Today may be the first day of spring but there’s still a foot of powder on the ground and the promise of a blowout blizzard this weekend…so it is still very much red wine in front of the fireplace weather. Finding the perfect red wine can be a daunting quest on its own—if you want to try something new the limitless options are overwhelming, and then how do you know that a certain bottle is really worth $100 or $450? That’s when you need a trustworthy importer. When you choose wisely, a good wine guy is more important than your accountant.

Sherbrooke Cellars, also known as Massanois Imports, was founded in 2006 and distributes a unique, carefully selected, and competitively priced portfolio of high-quality wines to restaurant and retail in New York and New Jersey. Sherbrooke Cellars’ mission is to build direct relationships between the estates they represent and their retail and restaurant customers in the New York Metro area.

Sherbrooke is very selective about who they partner up with—each winery that they represent has a compelling story involving the elements of superior winemaking, tradition and family legacy. Sherbrooke/Massanois works with winemakers who are passionate about crafting wines to reflect the vineyards from which their grapes originate and thereby express that unique combination of climate, geography and soil characteristics known as terrior. The wines become storytellers themselves, and the act of drinking such a bottle becomes a true experience rather than a fleeting moment.

Above all else Sherbrooke/Massanois insists on quality. The methods of production that each winemaker employs runs the full spectrum from time-honored and traditional to organic and even biodynamic. Every bottle meets the highest standard of quality and must, at any price, represent a “best value” in its category.

Ultimately, in a world of infinite choices with so many great wines to choose from, people choose to buy from people.

You don’t have to wander into a wine shop and randomly pick out the highest price bottle on the shelf. That’s not even guaranteed to impress at your next dinner party. These guys are here to work directly with you, discover your palate, learn what you like, what you don’t, and what you want to try. Sherbrooke believes that by building a direct relationship between the winemakers and their retail and restaurant customers they create a more meaningful and loyal relationship between the winery and the consumer.

Sherbrooke showcases wineries from Argentina, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, California…the list is pretty extensive. We had the pleasure of hosting a Sherbrooke Cellars Massanois Imports exclusive tasting and found that nothing in their portfolio disappointed.

A perfect late winter weather bottle of red struck a chord with us. The Ross Cobb Joy Road Pinot Noir 2008 is a beautiful vivid red with intense aromas and flavors of plum, crushed blackberries and slight caramel; earth, leather and minerals. Energetic yet silky in the mouth, it’s a pliant, youthfully taut wine with the nervy spine for aging. Cobb Wines is dedicated to handcrafting complex and elegant single-vineyard Pinot Noirs from vineyards on the far Sonoma Coast. Winemaker Ross Cobb is a Pinot Noir specialist who has spent 17 years refining his approach to crafting cool-climate Pinot Noirs. As one of the few California wineries exclusively producing Pinot Noir, Cobb Wines has quietly built a reputation for craftsmanship and quality, while producing benchmark Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs. For those in the tri-state area the best way to get your hands on a bottle is through Sherbrooke.

“We believe that what makes wine truly interesting is the connection between the people who make it and the people who will choose one wine over another because of how they relate to its story and to the people behind the wine. It is the understanding of the processes that go into producing a wine, together with the story of the people who make it, that transforms wine into something memorable rather than something to be simply swallowed and forgotten.” – Sherbrooke Cellars