Limestone Liquors, 119 W Seneca St # 4, Manlius, NY (315) 682-2201
This month's Wine Blogging Wednesday assignment put me in a quandry from the get go. Letting the actual tasting of a wine take a backseat, we were charged with writing about our favorite wine shop. But oops--I had just written an ode to Vinomania, my favorite Syracuse wine shop, back in December. So what to do?
I remembered that over a spirited and delicious New Year's Eve gala dinner, a friend mentioned the place where he buys wine--an unsuspecting gem of a place called Limestone Liquors out in Manlius--just a few miles outside of Syracuse. So you know, if you can't write about the shop you love, love the one....well, that comes highly recommeded to you. I'll chalk this experience up to one of my more successful blind dates. Limestone is a great find for the wine lover.
Limestone Liquors, named after Limestone Creek that runs through the Village of Manlius, has been in business in the village for over 25 years--15 in their current location in a pretty non-descript P &C shopping plaza on Rte 173. While there are certainly larger shops that you could visit closer to downtown or out on Erie Boulevard, this place gets high marks for all the reasons important to wine lovers:
- Knowlegeable and friendly staff. I spent time with Kelly, the wife of the owner, and as I sought a recommedation from her about a wine to try, she made sure to ask my preferences and whether or not I'd be drinking the wine with food or not. She could tell me about the weather in Mosel during the 2003 growing season and the effect it had on that year's rieslings--they were sweeter thanks to a dry year. As a rule, they try to taste all the wines they carry so that they will be comfortable selling them.
- Easy navigation within the store that encouraged browsing while also labeling the lower and medium priced wines for quick scanning. The higher priced wines are given prominent space up front. Shelf talkers are actually helpful and go beyond the standard Robert Parker or Wine Spectator notes.
- Wine tastings every Friday from 4 -7:00 pm and also on Saturdays.
- Nice selection of New York State wines--including Long Island!
- Special focus on German wines.
- Bonus points for selling Hangar One Vodka and recognizing the name Robert Sinskey.
After a dinner in Atlanta last October at the Woodfire Grill where I fell in love with a German Riesling, I could see Limestone as the place to continue my education on wines from Mosel. Plus, a little browsing found me whipping out my notebook to write down the names of other wines I've wanted to try but couldn't find easily at other wine shops such as the 2000 Cloudview red table wine.
Verdict: Limestone is definitely a place worth going out of the way for. But if you live in Dewitt, Fayetteville or Manlius, this could easily be your "go to" wine shop. And as if to prove that Limestone is worth the trip I'll have to return just to stock up on that delicious Karl Erbes Riesling they recommended.
Wine Tasting Notes: 2003 Karl Erbes Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling-Kabinett
Color: palest yellow--nearly clear. Nose: melon notes, honeydew, hint of cloves. Taste: begins sweet with melon predominating, drier finish. Awesome to drink on its own. I could drink this everynight--with or without food. $13.99
Thanks goes to Dr. Vino for hosting this month's WBW and enticing me to discover another wonderful wine shop in the Syracuse area.