Chelsea Wine Vault, in New York’s City’s Chelsea Market, is our pIck for New York’s top wine store experience. Tucked within the popular local and tourist market near the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Wine Vault offers a melange of options when it comes to selecting the best wines from around the world. Whether your budget is $100 per bottle or $12, you will find something intriguing. We recently stopped-by and selected six red varieties to sample – an Italian Nebbiolo, an Italian Rosso di Montalcino, a French Cahors, a French Pinot Noir, an Italian Barolo and a French Cotes-du-Rhone. Each one of them was unique, complex and very drinkable, especially the Italian Rosso di Montalcino.
Any shopper can rely on help from one of the on-site sommeliers, and request delivery within Manhattan or shipping elsewhere. The store even offers storage. The overall experience here is calm, dignified and fun. And, for those interested in spirits – the shop offers those as well.
We spoke with the store’s web manager, Mirna, who answered a few burning questions we had.
IC: What is Chelsea Wine Vault’s philosophy when selecting wines to sell in the store?
CW: Our head buyer, Julio Hernandez, has been in the industry for over 20 years and has worked with many famous chefs, including Chef Emeril Lagasse from Emeril Live in New Orleans, and many more. He has been featured in Wine Spectator and other credible wine publications. He brings great knowledge and industry expertise to Chelsea Wine Vault.
Chelsea Wine Vault, our twenty year young store & storage, prides itself on having a well-curated selection of wines in every category possible. It is a matter of being objective, carefully selecting wines of every price point without compromising the selection. At every price point, in today’s world, we can select well-chosen wines without having to buy “industrial garbage.” It is something that you can only achieve with decades of experience and a very ethical buying philosophy. Under those circumstances, we are able to provide our beloved guests great business conduct and unparalleled experiences when it comes to selling wines & spirits.
IC: How did the store come about? How was it founded?
CW: Chelsea Wine Vault and Chelsea Wine Storage has been a pivotal part of Chelsea Market since its opening in 1997. Daniel Barteluce and Don Kurt opened the business with the notion of providing friendly and unparalleled wine service and storage in climate controlled conditions for regular New Yorkers.
IC: Which wines are most unique, interesting or special in the store currently?
CW: Our cellar selection in our temperature controlled cellars are well stocked with the best of all classic regions in the world as well as some of the most cutting edge wines (New World / Old World). Keeping up with some of the most classic – traditional producers as well as the up and coming over-achievers. All these well-thought selections are being offered to our guests by staying focused on our buying principles and high standards of quality and customer service.
Besides our legendary wines, the leaders of Chelsea Wine Vault are also building New York’s newest and coolest event space for private and corporate events, wine classes, wine tastings, and more. This project, along with the newly renovated retail space, has been in production for the last year. and is set to launch in Spring 2018,
IC: Who is the Chelsea Wine Vault customer?
CW: Of course, as we are located inside Chelsea Market, we get our fair share of international travelers, but that is far from the majority of our clientele. We do service premium wine-buying and collectors. However, we would not be here without our local New Yorkers who have been supporting our business for decades.
IC: What makes your wine selection and shopping experience different thaN others in New York?
CW: Our retail store offers excellent and reputable wines at every price point. We constantly have new product coming so that our customers always have something new to try. Chelsea Wine Storage offers climate controlled storage and up until recently, has been the only wine storage facility in New York for years. Our upcoming event space will offer all of the aforementioned events and classes. Our staff is knowledgable about the industry and our curated selection.