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

bubbly wine

$16.95 $20.27

18dFranceFrance » Cremant d'Alsace

Wine Enthusiast 90 "In this wine, a subtle palate of rye crumb, red apple and lemon follows a subued nose. A lovely balance of flavors shows

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. ~Pirate Mike

Cote Mas Blanc Languedoc White Blend 2021 1.0L

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$7.95 $9.60

94aFranceFrance » 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

Great no-nonsense bottle. Crisp citrus and grassy notes when ice cold. Opens up to tropical and peachy tones when warmed up. Taking this to the clam bake. ~Dan

Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2021

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$8.45 $9.60

53bChileChile » Casablanca Valley

Vinous Media 91 “The 2021 Sauvignon Blanc from Colchagua is a 60/40 blend of grapes from Peralillo and Paredones, respectively. Pale yellow in the glass.

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

video reviewliquor

$33.99 $37.79

32cIcelandIceland

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

Ever eat a Macintosh in a field of daisies? Me neither, but I think that this wine smells like that experience. Beautifully aromatic floral and orchard fruit notes with subtle bursts of honey foreshadow a flavor profile of honey, peach, and apple that are beyond luxurious at this price point. This is a fantastic value and one that should not be passed up! ~Pirate Mike

Chateau Haut Selve Graves Blanc 2019

white wine

$21.95 $27.59

93cFranceFrance » Graves

Wine Enthusiast 91 This ripe, wood-aged wine brings together structure, spice from toastiness and touches of white-peach and red-apple flavors. It is a well-judged wine

Beautiful garnet color. Cherry and raspberry nose with subtle spice. Medium to full bodied with berry flavors and great acidity to balance out the high ABV. Fruity, but not distastefully so. ~Pirate Mike

Eden Rift 'Valliant' Pinot Noir 2018

red wine

$21.95 $29.33

84bUnited StatesCalifornia » Central Coast

James Suckling 93 Lots of bright cherry and strawberry aromas with hints of cream. Medium to full-bodied with a medium, round- textured mouth-feel and a delicious

If youve heard the kids talking about orange wines or skin contact whites, this bottle can give you a little taste of what youre hearing. With the same color as a brand new penny, this wine sports aromas of citrus and pear, with light berry and herb accents. Lush and lively texture is the star here, backed by mineral laced orange and pear flavors and lingering salinity on the finish. Fresh, flavorful, and a little funky. ~Pirate Mike

Scarbolo 'Il Ramato' Pinot Grigio 2020

white wine

$16.95 $22.56

58dItalyItaly » Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Made in the Friulian Ramato style, this wine is bright copper in color, with a nose exhibiting fresh strawberries and citrus. Refreshing and generous with

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

bubbly wine

$16.95 $24.53

18aFranceFrance » 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

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. ~Pirate Mike

Laherte Freres 'Ultratradition' Brut NV

bubbly wine

$39.95 $52.80

16cFranceFrance » 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

This is more interesting than your average verdejo. The time on the lies definitely brings a texture that puts this wine on a tier above its peers. ~Pirate Mike

Familia Torres 'Celeste' Verdejo Sur Lies 2020

white wine

$14.95 $18.00

101aSpainSpain » Rueda

James Suckling 91 Fresh pear, lemon and grapefruit pith, flint and lemon grass on the nose. Medium-bodied with bright acidity. Excellent fruit concentration and texture. James

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. ~Pirate Mike

Bodegas Volver 'Tarima' Monastrell 2020

red wine

$8.95 $10.70

101cSpainSpain » Alicante

James Suckling 90 “Blackberries, blackcurrants, peppercorns, chili chocolate, vanilla and black olives on the nose. Full-bodied with firm, ripe tannins. Rich, ripe and chewy. Drink now.”

The dark ruby, almost purple, color of this wine is as enticing as its spicy baked berry and ripe plum aromas. Flavors of plum, blackberry, and black cherry are bolstered by leather, earth, and spices. All of this being said, its still a very approachable and easy drinking wine. Great for a BBQ or steak night. ~Pirate Mike

Olivares Monastrell 'Altos de la Hoya' 2019

red wine

$9.95 $11.73

101cSpainSpain » Jumilla

"Always an outstanding value, Olivares' Altos de la Hoya Monastrell is a deep ruby, with ripe, powerful scents of red and dark fruits, minerals and

This bottle of rose bubbly is fantastic. Great texture, and ripe fruit flavors. Total knockout at this price! ~Pirate Mike

Langlois Cremant de Loire Brut Rose NV

bubbly wine

$18.95 $24.00

18dFranceFrance » Cremant de Loire

Jeb Dunnuck 91 "The NV Crement de Loire Brut Ros is even better. Made completely from Cabernet Franc aged 18 months on lees in bottle, this

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

130eAustraliaAustralia » 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

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

15dPortugalPortugal » 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

Ive had this bottle for a couple months now. While I dont ever break it out for sipping, I can safely say after all this time that it makes the most uncanny Manhattan that Ive ever had. Paired with bitter truth orange bitters and cocci vermouth di Torino, it smells and tastes like a mocha frappachino from that coffee shop in target. This is a must have for anyone that enjoys coffee, whiskey, and cocktails. ~Pirate Mike

Mad River Revolution Rye 750ml

liquor

$39.99 $45.89

47aUnited StatesVermont

It is earthy and peppery with hints of walnut, berry and tropical spice. We use three distinct rye Varietals, including chocolate malted rye, which lends

I first tasted this two years ago. Then, it was a bright, delicious novelty that expelled notes of sunshine and good times. It has since evolved into a clean, precise wine that, while still envoaking the previous years glee, feels much more refined and serious. In a short time, Aaron and Cara have evolved their flagship skin contact white from a delicious novelty into an utterly unforgettable and delicious wine that can be more than enjoyed by anybody with a passion for fine wine. Its always a privilege to drink Frenchtown wines, but this years Pearl Thief speaks volumes of their journey and what one can accomplish when they follow their passions and work hard. ~Pirate Mike

Frenchtown Farms The Pearl Thief White 2019

white wine

$28.95 $38.40

58dUnited StatesCalifornia » North Yuba

70 Sauvignon Blanc, 30 Roussanne (Slope 23, 1900 ft) from Renaissance Vineyard. Sauvignon Blanc harvested first in early August, soaked on skins/stems for 5 days,

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