- READER REVIEWS
Chelsea Wine Vault
Mon-Sat, 10am-8pm; Sun, noon-6pm
Nearby Subway Stops
A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Browsing within this cavernous, brick-walled wineshop can feel something like being a wandering Lilliputian in an out-of-service oven, but these arched, fortified walls encase anywhere from 700 to 1,000 labels at a time; a hefty stock for a store that was an afterthought for its owners. Frustrated by lack of storage options for his personal wine collection, Don Kurt teamed up with Dan and Sara Barteluce (who had been holding Kurt's cache in their New Jersey home) to launch Chelsea Wine and Storage in 1997: 10,000 square feet of Chelsea Market that now contains the wine lists of Gotham Bar and Grill, The River Café, and Craft, as well as the stock of private holders. But it was the landlord who suggested a ground-level retail area at the time, and Vault was born. The storage facility lurks below the shop, and though you can't buy out Jeffrey Chodorow's hidings, you will find interesting small-producer picks like Black Sears of Howell Mountain who sell most of their grapes to big Zinfandel brands but prepare small batches for retail and occasionally bargain prices. In addition to wine, Vault carries a hearty selection of port, sake, spirits, and sparkling wine—from Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc (the first Chardonnay sparkler in America) to those standby Clicquots.Party Time
In addition to Riedel glassware, the Vault carries oenophile gifts like board games, books, DVDs, and the requisite wrapping.