There are only 230 master sommeliers in the world, so when one opens a wine shop, you can bet it earns attention. Master somm Dustin Wilson, a former wine director at Eleven Madison Park, has partnered with wine merchant Derrick Mize to open up Verve Wine. They recently opened a brick-and-mortar store in Tribeca, but have also launched a website where you can browse and shop for wines. Put together, Wilson and Mize have about 35 years of experience in the wine industry.
On the website, wine aficionados can look under the Collectibles category for bottles recommended by Wilson, but what’s especially interesting about the website is that you can search for wines to pair with different foods.
“A very large segment [of wine drinkers] has been forgotten,” said Mize, who is sensitive to those who may be thinking—in his words—”Wine is fun, and I need some food to go with it.”
The wine descriptions themselves forgo industry “winespeak” and bottles are divided into simple categories like “jammy and fruity” or “big and bold.” The emphasis is on smaller, family-driven domains, and wines vary across a range of prices.
The brick-and-mortar location will host tastings and seminars.
Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson’s Wine Picks for the Holidays
Château de Brézé ‘Clos du Midi’ 2015, $18
This is a bright, puckering Chenin blanc from the Saumur area of the Loire Valley in France. Like super-tart baked apples.
Pairs well with shellfish, seafood, cranberry sauce, turkey, and pork.
Yann Bertrand Fleurie ‘VVV’ 2014, $32
Glossy, gulpable Gamay from a rising rock star in one of the hotspots of Beaujolais, France. The epitome of delicious.
Pairs well with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, turkey, and Chinese takeout.
Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Clajeux’ 2013, $100
Old-school, classic-style Cab. Like hip-hop in the early ’90s. Style and substance.
Pairs well with turkey, all your red meats, and chillin’ with grandma.
Giacomo Conterno ‘Monfortino’ 2002, $750
The king of all the Barolo wines. This is where it’s at.
Pairs well with your favorite risotto with white truffles shaved all over it.