This week, Joan asked me to pay a visit to Will Carter of Pine Plains Fine Wine & Spirits, at their new location in Pine Plains.
The shop, which first opened in 2002, was previously located off the beaten path…behind the Post Office and next to a car wash. Though Will and his partner, Todd Lohrey, had built a healthy local following over the years, the location wasn’t great for walk-in traffic . But all that changed this September when Pine Plains Fine Wine & Spirits relocated right on the “main drag” (Route 199) in Pine Plains, two blocks west of the stoplight, going toward Rhinebeck.
The first thing I noticed when I went in was how much more room there is for Will’s thoughtful and clever displays.
[click images to enlarge]
The vodka display table is an antique they found in Hudson.
In fact, Will and Todd collected a number of antiques for the new space which include this counter, circa 1890. Interestingly, behind the counter are 3 shelf units that they bought at a recent Hammertown Tent sale!
All around the store are displays of new wines that Will says, “are curated by Todd and me. We won’t sell a bottle of wine in this store that we haven’t tried.” New this week is a wine from local well-known wine merchant, Neal Rosenthal. It’s called Noe and is a French Carignon (a grape that is usually only used as part of the blend of grapes used for Bordeaux wine). Knowing how particular Neal is, I’m getting a bottle of this really well-priced wine!
Also on display, Maxwell’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; their own “house wines” and the name-sake of one of their beloved Cocker Spaniels, Maxwell (who was happy to pose for this photo).
Joan wanted me to be sure to include her two favorite wines. Of course, Will knew immediately what they are. Don Ramon (a Spanish red blend) and Due Torri Pinot Grigio. She buys them by the case — which I feel compelled to point out doesn’t mean she drinks them by the case! Will also recommended a well-priced white French wine (2011 Hugues Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Languedoc) which is one of their most popular. I bought a bottle and tried it the other night and would heartily recommend it! It’s fresh, clean and fruity but still nice and dry. It would be great with seafood…or no food!
Will’s real connection to the area can be seen in other displays… a wall of Local Wines & Spirits* with a map of the wineries and distilleries they come from; an old hand-made grape press and wine stopper that were both used in Pine Plains until 1955.
Will and Todd have become such an important part of our local business community. They are always happy to donate wine for our fund-raising events, like the annual Berkshire Taconic event that we host, and they are big supporters of other local businesses in our area. Like Hammertown, Will believes in giving back whenever and however they can and they have developed deep ties with their customers and neighbors. In fact, while I was there, someone came in to pick up a bottle of wine (Will knew what she was getting before she even asked for it) and when it was time to pay, she realized she had left her wallet at home. “Don’t worry about it…it’s a loan” Will said and then laughed “and I know where you live!”
Now, that could only happen when you shop locally!
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM JOAN:
You can mix and or match a case or more of any of the wines, sparkling wines or champagnes in the store and receive 15% off if you pay by credit card or a full 20% off if you pay by cash or check. This is a great deal and the way I always shop for wine at Will’s
~ Local Wines & Spirits at Pine Plains Fine Wine & Spirits~
- Oak Summit Vineyard – Millbrook, NY
- Benmarl Winery – Marlboro, NY
- Clinton Vineyards – Clinton Corners, NY
- Tousey Winery – Clermont, NY
- Harvest Spirits – Valatie, NY
- Berkshire Spirits – Gt. Barrington, MA
- Dutch’s Spirits – Pine Plains, NY
- Hillrock Distillery – Ancram, NY
- Cascade Mt. Vineyards – Amenia, NY
- Millbrook Winery – Millbrook, NY