Empire WineSM Staff Picks

Below you'll find some favorite wines selected by our staff.

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The soft bite of the bubbles opens the palate to a well balanced yet ever present acidity followed by a red fruit attack predominantly featuring strawberry and ripe watermelon. This bottle just begs to be paired with fresh fruit salad and a loved one. One of the better bubbly's under $20; rose or otherwise. ~Dan

Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Rose NV

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$15.95 $20.39

18eFranceFrance » Cremant d'Alsace

Wine Enthusiast 90 "Tart red currant, rhubarb and strawberry come together in a very refreshing, rounded and appetizing fashion. The frothy, foaming mousse is exuberant and

Wow. If you're looking for a textbook Rioja then look no further. The nose is complex with dried cherry and blackberry with subtle notes of cocoa and sweet vanilla. A pleasant earthiness on the palate is complimented by more red and black fruit. The finish is long and generous. This has very good structure so it will get even better with time! Even at this price point, you get way more than what you pay for. ~Peter

Cune 'Gran Reserva' Rioja 2010

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$29.95 $39.60

SpainSpain » Rioja

Wine Spectator 94 "This generous red shows a traditional character, with leafy, dried herb, tea and spicy notes framing dried cherry, licorice and leather flavors. Firm

Can’t beat this at the price. Heavy, grassy scent of ripe green apple. Short lived, acidic and apple driven palate. Super dry and fruity. All the fun of an easy-drinking PG without breaking the bank. ~Michael

Cote Mas Blanc Languedoc White Blend 2019 1.0L

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$7.95

15eFranceFrance » Languedoc

The Cote Mas Blanc Meridional blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino offers beatiful aromas of white flowers, peaches and pear. Perfectly balanced, this wine is

Nothing says spring like a glass of this sparkling Gamay. This off dry bubbly with a slightly tart cherry flavor has you going for another sip immediately. Strawberry, cherry and other dark fruits mix together with a slight creaminess that can compliment any light appetizer, preferably enjoyed out on the deck. This will undoubtedly change the minds of anyone who has been hesitant about sparkling Rose and reassure those who know they do nothing but enhance a beautiful day. ~Mike

Patrick Bottex Bugey-Cerdon 'La Cueille' NV

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$18.95 $24.30

18bFranceFrance » Bugey Cerdon

Robert Parker 90 "This cuvee may qualify as the 'wine bargain of the year.' A Champagne-like sparkling rose from the largely forgotten area of Bugey (which

Deep, enticing purple color in the glass. Nose of plums and dark berries. Fruity upon entry with a quick transition into gravel and spices with a medium-length finish reminiscent of forest floor and wood. Somehow, the tannins are both soft and prevalent. Well balanced and undeniably enjoyable ESPECIALLY for this price. ~Michael

Bodegas Volver 'Tarima' Monastrell 2018

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$7.95

12bSpainSpain » Alicante

Great black fruit that is fully ripe without a hint of overripeness. This is a big, rich wine. Rather fine and generous tannins help it

Derived from the Icelandic word for smoke, Reyka embodies the purity and uniqueness that the island is known for. Distilled using geothermic power and arctic spring water that runs through a 4000 year old lava field, its crisp flavor and silky texture makes for an incredibly easy drinking experience, both mixed and and on its own. Green focused and gluten free, Reyka is a wonderful alternative to to higher and similarly prices vodkas such as Grey Goose and Tito's. My new go to spirit! ~Matt

Reyka Vodka 1.75L 80proof

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$30.99 $36.00

22dIcelandIceland

Beverage Tasting Institute 93 "Clear with a platinum cast. Nuanced aromas of anise cookie, tarragon, and pink peppercorn with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and citrus

This is a delicious example of what true Champagne should be. Great acid and full body make for a mouthwatering and rich drinking experience. Elegant bubbles and notes of freeze-dried green apple and lemon rine are accompanied by chalky minerality and subltle yeastiness with a persistent finish. Easily my favorite bubbly for the price. ~Michael

Laherte Freres 'Ultratradition' Brut NV

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$34.95 $45.33

19eFranceFrance » Champagne

Wine Spectator 92 "Well-spiced and mouthwatering, this vivid Champagne offers a finely detailed bead and expressive flavors of black raspberry, dried apricot, orange blossom, fleur de

If you’re looking for the prefect bottle to match up with your Turkey Day festivities, then look no further! Sporting a lush bouquet of raspberries and pomegranate with a pinch of fresh herbs, the Cousins project provides ripe acidity and elegant structure that will play well with everything the holiday has to offer. Juicy fruit flavors will dance tirelessly around your cornbread and potatoes, while serving as a booster-shot and supporting act for your turkey dinner. Don’t forget to pick one up for the leftovers, too! ~Michael

Pacalet-Lapierre Cuvee Cousins Julienas 2017

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$19.95 $26.13

64cFranceFrance » Julienas

Vinous 92 "Deep, shimmering ruby. Ripe cherry, blue fruit, earth and floral aromas show very good energy and take on a spicy accent that gains strength

Opening with complex aromas of fresh fruit, brown sugar and nuts this is exactly what my sweet tooth was after! Full bodied with lingering notes of vanilla and toffee. Sweet, but not overwhelming - ending with well finished spice. This surely became an instant end of summer/fall favorite! ~Allison

Sandeman 10yr Tawny Port

$28.95 $38.40

36bPortugalPortugal » Oporto

Wine and Spirits 90 "The color falls at the intersection of tawny and ruby, pointing to the freshness that's apparent in the taste of the

Put down the chocolate bunnies, skip the jelly beans and include something they will remember for years to come. Sweet, rich and full bodied this opens big and powerful with dates and raisins right on the forefront. Lingering hints of molasses and burnt brown sugar intertwine with notes of fig perfectly. This beautiful antique tawny is sure to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth this Sunday! ~Allison

Yalumba Museum Antique Tawny NV 375ml

$17.95 $23.47

36cAustraliaAustralia » Barossa Valley

PLEASE NOTE:  this is a 375mL (wine) which is smaller than a regular 750mL bottle.

Wine Advocate 92 "The Non-Vintage Museum Reserve Antique Tawny is medium amber-colored with aromas of ginger, figs and dates. Intense, ripe, and very sweet, it will

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