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Alex Villani may be the most popular man in New York. His boat, the Blue Moon, operates out of the Mattituck Inlet in Eastern Long Island and since 1988 he has been truckng his fish into the city, offering the freshest seafood in town and at very reasonable prices. The return of Captain Alex after his season in the Florida Keys is a true sign of Spring and a cause for joyous celebration - or at least a special bottle of fish-friendly wine. Our staff, all Blue Moon customers, have offered some of their favorite wine pairings for Alex's fish - we hope you will try a few, and here's the Blue Moon schedule: Saturday; Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn 7am to 3pm & Tribeca Greenmarket 8am to 2pm beginning April 2nd; Wednesday; Union Square Manhattan 7am to 5pm beginning April 6th.
Fillets: Bluefish (April - Nov.) Blackfish (March - Dec.) Codfish (Nov. - April) Flounder (all year) Fluke (all year) Herring (Nov. - April) Mackerel (Boston: Nov - May, Spanish: July - Sept.) Mahi Mahi (June - Sept.) Mako shark (June - Nov.) Monkfish (Sept. - May) Scallops (all year) Scrod (all year) Shad (March - April) Shark (dogfish) (June - Oct.) Skate (all year) Squid (all year) Striped Bass (July 1 - Dec. 15) Swordfish (June - Nov.) Tilefish (July - Sept.) Triggerfish (July - Sept.) Tuna (June - Nov.) Weakfish (sea trout) (April - Nov.). Also: Clams, Conch, Lobster, Mussels, Oysters, Whole fish (wide selection) smoked and pickled fish, flounder roe.
(Muscadet is one of the world's greatest fish wines - serve Pépière's Gras Mouton with oysters, cod, flounder, fluke or scallops) Another wonderful 2014 Muscadet from Marc Ollivier and Remi Branger! Gras Moutons is a great parcel on gneiss with clay and amphibolite stones, giving a rounder, more aromatic wine than Pepiere's granite terroirs. The 2014 is outstanding - harvested a bit later than usual in this vintage of great weather at the end of the season. Lovely aromas of lemon oil, pear, white pepper and stone. The palate is a bit rounder than the 2012 and 2013, and deep with white fruits, citrus, hay and anise, with bright, refreshing acidity and a nice mineral kick in the finish. Open enough to enjoy now, this beautifully balanced wine should age nicely for 6 to 10 years. Highly recommended and a great value!
From a superb hillside vineyard on orthogneiss with clay and quartz stones. A great vintage for Jo's Fief du Breil! Yes, the aromatics are a bit more pronounced than in more austere vintages, and there is more presence of citrus and white fruits on the palate, but the wine retains a superb mineral character and the finish is brisk and very long. Simply a great Muscadet — drinking this alongside the Pépière Clos des Briords would be a great lesson in the terroirs of the Pays Nantais! Tasted in February 2016, the wine is still youthful although the aromas are opening a bit, with intense minerality on the palate and fabulous length. Delicious now, this will be fabulous in 2025! Brisk enough for oysters and clams, perfect with cod, sole and flounder, complex enough for monkfish and swordfish - hurry down to Blue Moon Fish at the Greenmarket this Saturday!
(This full-flavored white would be fabulous with a Bouillabaisse made with seafood from Blue Moon Fish - or perhaps monkfish in a wine sauce) An outstanding and unusual white made by Jean-François Deu at the organic/biodynamic estate, Domaine du Traginer (Mule-driver) in Banyuls and Collioure. Made from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Malvasia from low-yielding vines, on steep slopes of schistes above the Mediterranean. Light gold color. Intense and beautiful aromas of peach, lemon, stone, almond and pine with hints of red fruits and earth. Quite complex! The palate is supple and dense with mineral flavors, white and yellow fruits, citrus, pine and brown spice that linger in the very long finish with firm acidity. This is a delicious and versatile wine that will accompany shellfish, grilled fish, chicken in sauce, Asian foods and more. Highly recommended! David Lillie
From a .35 HA parcel of organically farmed 51-year-old vines just opposite of the property. The 2013 Domaine Chevrot Bougogne Tilleuls is a lovely old vine expression of Aligoté. The plot is farmed organically with the soils worked by horse, the fermentation and aging is in barrel with native yeasts. An Aligoté to cellar, the wine is coiled and nervy with citrus and herbal notes leading on the nose followed by hints of sea spray. The palate is densely mineral and textured with stony acidity and bright Meyer lemon fruit on the attack and a long richly earthy finish. This is lovely and will age beautifully as well as pair with denser fish such as halibut or better still, some sea scallops from Blue Moon Fish with braised greens, citrus segments, brown butter, capers. -John McIlwain
This is a serious and delicious Petit Chablis from Lilian Duplessis! This wine was fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks, and was bottled with a touch of SO2. Also, after the long and arduous conversion period, he has been certified organic since 2013. Very pretty orchard fruit, lemon zest, and marshmallow aromas are offset by a pleasant, resinous edge on the nose. The palate is vibrant and mineral, with great concentration of fruit and hints of quinine and green tea. Pair with lobster, crab legs with Dijon mustard, stuffed Branzino, scallops, or just about anything! Tim Gagnon
(The 2014s have arrived - take advantage of this discounted price on the last of our 2013s! ) From 50-year-old vines in Sur-les-Grèves in the heart of the Beaune 1er crus. Like many of the 2013 Burgundies, the Rapet Beaune Grèves 1er cru is a wine of delicacy and purity of fruit, rather than power. But oh, what fruit! The nose shows dark-fruited with aromas of black cherry liqueur, blackberry, and notes of black tea, tree bark, and crushed herbs. The mid-weight palate displays more pure fruit flavors of black cherry, wild blackberry, and a pretty sense of ripeness which is balanced by a good deal of mineral cut and ripe tannins. Despite a somewhat lighter profile, this finish is quite persistent and builds, While this will improve in bottle, with air this is quite enjoyable at the moment and well-suited to lighter pork dishes, roast chicken, and even heartier fish dishes such as monkfish or skate and mushrooms in a red wine reduction which cry out for a visit to our friends at Blue Moon Fish. - John McIlwain
A blend of Jacquere and Altesse. I think of this wine as the Muscadet of the Savoie. It's crisp and clean, with acidity that would definitely please fans of Loire Valley whites. Graceful and subtle citrus and white flower aromas, with stone fruit on the palate and a very mineral finish. It might be most suitable in the warmer months of the year, but fans of high-acid whites will surely beg to differ. Eben Lillie
Castellroig's basic bottling is our house Cava and best-selling sparkler. We love it for its dry, minerally palate and perfect pearlescent fizz and balance at an unbelievably low price. The Brut Nature Reserva is a step up in price and complexity, with a minimum of 36 months of age on the lees before disgorgement (with no dosage). Tingly ginger, fennel and orange rind tangle with earthy mushroom, savory yeast, chewy apricot skin, and rich almond oil, with a delicate bead and pronounced salinity. A freshly-shucked clam and a glass of bone-dry, long-aged Cava like this one is salty, savory, synchronicity! Ariana Rolich
Salty, savory, and taut, 2014 is a markedly lighter vintage for this typically bold-fruited Albarino from 7.5 hectares of organic and biodynamically farmed vines in Rias Baixas. Pedralonga - "big rock" in Gallego - refers to the chunks of granite that protrude from the vineyard soils and create the textured, mineral core of the palate, alongside hints of oyster shell, sea salt, wild flowers, and refreshing citrus spray. Ariana Rolich
Ameztoi's Txakolinas are among the first to be requested this time of year. Rubentis combines old-vines Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Beltza for a tart, tingly, and thirst-quenching rose that is an exhilarating aperitif or pairing for fresh fish and salads. Red currant, rhubarb, lime zest, and strawberry fruit are heightened by abundant minerality, a touch of spritz, and that transportative salty streak that makes us misty for San Sebastian. Ariana Rolich
Soft-spoken brothers Pedro and Antonio Ramírez of Frontón de Oro are the team behind some of the most distinctive and elegant red wines coming out of the Canary Islands. With vines at over 1200 meters altitude (although inland, the breathtakingly bucolic vineyards are so high there's a clear view of the sea!), it is unsurprising that their rosado of Listan Negro, Listan Prieto, and Vijariego Negro (co-planted), is aromatic, herbal, complex, and totally fabulous. The grapes are destemmed before undergoing a 30 hour maceration and long, cool native yeast fermentation in stainless steel. Fragrant hibiscus and deep minerality combine with savory watermelon pith, fresh alpine strawberry, spicy cayenne, and volcanic ashy earth. The young but elegant, tissue paper-like tannins that we admire in the Ramirez brothers' reds are present in the rosado as well. These are "food wines" so please experiment! Grilled or sauteed squid from Captain Alex with garlic, olives, and herbs, stuffed red peppers, grilled sausage, and fresh grilled vegetables with sea salt and olive oil will sing alongside of this quintessential volcanic island wine. Ariana Rolich
Gonzalez Byass' Palmas series is an exploration of the most extreme and elegant expressions of the soleras that feed Tio Pepe - arguably the world's most consistent, classic, and popular fino sherry. Tres Palmas 2015 is a selection of a single cask in a ten year-old (average) solera, which stood out as the only cask among 150 where a small amount of flor had survived. A dramatic and drop-dead delicious pairing for rich smoked fishes, duck, and roes, Tres Palmas exhibits immense complexity from spicy aromas hinting at cinnamon oil and bark, to the intensely savory, shape-shifting, palate that showcases autolytic flavors and textures, umami and rancio, as Gonzalez Byass puts it: "the limit between life and death, the agony of the flor." Ariana Rolich
Just north of Venice Loris Follador makes refreshingly pure and distinctly mineral Prosecco in Valdobbiadene, an area situated on the steep foothills of the Dolomites. The generous mineral flavors are inherited from the dense sandstone rock and limestone soils where the 60-year-old vines are planted. The base wine undergoes cold fermentation until it is completely dry, with native yeasts sparking refermentation in bottle. Follador neither chaptalizes nor disgorges the bottles. In the glass the wine is hazy with a fine bead and fresh acidity; citrus and floral notes mingle with sea salt making this an invigorating food-friendly wine. This summer, try pairing with baked fish or seared scallops. Amanda Bowman
Ronchi di Cialla’s Ribolla Gialla is an interesting wine and a great opportunity to try one of Italy’s lesser known white varieties. Upon opening it is relatively subdued on the nose, showing light aromas of golden apples and white peach. With air it becomes more complex with white pepper and floral notes. On the palate it is more effusive, leading with mineral acidity and flavors of apple and light, woody herbs piqued by a touch of beeswax. Substantial and textured with a long finish, this wine is both fresh and complex. Best served with scallops in brown butter sauce and fresh spring herbs or an entree of stuffed Sicilian squid. Andy Paynter
Chad Stock of Minimus builds incredible texture, dimension, and tension into his wines, particularly the whites. SM1 is another thoroughly delectable and thought-provoking example of his rigor and skill, made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Stella Maris vineyard in southern Oregon's Applegate Valley, sure to surprise Sauvignon Blanc fans and sceptics alike. Stock notes: "The fruit from Stella Maris never shows any of the grassy green qualities of the [Sauvignon Blanc] grape so I chose to incorporate the stems in the maceration to increase herbal and savory qualities to counter balance the fruit flavors." Following a four-day maceration, the juice was fermented and aged in chestnut casks for 10 months. Equal parts mouth-watering and eye-watering, full yet fine, with marvelous acidity, and filigreed, tear-like salinity joined by juicy, bright fruit of crunchy pineapple and freshly-picked, floral blueberries, resinous thyme, pink peppercorns, lemon balm, and assertive minerality on the long, clear finish, this wine shines alongside a classic flounder meunière recipe with brown butter and lemon, as well as rustic, salty oysters (raw or grilled). Ariana Rolich
Before starting Enfield Wine in 2010, John Lockwood worked with some of the most esteemed wineries and producers in California: David Mahaffey (Heron Lake), Ted Lemon (Littorai), and Ehren Jordan (Failla). A blend of 40-year old, own-rooted vines from the Sierra Foothills, along with fruit sourced fruit from Heron Lake and Haynes Vineyards, this crisp, yet rich Chardonnay bursts with white peach, nectarine, orange blossom, and dried thyme flavors. Great with halibut in beurre blanc or squid a la plancha. Jonas Mendoza
Stephy and Brian Terrizzi are the fabulous team behind the Broadside wines - a customer favorite for high-quality, affordable, and delicious Paso Robles Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Giornata is the Terrizzis' first project and their passion, dedicated to expressing the depth and beauty of Italian varieties planted in California. 20+ year-old vines at Wild Horse Vineyard fuel their vibrant and spicy 2014 Vermentino, fermented with native yeasts and raised in stainless steel, with fresh aromas of crunchy green apple, melon, lilies, and clover and a gorgeous, exotic medium-bodied palate of flavors of crisp ripe pear, papaya, and white pepper, flecked with white tea, bitter almond, salt rock, and garrigue. The finish is persistant, broad, savory and herbal, calling for either another sip or a bite of roasted fish with bay leaf and garlic, or the first scallops off the grill this Spring, drizzled with olive oil and fresh-cut herbs. Ariana Rolich
Erich and Johannes Weber of Hofgut Falkenstein are making some of the most epically crisp, acidity-driven wines to come out of the Saar since I don’t know when. The wines showcase the terroir of some of the Saar’s finest vineyard sites, and the Webers favor the traditional methods of hand-harvesting, native yeast fermentation, low intervention in the cellar, and giving each fuder its own separate bottling. This particular bottling (A.P. Nr. 3) is a really fun one. Don’t let the ‘feinherb’ scare you away, this is Falkenstein feinherb, which translates to just barely off-dry. The wine is luxurious and wide on the palate for a fleeting moment before being swiftly overtaken by searing acidity and a salty, stony backbone. The fruit that does make it through is just-ripened yellow nectarine swimming in fresh key lime juice. If you don't finish the bottle before dinner is ready, pair this wine with anything from mussels in a spicy green curry to a delicate fluke crudo with citrus segments and a fruity olive oil. Cari Bernard