Since 2005, White Plains resident Stuart Levine has been providing a variety of fine wine options in his downtown White Plains store.
Le Vino Wine Merchants specializes in both foreign and domestic wines.
Formerly known as Vino 100, Le Vino is the first business Levine has owned. “We decided years ago that we wanted to have a family business,” Levine, whose wife is Janine, said last week. “One thing we noticed was that downtown [White Plains] was lacking a fine wine shop. There were little liquor stores but there weren’t a lot of wine shops that actually specialized in wine.”
“We sell liquor as well, but our focus is wine,” Levine said. “We’re about 80 to 85 percent wine.”
Le Vino offers wines from around the world. “We have a lot of Italian wine because we have a large Italian population here and it’s very popular. I love Italian wines,” Levine said. “It’s such a broad range of whites, reds, light bodied, full bodied. They kind of cover the gamut. They have more grapes in Italy than in any other country and they make a ton of wine.”
“France is also well-known,” Levine said. “Many of the great varietals came from France originally and they have the most famous wines. But Italian wines to me just have a lot more character in what they offer.”
Some of the countries whose wines are also sold at Le Vino include Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Chile. The store also offers domestic wines from such locales as New York State, Oregon, Washington State and California, Levine noted.
“We have a small area of liquor,” Levine said. “What we tried to do is make sure that the liquor we have is a little more distinct. So we have a lot of small production items, a lot of local made items, things made in New York, a lot of whiskeys, bourbons.” Some of the foreign made liquors sold at Le Vino include Irish Whiskeys and Scotch from Scotland, he said. Other liquor offerings include tequilas, rums and vodkas, he said.
Levine is a Certified Specialist of Wine, which he earned by taking a course from the Society of Wine Educators that lasted several months with an exam at the end of the program. “It’s pretty tough,” he said. “They teach everything.”
“When you’re done with that course you know more about wine than you thought you’d ever know,” Levine said. “I think it’s very good for retailers to always further their education. And you have to like what you do. I love what I do.”
Le Vino Wine Merchants is located at 171 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains. For more information call 914-949-8466, visit levinowine.com or send an e-mail to email@example.com.