The small city of Hudson is one of the most artistic and culturally diverse spots in the Hudson Valley right now. But rewind 12 years, when many of Hudson’s historic townhouses were boarded up. Hudson Wine Merchants, now the city’s most beloved wine shop, used to be a crack den. In the early days, when many suppliers were still figuring out how to get wine upstate, Hudson Wine Merchants served as a community nerve center. “People would leave their house keys here for a visiting friend,” says owner Michael Albin. It’s still a neighborhood hub today: In addition to wine tastings, art shows and theater performances are held in the vast, airy space above the shop. The wines themselves are equally varied. (Albin’s father was an original member of the International Wine and Food Society and Albin still has a few bottles from his dad’s original cellar for sale.) While he professes a penchant for well-made natural wines, Albin stocks everything from classic Burgundy and top Barolo to those from lesser known regions like Hungary and the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
341 Warren St, Hudson, NY; hudsonwinemerchants.com