Note from Liz: We’ve been enjoying Stu Levine’s wine picks for a month now, but we had some technical difficulties with his accompanying video. It’s now available, so I present a re-run of the article that appeared with Stu’s first bottle of wine earlier this month. Please enjoy the video, above, and see all his wine picks by clicking here.
Stu Levine learned to love wine at a very young age.
His grandfather had a wine cellar in his house, back in the 1950s, when hardly anyone did.
“I grew up tasting wine and enjoying wine with meals, and when I got older, it just stuck with me,” he says.
So when Levine and his wife, Janine, decided to open a family business, a wine shop was a natural.
Levine, the owner of Vino 100 in White Plains, will be our wine expert-in-residence for the next three months. For the next 12 Wednesdays in Life&Style, he’ll choose our LoHud Wine of the Week, and include tasting notes and suggestions for pairings. (His first recommendation, a 2012 Domaine Bellevue Touraine Rosé — is at the bottom of 1B.) We’ll arrange online chats with Levine, so you can ask him about wines, too.
At the end of the 12 weeks, we’ll review our Mixed Case and recap the choices assembled by Levine. Then we’ll introduce a new expert.
We’ll also turn to Levine for suggestions for pairing wines with meals, including for Thanksgiving. And at that time of year, we’ll be thankful that Levine is an expert on value. He loves to carry bang-for-the-buck boutique wines, and 100 labels in his store cost $25 or less.
Smaller winemakers, he says, “make great wine and put it right into small stores like myself. And we get to sell it directly to the customers. We find wines from all over the world that are made in small batches that cost, many times, half of what you’d find of similar quality from a big brand name.”
Vino 100 makes it easy for the wine novice to shop. On one wall of the shop, the bottles are arranged by flavor and body that get fuller and drier as you move from the front of the store to the back. Plus, all wines have a “barometer” with tasting notes, food pairings and a colored bar that displays how light or full-bodied the wine is.
Some of Levine’s best sellers come from the $10 and under section in the center of the store.
“It is probably the most popular area of the store,” he says, holding a $6 bottle of Choroy Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. “We sell so much of this simply because it’s such a refreshing, great wine at such a good price.”
The wines in our upcoming Mixed Case are also good values. Expect to see a $27 white from the Loire Valley (2011 Domaine Chauveau “La Charmette” Pouilly Fume) that pairs great with raw oysters, a terrific pizza wine (a 2011 Cantina Di Casteggio Barbera for $14) and a couple of local selections from New York, including the 2011 Prospero Finger Lakes Reisling.
But one bottle not in the case? A Michelle Satta Super Tuscan that is a steal at $22. Levine recommends it as a first date wine, since it’s such a delicious wine but doesn’t cost a lot. And besides, he says, “for a first date? What’s more romantic than Italian?”
To see previous experts in our Mixed Case series, click here:
Mixed Case from Zachys in Scarsdale..
Mixed Case from Suburban Wines in Yorktown Heights.
Mixed Case from Rochambeau Wines & Liquors in Dobbs Ferry.
Mixed Case from Wine Geeks in Armonk
Mixed Case by Piermont Fine Wine & Spirits.
Mixed Case by Aries Wine & Spirits, White Plains.
For 12 weeks, we feature a wine, and include tasting notes and suggestions for pairings. At the end of the 12 weeks, we’ll review our Mixed Case, and recap the choices. Each mixed case will be chosen by a local wine shop owner, who will also become our wine expert-in-residence during his or her tenure. (So should we need recommendations for a holiday, for example. we’ll ask.) We’ll get a new expert for each case. Right now, we’re working on our Mixed Case chosen by Stu Levine of Vino 100 in White Plains.