Sunday, August 16, 2009


Well, the traffic could not have been worse. I arrived, pretty easily at the bottom the of the Hudson Valley, far away from the reaches of the George Washington Bridge (and its attendant gruesome traffic). I was on the stretch that connects the Garden State Parkway to I-87. I had just driven out of New York City with the intention of beating the weekend traffic, and making a straight line for For Love of Wine.

Then, Fate intervened. There was solid traffic on I-87 from the moment I got on. Even before the toll just after the exit for Route 17. And long after. Just miles an miles of cars. No construction. Just car, after car, after car.

I got a call from David Jackson, our sales director.
"You're on the road?" he asked anxiously.
"Yeah, I'm on the road alright," I said. I won't write the other words I used.
Then I got a call from Dominique...same conversation.

Needless to say, I arrived at Crossgates Mall and hour and twenty minutes late! I was fuming. I was almost out of gas - I'd never seen my fuel gauge so low! And I had missed the exit for the mall twice, since it's not properly marked on I-87....but after three passes, I finally figured it out.

I the mean time, I switched from polo shirt to dress shirt and jacket. I performed that little trick just north of Exit 21 on I-87. I couple of people were looking at me driving while changing. Some one gave me a thumbs up!

Once inside I was both angry and relieved. Angry that it took so long (four hours to make a two hour trip) and I was so late. And relieved to finally be there. David had covered for me since 4pm. Thank you David!

For Love of Wine was created by contemporary classical musician's Allan Von Schenkel and Kristen Williams, also known as the Basso Moderno Duo. They are one of the nicest couples you'll ever meet. They actually have a Grand Piano and a large bass in the store. At one point in the evening, they performed a small classical/jazz piece for me. They are truly fantastic musicians who have played all over the country and all over the world. They are so talented. It was fabulous!

One of the things I like about For Love of Wine is the way they display their wines. Firstly, they have a limited selection. The wines are unique, and hand selected. This isn't a stack 'em high and watch 'em fly kind of place. Wines are arranged by taste. From light fruity reds to deep, dark earthy blends. From sweet light whites, to complex oaky whites. It's not arranged by country or region. It's arranged by flavor.

They could not have been nicer. The mall was a little slow Friday night, but For Love of Wine had a number of people coming through. Longtime, dedicated customers, as well as curious shoppers.

Allan and Kristen are great with people and they spent lots of time with each of their customers. They are friendly, affable, and love to talk about wine and music.

The store is also highlighted by unique sets of glassware, made only in the US, and is adorned by paintings by a local artist. They also have an excellent selection of wine books. I saw a number of titles I had never seen before. Which of course gives me a reason to go back....for myself.

I had left my phone/camera in the van in all my haste. I'll take more pictures to post.

A fabulous place to come and buy and talk about wine and music.

And thanks to Allan and Kristen!


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