did I mention they have a club card that gets you a 13th bottle for 1$? I’m on my second card. So take a walk there, bring your English Bulldog and have a chat with the staff. They are super nice and will fix you right up.
436 7th Avenue (14th and 15th Streets)
Monday-Thursday: 11am – 10pm,
Friday, Saturday 11am – 11pm,
Sunday 12pm – 9pm
- Friendly, knowledgeable staff
- Carefully handpicked selection, also lots of liquor
- Cheap and Tasty section is large and changes frequently
- Great opening hours
- They have a “buy 12 get one for a buck” card!!
- Frequent tastings
- Great website
- No in-store wine chiller
- You might find it a bit out of the way if you don’t live in South/Central Slope
You Can’t Go Wrong With: Jean Perrier et Fils. Apremont -Vin de Savoie , 2005, $12.99 (white, Savoie wine made from the Jacquère grape). You can tell I’ve been really into the light, crisp and tasty whites perfect for the summer heat, and this is one that will do that and the ol’ winter raclette night. I know it’s outside the acclaimed Cheap & Tasty section, but having spent some time in this region of France, I truly recommend it.