Did you know that 56 degrees is the optimal temperature for storing red and white wine?
And did you know, it’s also the name of a new wine shop that recently opened on the western end of Bed-Stuy?
56 Degrees Boutique Liquor Store, located at 350 Franklin Avenue, opened on July 3. It is the second wine shop to open on Franklin Avenue and the fourth wine shop to open in Bedford-Stuyvesant in the last year.
What sets them apart?
“Because of the fact that we’re now the third wine shop within four blocks, we try not to carry too many of the products the other stores are carrying,” said Danielle Meeks, the store’s manager. “We’re geared more toward small producers, like family-owned and family-run vineyards.
“A lot of our wines are sustainably produced and farmed. And we have a couple of local distilleries, wines from the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley. We also have Due North Rum, distilled in Redhook.”
Meeks, a former Pratt student, began working with Badr Chbarbi, the store’s owner, after she was brought on board to help design the store’s woodsy, rustic interior.
“It started as me building all the crates and shelving for the store,” said Meeks. “Then it slowly snowballed into me helping them run the place. And now, I’m managing four days a week.”
56 Degrees features a bevy of hand-picked, quasi-obscure “indy wines” from all over the world—many that are the wine connoisseur’s favorite, but also many that have only recently debuted – all priced between $11 and $18.
The ones Meeks described in the store tend to challenge even the advanced wine palate, experimenting with interesting fruits, including cranberries and blueberries. She says her favorites are the Russian River Chardonnay and the P’tit Rouquin, a Pinot Noir from France.
If you’re interested in sampling some of the store’s selection, 56 Degrees holds weekly wine tastings, usually on Wednesday, where it will feature at least three new bottles. Purchase any of the wines you sample, and get 10 percent off.
Customers can learn about the dates and times of the store’s weekly tastings by signing their registry. Also, they deliver, if you order a case or more.
“And if there’s something specific [customers are] looking for and we don’t have, we’ll order it,” said Meeks. “Obviously if it’s really obscure and you only plan to buy one bottle, it may be a little harder but… We do our best to accommodate.”
56 Degrees is open Tuesday – Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.; On Fridays and Saturdays, they may stay open a little later; on Sunday, they may close a bit earlier. They are closed on Mondays.