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Holding down the ‘Fort’ for New York wine • Brooklyn Paper

Holding down the ‘Fort’ for New York wine

Amy Bennett is expanding her Greene Grape empire.
The Brooklyn Paper / Dustin Seplow

The Greene Grape, a Fulton Street wine shop was just named New York Wine and Spirit Retailer of the Year.

How did the owners of the Fort Greene store do it? They sold a lot of New York wine.

Yes, nowadays you get an award for that — not a booby prize — because New York wines aren’t just for church picnics any more.

“Finger Lakes Rieslings are comparable to the German Rieslings — which are the gold standard,” said Amy Bennett, the store’s owner. “And I’m not just whistling Dixie.”

Yet despite their growing renown, New York wines are still affordable, Bennett said. Many Empire State vintages start under $10. And you can get an Atwater for $11!

To help spread the word, the Greene Grape offers “the New York Cork Club,” sending members two New York-made bottles every month. March selections were a Bedell Cellars Merlot from Long Island and an Anthony Road Specialty Riesling from upstate.

Alie Shaper, president of Brooklyn Oenology, the Greenpoint winery, said she wasn’t surprised that the New York Wine and Grape Foundation honored Bennett.

“I’m super happy because the Greene Grape was one of our first partners,” she said. “People are finally recognizing what a quality wine region New York is.”

The Greene Grape has carried Brooklyn Oenology since the winery filled its first bottle (yes, in Greenpoint!) with Long Island-grown grapes in 2005.

Sample local wines at the Greene Grape [765 Fulton St., between South Portland and South Oxford streets in Fort Greene, (718) 233-2700] on Saturday, April 18. Pure Vodka, which is distilled upstate, and Brooklyn Oenology will be pouring.

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