It’s Friday night and you need a great glass of wine to go with that dinner you’re cooking for friends. Or maybe it’s Thursday and you’re hoping to pick up some local beer to serve during an impromptu movie night. Either way, it looks like a trip to the store is in order.
Of course, not just any drink shop will do nowadays. Thanks to the abundance of top-tier alcohol made in the Hudson Valley, it’s becoming more and more important for stores to emphasize the experience of drinking craft beer or wine. And that’s exactly where Saisonnier and Windmill Wine and Spirits come into the mix. Both recently opened, the hotspots go above and beyond with crafting immersive aesthetics that rival the artisanal products on their shelves.
Ready to get sipping?
Inside Saissonier / Photo by Kristen Mattei
11 Chatham St, Kinderhook
What It Is: A beer and cheese shop in a historic Hudson Valley building
Leaning into the Hudson Valley’s hopped up beer scene, Saisonnier makes it possible for visitors to shop and sip brews at the same time. Named after the word for French-speaking seasonal laborers in Belgium (the same word from which saison originates), the store emphasizes terrior and farm-to-table practices. It’s owned by a husband-and-wife team and set inside an historic 1830s building that once served as an antique spot, post office, silversmith, plumbing store, soda fountain, and liquor shop.
Inside, visitors will find nearly 125 shoppable beers and ciders, all of which are available to take home or enjoy onsite. For more instore drinking, the shop has 10 craft beers on tap, plus a curated wine list and a medley of coffee, tea, and soda. Alongside the drinks, the former Brooklynite couple serves beautiful cheeses, charcuterie plates, and sandwiches for locals who want to drink and dine at the same time.
Many of the brews are local and pair wonderfully with spreads like the Columbia County Cheese Board, which comes with bites like Cheval Farmstead Fresh Crottin, and the to-die-for kimchi grilled cheese.
Photos by Kristen Mattei
As for the vibe, it’s warm and welcoming. Rustic wood beams line the ceiling, while brick walls add a historic feel. The counters and tables are made from beautiful, thick-cut wood that practically begs for guests to sit and stay awhile. Over the bar, vintage lights add to the old-timey, industrial feel of the space, which extends to the chairs and shelves. All in all, it’s a delight for drinks after work, for Saturday afternoon pitstops with friends, or for those times when a pint of local beer is the only thing that will suffice.
“The Hudson Valley is full of amazing farms, breweries, and growing local businesses, and we are enthusiastic about purveying these quality products for the community,” says Saisonnier co-owner Patrick Kenny. “We could not have asked for a better place to raise our son and open a business.”
Inside Windmill Wine & Spirits / Photo by Lindsey Morano
89 Partition St, Saugerties
What It Is: A wine and spirits shop that offers tastings and education
Owned by Dallas and Ted Gilpin, the couple behind The Dutch Ale House in Saugerties, Windmill Wine & Spirits turns shopping for wine into a personalized experience. On the beverage front, the store is a veritable paradise for anyone in search of unique flavor profiles and high-quality liquors. On any given trip, visitors may come across orange curacao, amaro liquor, or dry London gin.
Wine offerings crisscross the globe, with options curated by the Gilpins and partner Derek Williams (a.k.a. the mastermind behind the Dutch’s delectable cocktails).
Of course, a quick shopping trip only skims the surface of all Windmill has to offer. True enthusiasts will want to stick around to sip and sample in the tasting room, which hosts tastings at 5 and 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday during the week.
For outside events, the shop also offers beverage consultations at private parties and weddings to craft drink menus that cater perfectly to the event and the preferences of the guests.
Photos by Lindsey Morano
Designed as a speakeasy-inspired space, Windmill charms from the moment guests walk through the antique red façade. Bottles are everywhere, from the freestanding wine racks and built-in wall shelves to the vintage countertop at the bar. In the back, the tasting room lures guests with cozy lounge chairs and bites that pair perfectly with whatever Williams and the Gilpins feature that day.
On the go? For locals who need wine but don’t have time to shop, Windmill has them covered with its “curbside carryout” program. Like the name suggests, shoppers can order ahead of time, then drive straight to the parking lot to pick up a few bottles or grab bulk orders of old favorites.
Photo by Lindsey Morano