Navigating a wine store can be as difficult as trying to walk against traffic in Times Square. Aisle after aisle of labels that might as well be written hieroglyphic codes and cramped little spaces, which are almost begging you to knock a bottle off the shelf, is enough to drive you to drink (hmmm…coincidence or marketing strategy?). Well, times they are a changing - Discovery Wines, a unique and innovative wine store in Alphabet City, is setting out to change the face, or should we say interface, of wine stores.
The second you walk into Discovery Wines you are aware that this isn’t your typical wine shop. The bright modern space feels welcoming and airy – baby stroller and dog friendly – but what really separates Discovery Wines from any other place we have been are the touch screen panels around the store. These touch screens are like having your own personal sommelier guide you through the place. They give out information on wine based on the way we drink wine – a crazy concept. Let’s say you are cooking a chicken dish and are looking for a wine to pair it with – the amazing touch screen has an answer. Or suppose your are feeling a little crazy and are looking for an exciting red wine from Turkey for under $10 – the amazing touch scene has 4 options. Or the best feature yet, let’s just say the green label with the cute little ducks catches your eye, just walk it over to the amazing touch screen to scan and it will tell you what it tastes like, what foods to pair it with and even about the 16 brothers that picked the grapes off of the south side of the hill.
Ellisa Cooper, one of the owners of Discovery Wines, says “their mission is to fix what’s wrong with wine stores today.” Some of the ways they have achieved this is through bright open spaces, offering lesser-known affordable wines (70% of the wines are $20 or less) and of course through those amazing screens. And all the time you save from not aimlessly wondering around the store can be spent at their wine bar, where they offer daily tastings.
We are certainly entering into a new era in the world of wine. It is no longer some esoteric, unapproachable subject. It’s fun, accessible and relaxed. The world of wine is getting a much overdue facelift– and we think it looks pretty amazing.
Discovery Wines, 10 Avenue A between Houston and 2nd Street, (212) 674-7833