The Wine Shop, Reinvented
The Manhattan wine store, Bottlerocket has opened a location in Westport.
Tom Geniesse is revolutionizing the way we shop for wine. His new store Bottlerocket in Westport is a far cry from the usual stuffy, dark wine shops with its cement floors, high ceilings and lime green walls.
On one wall, wines are organized the old-fashioned way, which Tom says is familiar and helpful but not very intuitive—agreed! Those same wines are also displayed in “islands” throughout the store to make wine shopping easier. These islands, which are marked with three-dimensional icons perched on top, display wines according to food pairings and occasions. For example, there’s a takeout island, a dessert island and a meat island. On each side of an island the food pairings are further narrowed down—on the meat island there’s a side dedicated to beef, one to pork, one to game and one to lamb.
Some of the non-food-based islands include the “green” island (for those who value sustainability), the critics’ island (for those who care what others think) and the explorers’ island (for those who are just bored). There’s even a gift island that’s divided into “someone you barely know,” “old friend,” “third date” and “the boss,” so you can find great wines to give that range from under $10 (for someone you barely know) to iconic wines that are guaranteed to impress (your boss).
Bottlerocket carries about 400 to 500 wines, about 100 beers, most of which are craft and artisanal beers, and about 200 spirits, bitters, and “mixology potions.”
“The store could easily fit 4,000 wines, but we intentionally don’t do that because we don’t want people too have too little choice or too much choice, we want them to have optimal choice. We don’t want to overwhelm people,” says Tom.
Each wine and beer has a lot of information about it next to it. The notes about the wine go home with you when you buy the wine because, as Tom says, you learn about wine when it’s in your mouth. Tom has already established a cult following in New York at his Flatiron District store; we predict that Fairfield County will soon follow. Wine newbies and connoisseurs alike—flock there now.
1790 Post Rd. E., Westport, bottlerocketwine.com