What To Serve At Your Next Gathering, According To The Experts At Brooklyn Wine Exchange

Brooklyn Wine Exchange is exactly the kind of neighborhood bottle shop one hopes for: Opened in 2009 by Brooklynite Christopher Modica, the Court Street shop boasts friendly, knowledgable (and unpretentious) employees, and a robust, hand-picked selection of wines for under $14. There is even a 40-seat wine education room in the back, where staff give informative classes and tastings on the regular. Inspired by the wealth of knowledge at our fingertips when we recently visited the shop, we asked wine buyer Tim Farrell for a definitive list of true, crowd-pleasing bottles. Here are his top five picks.

1. Bourgogne Blanc, $12-26: “An exclusive, elegant, earthy white burgundy with notes of lemon, red apple, mineral and vanilla.”

2. Four Roses Bourbon, $48: “The best deal for high quality bourbon from Kentucky. Single barrel, so each one is different.”

3. Castello di Volpaia Citto Toscana, $13: “A certified organic Tuscan red from a chianti supplier, this is a great pizza and pasta wine.”

4. Forth Ave Spirits, $19-26: “The distiller is a customer who talked to us about his bottles for two years before bringing them in for a tasting. We were blown away by the mint-lavender gin, cinnamon-eucalyptus amaro and the aperitivo — a Campari substitute with notes of hibiscus and chamomile.”

5. Viña Alberdi, $22: “This 100% Tempranillo is made in Rioja, where you’ll find the most traditional wine in Spain. It’s charming, friendly, versatile, full-bodied with smooth tannins and good acidity, and it’s an honest and pure, back to classics wine made in a 100-year-old method.”