Norm Brodsky's favorite vintages.
If you happened to observe Norm Brodsky--founder of CitiStorage in Brooklyn, New York, and longtime Inc. columnist--out to dinner with his wife, Elaine, the two of them sharing a single glass of wine, you might not suspect he has an appreciation for the stuff. But really, he just hates paying restaurant markups. For 25 years, collecting wine has been a passion for Brodsky, who now has about 200 bottles in his personal stash, all ready to drink.
In the early days, he says, his strategy was to buy a few of the most expensive newly bottled wines he could afford and cellar them for a decade. Later, when Brodsky popped the corks, he found some of the bottles to be superb, others disappointing. Now that he can afford to buy older vintages, occasionally splurging on a $400 bottle, "I no longer buy on speculation," Brodsky says. "At my age, you don't want to wait."
At the request of Inc., Brodsky assembled a case of his favorite vintages in a wide price range. You can find stores that carry these bottles on WineAccess.com.
- Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2003,
"This Pinot Grigio is a little too light for my taste, but it's very popular with guests. People love light wines."
- J. Lohr Chardonnay Arroyo Vista Vineyard 2002,
"This white is a little heavier than the Pinot Grigio. I'd serve it with food at a dinner, especially with chicken."
- Alphonse Mellot Sancerre Rouge "La Moussière" 2004,
"A good friend of mine has a house in Sancerre, which is part of what drew me to this red. I find it goes well with fish. It's feels a little tingly in your mouth and has a mineral taste."
- Alphonse Mellot Sancerre "Cuvée Edmond" 2001,
"Wine has to do with your palate and also with your memories. We went through the caves to get to the tasting room at the winery. When I drink it, I get transported. This is a wine I would serve only to people I know can appreciate it."
- Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet Clos de la Maltroie 2002,
"Chassagne-Montrachet is Elaine's and my favorite. It's what we drink when the two of us are eating together at home. We go through two cases a year."
- Domaine Darnat Meursault Clos Richemont Premier Cru Les Cras 2002,
"This is our Burgundy du jour, although I never met a good Burgundy I didn't like. It is slightly drier than the Chassagne-Montrachet."
- Schneider Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2004,
"Long Island wines are up-and-coming, and this one has a cult following. It has an unusual taste that's very earthy and really good."
- Chateau Haut-Brion Bordeaux 1978,
"This is one of the greatest wines. When I served a bottle the other night at a tasting, I said to the sommelier, 'Taste a little less.' It's rich, smooth, and complex."
- Twomey Merlot 2002,
"The Twomey is a good, fruity Napa Valley wine. I found it through a wine store recommendation. If I have several dinner guests over, I might open a few bottles. People are conditioned to ask for a Merlot or a Shiraz. This is an answer to that request."
- W. & J. Graham's Vintage Port 1970,
"It's pricey and hard to get, but this is my favorite port. It goes down like velvet, and you can taste the fruit."
- Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 1994,
"I love to drink this port with a cigar. The 1970 is richer and more full-bodied, but '94 was also a great year. That's what I drink all the time."
- Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes 1988,
"Chateau d'Yquem [pictured] is my favorite dessert wine of all time. The first time I had it was on the Concorde in '84. The '88 is a great year. This is one of the four to six really expensive bottles I buy a year. It's for special occasions."