Reed Street Bottle Shop: A Wine & Spirits Destination in Coxsackie
Reed Street Bottle Shop in Coxsackie sells wine, spirits, and ciders—including some rare and hard-to-find bottles—but you don't have to be a connoisseur to fall in love with this place. Tucked into a robin's egg blue storefront in Coxsackie's quaint riverfront village, Reed Street Bottle Shop is the kind of spot where you want to linger and chat with the owners, Susan Baldaserini and Shai Kessler, a pair of Brooklyn transplants.
They welcome customers to weekly wine tastings, and if you discover a bottle or two that you love, they offer a 10% discount on all cases (mix and match however you like), and free delivery (on purchases of 1 case or $100) to Greene, Albany, Ulster, and Columbia counties. It's a sweet deal at a great place. We talked with co-owner Susan Baldaserini about selling wine in Greene County, the charm of Reed Street in Coxsackie, and opening a small business upstate.
First, could you tell me a little bit about Reed Street Bottle Shop in your own words? When did you open, and what's the vibe like in your shop?
SB: The little tag line for our shop is, "Wine, Spirits, Frivolity"—and I think the word frivolity best describes our vibe. We strive to keep the tone lighthearted, relaxed, and approachable. We're a neighborhood shop, we know most customers by name, we remember what bottles they love (and which ones they don't!). For the wine and whiskey geeks, we stock some lesser-known, hard-to- find, and limited release bottles, but we don’t go out of our way to force that stuff on anyone. Walking into a wine shop can be an intimidating experience, but it doesn’t have to be, and that’s what we try to drive home.
How did you get into wine? And what made you decide to open a wine shop upstate?
SB: In terms of getting into wine, it was half lifestyle, and half recognizing a need for a good wine shop in Greene County. Shai was a cook in the city for 15 years, and together we’ve always had a huge interest in food and drink. For several years we had talked/schemed/dreamed about leaving the city and starting a small business. A restaurant or food market was never out of the question (still isn’t!), but ultimately, we felt that a wine/liquor store would be a more stable first business, and there was a definite need for something beyond a package store in our little pocket of the Hudson Valley.
With that, Shai left the kitchen in 2015, and took a job at our local wine shop, Dry Dock, in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He was very transparent with the owners—explaining that he wanted to learn the ins and outs of the business—and they were extraordinarily receptive and supportive. In the year and half that he was there, he absorbed a ton of wine knowledge and made a slew of great connections with small and independent importers and distributors. These relationships have been fantastic, as they now allow us to stock products that few other shops in the Hudson Valley carry.
Of all the little towns along the Hudson, what made you choose Coxsackie? Do you live and work there?
SB: Our home is in New Baltimore, 6 miles north of the shop. We live in a little historic hamlet, in a 120-year-old Victorian perched up on the river. The neighborhood is a quirky and tightly-knit community (a combination of full-timers and weekenders), but there’s no commerce in town. When it came time to find a location for the shop, our search was highly shaped by where we would be able to obtain a liquor license. We considered Catskill and Athens before ultimately landing on Coxsackie.
For our readers who haven't visited Coxsackie yet, what's it like?
SB: While many know of Coxsackie on account of the prison, or the stops along 9W, few people know about the completely charming main drag (Reed Street) about 2 miles off the main thoroughfare, nestled right on the edge of the river. There’s a strip of candy-colored buildings and townhouses built in the 1800s, a riverside park, a public boat launch, a bank, a post office, and a slew of vacant storefronts that are just begging to be rejuvenated. The town has seen its economic ups and downs, and for that, we knew we were taking a gamble when we ultimately decided to set up shop on Reed Street, but we see so much potential in this little village, and we hope to pave the way for the next renaissance in this town that we’ve quickly grown to love.
Reed Street Bottle Shop is located at 34 Reed Street in Coxsackie, NY, (518) 731-6326. Please check their website for their tasting calendar and their hours. They are currently closed on Tuesdays. You can follow the shop on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. All photos were generously provided by the owners.