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 $22.81

FranceFrance » 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

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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$29.99 $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

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 $23.20

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

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

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 2019

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$7.95

12bSpainSpain » Alicante

Cherry color with purple highlights. Hints of licorice and chocolate, with a subtle depth of herbs and floral qualities. Pairs well with rice from Pinoso,

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 $25.07

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

6940PortugalPortugal » 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

~Michael

Bogle Vineyards Rose 2020

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$7.95 $9.65

61bUnited StatesCalifornia

As a faint blush colors the glass, this Rose is anything but bashful. Fragrant, oral notes bloom unrestrained on the nose, while entry leads to

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. ~Michael

Frenchtown Farms The Pearl Thief White 2019

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$28.95 $38.40

43aUnited 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,

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

18cAustraliaAustralia » 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

~Allison

Donnhoff 'Oberhauser Brucke' Riesling Spatlese 2019

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$48.95 $58.67

43eGermanyGermany » Nahe

James Suckling 97 "If you dream of the great German rieslings of the 1970s and 1980s, then this is a wine for you, even though it

Slightly floral on the nose with big time berry and vanilla. Flavors suggest blueberry pancakes, for sure, without being overpoweringly sweet. Well balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. Be warned! Its crushable, but packs a punch at 13.9 percent ABV! Perfect to sip like a fine wine, but much better out of a horn! ~Michael

Royal Meadery 'Blueberry Breakfast Break' Mead 375ml

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$9.95 $11.20

35cUnited StatesNew York » Albany

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

This melomel combines local wildflower honey, local maple syrup and blueberries. It is them aged on whole vanilla beans for a delicious blueberry pancake taste.

~Allison

Underwood Cellars Strawberry Cooler Can 375ml

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$2.99

72cUnited StatesOregon

Winery Notes "Pinot Noir + Oregon Strawberries + Cranberry Juice + Lime = for all summer long."

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