Looking for something new to drink this season? In the Five Towns there are a few liquor stores with owners and employees who are eager to help you find the type of wine that’s right for you this summer.
Located at 208 Franklin Place in Woodmere, Peninsula Wines has been owned by James Cari for nearly 30 years. Cari had worked at the store for nine years before buying it with another employee. They were in the Peninsula Shopping Center for nine years before moving to the current location, where they’ve been for the past 18.
Through his experience Cari has become a bit of an expert in wine. “You read, you learn, you taste, you listen to other people’s opinions and it comes natural, like anything the more time you put into it the more you learn,” he said.
Cari recommends a lighter wine for the summer. “You don’t want some of the heavy dry wines because of the heat, light fruity wines go well with barbeques,” he said.
He recommends pinot noirs that can be chilled and served with fruits, New Zealand sauvignon blancs that he says are quite refreshing and that “over the last few years the rosés have gotten very popular.”
Cari also suggests trying different types of wine to find your favorite. “The key is drink what you like, the rules have really gone out the window,” he said. “You don’t have to spend one hundred dollars for a good bottle today, because wine’s made all over the world and there’s quality at every price level.”
Chateau De Vin
The completely kosher Chateau De Vin is located at 544 Central Ave. in the heart of Cedarhurst’s business district.
Open for 26 years, Moshe Fink has owned it for the last 16. He said he bought Chateau De Vin because, “I just love wine, I was looking for something to do and the opportunity came about.”
Fink says that he first got into wine by drinking it weekly for Shabbat so he made certain that everything in his store is kosher. “It’s very unique to the community as we have a very large Orthodox [Jewish] community.” He said.
As for something to drink this summer Fink said, “Rosé is the hottest thing in the hot summer, every year we get more and more rosés because the market is exploding.”
He also recommends them to beginners. “Rosés happen to be a good wine to start with because they’re very light wines that are easy-drinking, you drink them chilled so they’re actually a good entry for someone looking to get into wines,” Fink said.
Moscato or prosecco champagne are his recommended alternatives to rosé this summer. To sample the available varieties attend the tastings Chateau De Vin hosts every Friday between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Liquor & Wine Warehouse
Liquor & Wine Warehouse has sold liquor and wine at wholesale prices for the past decade at 343 Rockaway Turnpike in Lawrence.
Bob Merenstein has been a co-owner of the store for six of the 10 years, as part of what he called semi-retirement. His partner and friend for 20 years, Mitch Steinberg, had worked in the healthcare industry and was in a similar situation.
“I reinvented myself, I worked on Wall Street for about 25 years, I was looking for something new to do,” he said. “I enjoy wine, I enjoy spirits and I was looking for the next step in my life.”
Merenstein was on board with what Fink and Cari said about the most popular summer wine. “Rosé season is definitely here, rosé has been very, very hot right now,” Merenstein said. “The summer is psychologically more of a white wine and rosé season.”
To learn more about wine, he said ask. “If you don’t know much about wine ask questions, there’s no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid answers,” Merenstein said. He added that everyone’s palate is different, but, “We try to do our best to guide people towards good wines, quality wines.”
He is also developing an app (unnamed as of press time) that would allow customers to scan bottles to learn more about them, find drink recipes and receive emails about deals. Merenstein expects it to be operating within the next couple weeks.
They also host tasting events. The schedule is available at liquor- winewarehouse.com/events.php.