By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

VertIt has been quiet the wine club front here on NYCR for the last few months. Trust me when I tell you that there’s been a great deal going on in the background.

We’ve found a new home and a new name.

Today I am excited to announce that our wine club, formerly known as the New York Cork Club, will be reborn on January 1, 2012 as the Empire State Cellars Wine Club, fulfilled by Empire State Cellars in Riverhead.

The ESC Wine Club will offer a variety of club options, options that offer flexibility and a variety of price point. But, as always I will still be picking all of the wines — independently — which is just one reason that ESC is a good fit for the club.

There are three tiers  to the club, each shipping every other month (rather than monthly). They are:

  • Hello New York: Includes one white wine and one red wine in the $20-and-under per bottle price range.
  • Getting to Know New York: Includes the “Hello New York” selections plus another red and white wine in the $30-and-under per bottle range for a total of four wines every other month. These wines will include a bit more off-beat or harder-to-get selections.
  • New York Wine Trail: This tier and entitles the you to receive both the “Hello New York” and “Getting to Know New York” club selections, plus two selections in the $40-and-under range per bottle. This level will showcase some of the best wines made in the state, as well as rare and library wines.
  • Excelsior: This tier gets you just the “New York Wine Trail” $40-and-under wines and can be purchased separately, or together with the “Hello New York” option.

If that weren’t enough options, you can also request “All Reds” or “All Whites” in your membership.

Empire State Cellars will ship six (6) times per year beginning in January 2012, and the club will renew automatically.

If you’d like to join the club, please call Katherine Jaeger, Manager of Wine Clubs, at

This is going to be a lot of fun for me — and for you too. I’m working on the January shipment wine picks now and there are some outstanding wines included!