To say that the reopening of Martin Wine Cellar’s fl agship store in Uptown last winter was a long time coming would be like saying that a red Bordeaux rewards aging. Founded in 1946 and expanded over time to cover most of a block, Martin’s was a victim of the levee breaches that flooded the city in 2005. Finally “back home,” second-generation owner Cedric Martin describes his wine store, delicatessen, lunch destination and specialty foods outpost as a place to gather. “We entertain people,” he says. Indeed, in response to a question for what to pair with beef Wellington, Martin reaches for a $29.99 bottle of the 2012 Balius Reserve Block Cabernet from Napa and pours a healthy sample. “Enjoy that,” he says. Don’t bother asking him how many bottles his warehouse-size store holds, though; he buys as much as he can sell, without tallying. Su ce it to say that, with selections ranging from Robert Sérol’s Côte Roannaise Vieilles Vignes (a Loire gamay) to a 2011 Grand Cru Riesling Schlossberg from Domaine Weinbach in Alsace, the French section alone could keep a wine geek entertained for the better part of an afternoon.
This review appears in the print edition of the June 2015 issue. Like what you just read? Subscribe now.