The Wine Merchant can be intimidating at first. The dimly lit store and tasting bar is reminiscent of a posh members-only lounge. Large mahogany display cases featuring collectable wines float over a huge hand-tufted persian carpet and linen covered tables pushed against padded benches own the wall. And let’s not forget the surrounding bottles of wine, many with price tags in the hundreds and even thousands. Most of the wines, including domestic and Italian varieties, are in the front of the store. French wines and rarities are in a separate back room.
Luckily, the staff at the Wine Merchant is friendly and knowledgeable. We were on the hunt for a reasonable bottle of Mersault to give. The gentleman assisting us was more than willing to explain how the grape differed from year to year. Although knowledgeable, he was not overly fussy; he did not wax poetic about the complexity of the $150 bottle. In the end, we made out with a very good $37 bottle that he even offered to gift wrap. Whether you’re looking for a bottle of wine for dinner or a basket of wine to give, the Wine Merchant has you covered. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a catalog and some Leonida’s chocolates on your way out.