No matter where you go, what town you’re in, or even what country, some things just stay the same. There’s the corner coffee shop, and once you step inside, you don’t feel so far away anymore. There’s a local book seller. A convenience store. And there’s always a liquor store. [Maybe that’s why Starbuck’s does so well. It’s the same, dry routine no matter which one you’re in; people probably feel safe without having to squint at an unfamiliar menu.]
At wine stores across the nation, you’ll see bottles you recognize, and things you don’t. You just gotta go with the flow. Like the wine store Carey went to in France. There was a station to fill up your plastic wine jug from a rubber hose. Sanitary? Top-of-the-line? Who cares!
The shop owner might ask you if you need any help, but you can find things just fine on your own, so you say, “That’s ok, I’m just looking.” They’ll have some of your favorite things, but chances are they’re missing a few. Where those holes are, there are bottles with labels you don’t recognize that you try to store away in your memory. Variety is the spice of life, and wine stores all have little footprints of their own.
Like Columbus Wines and Spirits on the Upper West Side. They have a truly phenomenal selection—incredible wines. It’s busy, small, and navigable, its shelves stocked with incredible Napa Cabs.
We left the wine store with a couple bottles, made a brief stop to rouse a very confused and sleeping Gardner, and filled a few solo cups with something big and bright, reflecting the warm weather. We walked down to Riverside Park to enjoy the new sights and smells of Spring, celebrate the longer days, and feel small next to the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument. Wine has the ability to stamp moments in time, just as old friends do, so this was an extra special hour.
What better way to explore a new neighborhood than with your friends, your eyes and ears, and your taste buds.