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March 30, 2010

Hudson Valley’s Top Wine Shop

In 2005, after more than two decades in Manhattan as an actor, filmmaker, and accidental cable television executive, West Virginia native (and Francophile) Charles Derbyshire came to Rhinebeck, New York, in the Hudson Valley, and took over Old Mill Wines & Spirits. He’s designed the shop to foster interaction: Traditional signage is absent, as are rankings by Robert Parker or the Wine Spectator. And the tightly edited, idiosyncratic mix doesn’t include bottles with clever names, labels with cuddly animals, or any of the mass-produced usual suspects. Derbyshire believes wines should taste like where they come from; our memories and sense of place shape—if not altogether trump—our taste buds, after all. At a recent tasting he poured a bouncy, slightly chilled Loire Valley Chinon, one he describes as “evocative of a summer picnic à deux with a Serge Gainsbourg soundtrack. Beret optional.” At 6390 Mill St.; 845-876-5343