Reed Street Bottle Shop, one of the newest additions to Coxsackie’s historic district, is a small wine and liquor store offering thoughtfully sourced craft beverages, unpretentious bottle recommendations, and, as the common cliché goes, a whole lot of heart.
The shop is run by Susan Baldaserini and Shai Kessler, a couple who made the move to the Valley from Brooklyn about two years ago. They purchased a home in New Baltimore, having full intentions of starting a meaningful small business once settled. Coxsackie became the clear choice as they scouted a place to set up: The couple did a tour through towns within a 30-mile radius of their new home base, discovering an artisanal or independent wine shop in each, but finding a glaring hole — “a bull’s-eye” — in the Village of Coxsackie.
Kessler had previously been a chef, working through such notable NYC kitchens as Pearl & Ash, The Odeon, and Hearth (among others) for more than a decade, and it was when he began to feel burnt out that the two overhauled their lives to focus on their shared love of good food and drink. “For as long as we can remember, we’d dreamed of opening a food- or beverage-related business,” Baldaserini says.
“When we decided to open a wine shop we thought one of us ought to get a job in a wine shop,” she continues, “so Shai got a job at a small place in the City and cultivated a lot of relationships with suppliers or producers you don’t typically see on shelves here [in the Hudson Valley].” He’s brought that expertise to his new position as a buyer, curating the selection at RSBS into a list of expertly appointed local wines threaded through a set of globetrotting pours. All bottles represent independent producers, and most tout an interesting backstory to boot.
Their setup is earnest, embracing basic building elements and simple shelving to emphasize the importance of the product. An affordable price point has always been of high priority as well, and a long wooden table sporting a selection of “$12 and under” finds is perhaps the shop’s focal point. They tend to have around 200 total wines and 50 liquors available. “We strive to hit a balance of keeping our customers happy with old favorites, but keeping them intrigued with exciting new bottles,” notes Kessler.
This model is working: RSBS has become a pillar of the area, drawing guests with open wine tastings (which were held in conjunction with the weekly farmers’ market set up just around the corner until its conclusion in October) and cultivating relationships with the local community. A recent tasting featured samples from nearby Hudson-Chatham Winery, a producer they had reached out to before they had even opened up. The shop regularly stocks the winery’s River’s Edge vintage with a tag that reads, “You are nine miles from this vineyard. Talk about local!”
What’s most impressive, however, is that the camaraderie between the couple and their guests is almost palpable. They know customers by name, offer to carry purchases out to faraway-parked cars, and an air of approachable, well-mannered frivolity seems to share equal billing with the thoughtfulness behind their bottles. It’s clear that Baldaserini and Kessler are not just in the wine business, they are in the “making people happy” business, too.
34 Reed St, Coxsackie; 518.731.6326;
open Wed – Mon