New Kid on the Block: Verve Wine

dustin-wilson-verve-wineFans of the hit documentary Somm—and wine in general—will want to visit Verve Wine: One of the film’s stars, Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson, is a partner in the venture, a transformation of 24 Hubert Wines. “A few years back, Derrick Mize [formerly of New York Vintners] and I met while on a trip to France,” he explains. “Afterward, we talked about doing something together, eventually deciding on retail. We looked at spaces where we’d have to start from scratch, but that’s difficult to do in Manhattan.” A friend hooked them up with 24 Hubert’s Mark Armenante and Young Sohn, and the four of them worked out a deal, with Wilson and Mize running the store.

verve-wine-shop-exteriorThey painted, added a “magnum wall” for big bottles, brought in Zalto glassware, and redid the kitchen, which will be used for events such as tastings and seminars. “The goal was to brighten it up, make it fresh and friendly,” says Wilson. “We didn’t want to feel like a shop that only sells high-end wines.” While 24 Hubert specialized in California, Verve prioritizes Europe, particularly France and Italy, and then California and the rest of the U.S. Naturally, they’ll do their best to continue carrying wines the neighborhood has grown to love and expect.

Wilson hopes that Verve’s main point of difference will be service. “My background is in restaurants, and I want to inject that level of hospitality into the store.” That extends to online: When the website goes live next month, it will be a “fluid, easy, beautiful experience.”

ramona-at-verve-wineThe restaurant/retail overlap also shows up in the store’s “Somm corner,” featuring sommeliers who are also winemakers (including Wilson himself) and their favorites and discoveries. “If Michaël Engelmann at the Modern is excited about something he’s pouring by the glass, we can share it here, with some visuals explaining it.” Nearby is another example: cans of Ramona, a blend of white wine and grapefruit juice, with a little spritz, made by Jordan Salcito of the Momofuku group. (“It’s delicious!” insists Wilson.)

Verve also carries spirits, focusing on the small-batch and the quirky, and sake. In fact, Max Leisure, who oversees the spirit selection, is a certified sake sommelier.

Verve Wine is at 24 Hubert (between Greenwich and Washington), 212-810-2899; vervewine.com. Deliver is free within Tribeca.

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1 Comment

  1. Great store but that signage is by far the ugliest thing in Tribeca
    What were they thinking other than you can see it from FLorida
    It really ruins the traditional look of what makes Tribeca so special

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