If there were a wine store tailored to the tastes and habits of Generation Y — those in their 20s and early-mid 30s — what might it look like?
There’d be plenty of rosé, probably, and a sprinkling of local craft spirits. There might be wood floors, brick walls, and a space where customers could gather to learn.
Ryann Leonard, 28-year-old progeny of the clan behind Stew Leonard’s grocery stores, has checked those boxes with Ryann’s Wines, a sprawling wine and liquor shop she opened on May 5 adjacent to the Stew Leonard’s in East Meadow. Its shelves are stocked with 2,000 wines and 1,000 spirits, and there is an education room for seminars and tastings. “I want to help people expand their palate and try new things,” said Leonard.
Leonard, who also works at a technology firm in New York City, grew up around her family’s sprawling grocery business — her grandfather was founder Stew Leonard Sr.— and began working around wine when she was 18, at Stew Leonard’s Wines in Norwalk, Connecticut. “People would come in and they were almost nervous to ask me questions,” Leonard said. “I know people my age who don’t know about wine or liquor. Everyone looks to me when the menu comes and says, ‘I trust you.’ ”
The store includes a section of $30-and-under wines that have received 90 or more points from The Wine Advocate critic Robert Parker, such as Bodegas Breca Garnacha Old Vines from Spain and San Felice Chianti Classico from Italy (both are about $15). Eventually, there will also be a section devoted to “powerful women winemakers,” Leonard said. The store sells at least 50 Long Island-made wines, and a May 12 rose tasting will feature Summer in a Bottle rosè from Wolffer Estate Vineyard.
Ryann’s Wines is open daily; check the store for hours.
1897 Front St., East Meadow. 516-962-8250.