Chambers Street Wines
The dean of the shops that tilt toward “natural” wines has a fine selection and good advice, with a special strength in France. Two uncommon recent items were 2011 Pierre Gonon Vin de France Chasselas from 80-year-old vines in the northern Rhône and 2006 Marsetti Grumello, Nebbiolo from a traditionalist up in the Valtellina.
148 Chambers St between West Broadway and Greenwich St, +1 212 227 1434; www.chambersstwines.com
Crush Wine Co
A lot of good wine shops are downtown, but Crush brings a large, prime assortment to midtown. There’s a selection of several vintages of Cornas from Thierry Allemand in the northern Rhône, and among Burgundies the shop is enthusiastic about more modest 2010 Drouhin Côte de Nuits, up to pricier 2010 Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée and 2009 Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets.
153 East 57th St between Lexington and Third Ave, +1 212 980 9463; www.crushwineco.com
Flat Iron Wines & Spirits
This shop is the newest on the list, opened by alumni of Uva. It has strengths in Germany and Austria, not to say Beaujolais, Sicily, the Jura, and “nouvelle vague” California. Although the inventory includes topmost Burgundy, there’s also highly drinkable $15 bottles. But looking higher, at the moment there’s Cuvée Risleus from Hubert Paulet, a non-vintage Champagne grower.
929 Broadway between 21st and 22nd St, +1 212 477 1315; http://flatiron-wines.com
The selection in this tiny, friendly Tribeca shop bypasses most of the better-known “natural” producers and heads toward less-expected names. There’s 2011 Dirty & Rowdy Sémillon from Napa, for instance 2011 Gonzalo Gonzalo Gran Cerdo declassified Rioja; and cool-climate Pagan Pinot Noir from Holly’s Garden in Australia.
66 West Broadway, +1 212 346 9544; www.franklywines.com
Uva Wines and Sprits
Brooklyn is a hotbed of enthusiasm for natural wines. Uva means “grape” in Italian, but this shop has depth in Burgundy, non-mainstream bottles from California, good choices from the Rhône Valley and more. At the moment, you might pick from a range of Vouvray vintages from biodynamic Domaine Huet, affordable “super gluggy” Loire Gamay from Jean-Marc Villemaine, and meaty red 2006 Le Roucas from Dominique Hauvette in Les Baux de Provence.
199 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, +1 718 963 3939; www.uvawines.com
Edward Behr is editor of The Art of Eating; www.artofeating.com