If you’re looking for that unique bottle of wine, take a trip to the East 70s and stop at Millesima, a gem of a wine shop with one of New York City’s largest Bordeaux collections. French veterans in both wine and spirits, the Bernard family owns the US shop on the Upper East Side, but founded the original store more than 30 years ago in Bordeaux, France. The boutique offers an array of French wines, but retails well-priced selections from around the globe. A wine enthusiast’s paradise, Millesima also features an excellent selection of large format bottles, perfect to enhance a corporate function or even a private party at home.
Whether you’re a decisive oenophile or a browsing wine novice, the Millesima staff can help you select that special anniversary gift or recommend a pairing for a celebratory dinner. Above and beyond reds, whites, and rosés from some of the most respected European winemakers, Millesima sells wines from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and an assortment of California favorites. Champagnes from houses like Ruinart, Veuve Cliquot, Taittinger, and Laurent-Perrier, among others, are sure to please bubbly-loving palates.
Among hundreds of selections, find bottles of Bordeaux imported directly from the company’s cellars in France. Find the likes of a Chateau Peyrabon 2005, Chateau Lilian Ladouys 2008 , or La Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet 2008.
As general manager of Millesima USA, Hortense Bernard tastes a variety of vintages on a daily basis and can easily recommend anything from an affordable Barbera D’ Alba to a collector’s bottle of aged Burgundy. The most expensive bottle in stock is a 600 ml Chateau Margaux Margaux Premier Grand Cru Classé Red Bordeaux Blend 2009, producer of one of the world’s finest red wines, which sells for a steep $14,500.
Bernard and her knowledgeable team remove any preconceived notion about wine shopping, tasting, and drinking. “We do not want to intimidate,” Bernard told me.
Growing up in a wine family, she began tasting at just eight years old. When she was in her teens, her father organized a family game with blind taste tests, from which she would guess appellation and region of each wine. From these, she educated her palate and learned to drink many different types of wine over time. She wants each customer, no matter his or her taste, experience, or budget, to feel welcome at Millesima, and clearly communicated that she and her well-trained staff “are not wine snobs.”
For wine aficionados outside New York City, purchase from Millesima online. Shop the website by appellation, producer, vintage, format, color, and varietal. Bottles in each region are conveniently organized by price range. The “newcomers” section is worth a look for recent additions, as well as the “best sellers” for favorites, and “special offers” for sale items.
Don’t let the pricier bottles keep you away; the retailer stocks bottles in every price range including everyday drinking. At the rear of the shop, you’ll find a dedicated wall for bottles less than $15, and other less pricey wines from every region scattered throughout the space. I noticed wines costing as little as $9.99 per bottle, and more upscale selections in the $50-$100 range.
No matter what your palate prefers or what your wallet can handle, wine drinkers of all levels will appreciate Millesima’s well-organized selection and warm, friendly service. To know wine, you must taste wine; the shop hosts themed tastings just about every Thursday, so stop by after work and sample wines from a region you haven’t tried previously. And if wine tasting is brand new territory for you altogether, start today and try them all. One by one…
Happy wine tasting at Millesima!
1355 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10021