We all know what happened last year on Election Day. Because of that earth-shattering event, I don't think I can go through tomorrow–hearing the pundits' predictions, voting, watching the exit polls, seeing the results–without stopping by my local wine store for some liquid courage.
It's not that I think there will be any major surprises in New York City this year. But I probably have some sort of electoral PTSD. Plus, there is a very tight race for governor in Virginia that I will be watching carefully. So off I will go to get some wine right after voting.
Happily for me, a great new shop called Hamilton Wine House has opened around the corner from my polling station on 144th Street since that awful day one year ago. (Not sure where to find your polling station? Input your address here. And make sure to read up on who's on the ballot, so you can do your research now instead of, um, on your phone while in the polling booth.)
Charles Vigilante, who lives in the neighborhood, quietly set up shop six months ago selling a range of wines from all over the word. Rioja from Spain, Burgundy from France, Riesling from Germany–store manager and buyer Dan Parseliti calls the offererings "an honest representation of the world's major wine producing regions." Prices go from $6 to $100, though the average is about $15.
If wine won't cut it tomorrow, Hamilton Wine House sells a small, hand-picked selection of spirits from local and artisanal producers, like Dorothy Parker Gin from New York Distilling Co. in Brooklyn. Lately it has been doing a brisk business in tequila; brands include Casamigos and Chamucos.
The store's surprising best-sellers are single-serving cans of Hochstadter's Slow & Low Rock & Rye–a blend of rye whiskey, raw honey, navel oranges and Angostura Bitters. Basically, an Old Fashioned in a can. Boxed wine has been a hit too.
Even if you don't live super close, you can still place an order using one of two delivery apps, Minibar and Drizly, which deliver Hamilton's wines and spirits in a zone that ranges from about 130th to 165th Streets. Either way you should make a point of dropping by on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 8pm, when the shop has wine tastings. It's the best way to discover any of Hamilton's many wines that Parseliti calls "true to place."