Ahhh Italy. The wine, the food, the wine. Living in NYC has its perks, including the proximity to great wine shops and wine experiences. Italian Wine Merchants in Union Square is one of those places. It’s not an every Saturday sort of place but best reserved for a special occasion or to treat yourself by indulging in fine Italian wine.
For my 30th birthday, my boyfriend treated me to an afternoon tasting of the three B’s Barbaresco, Barolo, and of course Brunello. The total cost of the afternoon was about $150, not for the faint of heart but well worth it for a special day and a great education on the fine wines of Italy.
While the afternoon centered around tasting these delicious wines, it was just as educational as it was fun. We sat next to two young men who worked at the restaurant Les Halles (Anthony Bourdain is an alum). The tasting was lead by an IWM sommelier and focused on the 2004 and 2005 vintages. There are plates of cheese, crackers, bread, and fruit that the sommelier suggests you should taste while sipping of the wine. The 30 seat tasting room is intimate and assures any questions you have for the sommelier, or other IWM staff, receives special attention.
The afternoon focused on about 12 wines and I can’t say there was even one that I didn’t like. All were smooth and velvety with little to no acidic after taste. My one complaint was after tasting many delicious and flavorful wines, I lost the giddiness I had with the first taste.
Italian Wine Merchants is located on 16th Street between Park Ave South & Irving Place in NYC. Check out their website for upcoming tastings and events http://www.