Terroir Wine at Italian Wine Merchants NYC

Sergio Esposito founded Italian Wine Merchants with a group of investors in 1999 back when few Americans knew about small, independent Italian winegrowers making terroir wine. Eschewing the popular method of point scores, he told his clients about the people, who made the wine and the places that they came from.

shelves closeup

He displays only one bottle of each wine in shelves that he and his brother built themselves. The rest of the 20,000+ bottles are stored down in the cellar in ideal temperature and humidity.


Another unusual but key concept at the shop is presenting wine with food. Since Italian wine is made to be consumed at the table with food, Esposito realized quickly that in order to get Americans to appreciate it, he had to serve food.

Many of Esposito’s wines are made naturally even though he doesn’t advertise them as such. Some of his flagship winegrowers are Gianfranco Soldera, Giuseppe Rinaldi, Radikon, Movia Gravner and Paolo Bea (read blog post). When I was at the shop a few weeks ago, the staff had opened a bottle of Paolo Bea Santa Chiara.

Santa Chiara 2012

It was being served in the Vintage Room, a temperature controlled room in the main showroom where special events are held and vintage bottles are stored.

The last interesting and distinctive aspect of Esposito
s and Italian Wine Merchant’s philosophy is that each regular client has an ongoing relationship with a “portfolio manager”. This personalized service gives clients the opportunity to find out about lots of wine coming in (since they often sell out) and to learn about new wines that they might not otherwise try.

For more information:
Italian Wine Merchants
108 East 16th St.
New York, New York 10003

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Tags: artisan wine, Italian wine, natural wine, organic wine, wine
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