Over the past few years, there has been an increased focus on what we put into our bodies as well as into the earth. Organic, clean eating has become all the rage, with stores such as Whole Foods skyrocketing to fame virtually overnight. Now, the eco-forward trend has even made its way to one of our favorite adult beverages–and we couldn’t be more excited. There’s a movement sweeping the world of wine-making, with its tasty final product known simply as “natural wine.” More than a few NJ businesses have taken an interest in the pristine drink, and we’re here to tell you exactly where in North Jersey you can score a bottle of natural wine nearest you.
What is natural wine?
Simply put, it aims for as little intervention as possible, using a production process that does not add or subtract anything; grapes are grown usually by small and independent producers, in organic, sustainable or biodynamic vineyards. Similarly, the wine is fermented without additives or sulfites that alter its flavor. The result is a libation that is a little different from the ones that we know, often described as cloudier, more sour and even a little “funky.” Though a fairly recent addition to winemaking history, many enthusiasts believe the classic drink should always be forged this way.
Where can I get natural wine in North Jersey?
1. Neighbors Wine Shop – South Orange, NJ
Our first location in North Jersey is a local business with a self-proclaimed weakness for craft beer and natural wine. Owned by two local couples, the South Orange shop is all about promoting the integrity of the individualized winemaking experience. Through their diverse offerings, Neighbors Wine Shop aims to share the stories of the small producers from whom they source their products. Among these efforts include carefully curated selections of local, women and POC-produced wine as well. Though the shop is only in-store pickup at the moment, they are providing delivery to select towns.
2. Frankie – Jersey City, NJ
This Jersey City restaurant was first on our radar due to its dreamy surf-lodge aesthetic and mouth-watering coastal cuisine. To make matters even better, the Australian wine bar also has an extensive collection of natural wines from all around the world. Options range from a Sauvignon Blanc sourced from New Zealand’s “The Super Natural Wine Co.” to a Southern Italian Lambrusco by Quarticello. You can purchase a bottle in Frankie’s pop-up shop or try a glass at their restaurant, open Wednesday through Sunday (outdoor dining only).
3. Super Buy-Rite – Jersey City, NJ
As the largest wine and liquor store in North Jersey (and actually the entire state), Super Buy-Rite JC has everything you could possibly want, including a vast selection of natural wine. Simply search on their website or call to find out about their current natural wine options, which range from local to internationally-created products. A unique example of the latter is their Tikal Natural, a biodynamic Argentinian wine which combines flavors like pomegranate, cherry, oak and mocha. Super Buy-Rite JC is currently open and available for delivery every day of the week, with free local delivery over $60.
4. Harry’s Food and Drink – North Bergen, NJ
Harry’s Food and Drink is a seriously electric gastropub with quirky food and drink selections to match. While sitting amongst its mural-covered walls and art deco furnishings, try out a Poggio Anima sparkling white from Italy or a Le Clos, a Gamay noir from France. Between their ample natural wine collection and endless takes on American cuisine, you’ll have a hard time limiting your order to just one. Luckily, this North Bergen restaurant opens every day at noon so you can keep coming back for more.
5. Riverview Wine and Spirits – Jersey City, NJ
This Jersey City vendor’s mission is rooted in promoting the natural wine craft, selling “real wine made by people who hand-picked their grapes, got dirt under their fingernails, and respected the whimsies of nature.” This ethos runs throughout their entire store, with beer, spirits and cheese created in the same manner. Though all shopping is currently online, Riverview Wine and Spirits offers free delivery within Hudson County and advanced orders to neighboring Bergen and Essex Counties. Look to their colorful Instagram for further information on business operation and producer spotlights on their many natural wine creators.
6. CoolVines – Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken
CoolVines takes pride in hand-selecting “only the best” wines that are authentic to their type and cost-efficient. Among this North Jersey shop’s valuable stocks are a variety of organic and natural wines. Be sure to check out their Castrum Morisci, an Italian wine that gives strong summer vibes thanks to its raspberry lemonade, watermelon and strawberry flavors. The diverse store also offers gourmet snacks, as well as the opportunity to host socially distant in-store wine tastings with friends. CoolVines has locations in Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken, with same-day delivery options.
7. Wine Dad’s – Hoboken, NJ
Just as the saying goes, dads always know best. This Hoboken store embodies this idea fully, using it to imply their top quality and personally-approved selection of beverages. On their website, the shop emphasizes their inclusion of small producers, varying source locations and only the most exceptional flavors. Instead of getting caught up in number scores, Wine Dad’s wants you to enjoy your shopping and trust that they know their stuff. They are open every day of the week, with limited home delivery.
8. Porter – Weehawken, NJ
Only a stone’s throw away from Hoboken, Porter’s knows how to do wine night right. The high-end gastropub is located on the ground level of the River House in Port Imperial, a luxury residential community. To complement their modern American menu, they choose to incorporate wines specifically from natural, organic or biodynamic–operated vineyards. One of their 100+ options is the Vin De Kav, a unique low-intervention red with notes of cherry, violet and licorice. Stop by any day to enjoy their flavorful cuisine, peruse the property’s adjacent in-house market or take in their amazing views.
9. Marcus at NoHu Rooftop – Weehawken, NJ
If you would like to savor a glass of natural wine while surrounded by breathtaking views of New York City, then NoHu Rooftop is the place to be. Situated on top of Weehawkens’s Envue Hotel, this upscale joint is helmed by famous “Food Network” chef Marcus Samuelsson. On their menu, they make sure to point out which choices in every category are both organic and biodynamic. Such is the case for their Sumoll Blanc, an orange Spanish wine that tastes of strawberry, raspberry and cherry. Open every night, you can either sip in the lounge or your own private igloo!
10. Pet Shop – Jersey City, NJ
This Jersey City hangout’s walls are lined with eclectic, animal-themed decor, drawing inspiration from its entirely vegan and vegetarian menu. That being said, it only makes sense that the environmentally-conscious spot would also be firm proponents of natural wine. Though Pet Shop usually has a wine bar operating below the restaurant, it has been closed amid COVID. Nonetheless, you can still try their innovative wines in the bar and restaurant’s dining room any time.
11. Sparrow Wine Company – Hoboken, NJ
This Hoboken wine company has a long and successful history. Originally founded as a cigar company during Prohibition, they were one of the leading tobacco suppliers in the state until they shifted completely to fine wine in 1986. Their website will guide you to their specific natural products, such as Essencial, a pet nat by Spanish winemaker Joan Rubio. However, the preferred experience is to shop among the store’s beautiful shipyard Manhattan views. Sparrow Wine Company is open seven days a week for both walk-in shopping and delivery.
12. Sorellina Italian Kitchen – Hoboken, NJ
Located in Hoboken, Sorellina’s restaurant and wine bar aims to bring Italy’s vibrant culture to the Garden State. They achieve this by using only the best natural ingredients, including exclusively sourced Italian wine from all over the country. Browse their many natural offerings, such as the Lubigo, an orange wine from Emilia-Romagna, or the Bianco di Ampeleia from Tuscany. Pour out a glass, devour some amazing pasta, and become transported back to the old world any night of the week.
13. Madame Claude Wine – Jersey City, NJ
This shop is the latest creation by the owners of the popular Madame Claude Cafe, similarly located in Jersey City. While the former focuses on primarily French cuisine, their wine selection hails from all around the world. Though most of their wines are organic, Madame Claude Wine’s helpful staff can direct you to their fair share of natural wine options as well. Pair a natural selection with one of the shop’s many sausages, pates or cheeses available and you’re all set for a luxurious wine night in.
14. Amanti Vino – Montclair and Morristown, NJ
This wine shop specializes in boutique and artisanal wine, testing thousands of bottles every year to ensure their top inventory from each region and category. This includes an impressive assortment of natural wines which are available every day for tasting opportunities. Stop by the Montclair location and be greeted by the owners’ black lab, Brody, or even bring your own pet to make a fun event of your wine browsing. BothAmanti Vino stores are open every day of the week, boasting various delivery options.
15. The Oak Street Liquors and Deli – Weehawken, NJ
Can’t decide between comfort food and a sophisticated wine dinner? This North Jersey shop is the new one-trip stop for all of the deli food, craft beer and natural wine that your heart desires. Next time you’re in the mood for a hearty sub, try pairing it with their Biokult wine “Naken.” Regarded as “the beer lover’s wine,” this Austrian beverage boasts citrus flavors, a creamy, frothy body and pale amber color. Since being re-established in 2020, The Oak’s sandwiches, as well as its wines, are available for pick any day.
16. Jersey Wine and Spirits – Jersey City, NJ
Despite its humble exterior, this Jersey City storefront houses a massive collection of wine, spirits and craft beer. To our surprise, it is not lacking in natural wine either. With wines ranging from French-produced Syrahs to Portuguese oranges and much more, there are endless opportunities and flavors to choose from. The store also offers some natural cider, such as the funky Spanish Arrazain, if that’s something you are curious to try as well. Jersey Wine and Spirits is open every day with varying hours.
17. Cork Wine and Spirits – Hoboken and Harrison, NJ
Cork Wine and Spirits is a business that aims to travel back to a simpler time–in more ways than one. They believe that wine should be used to cultivate relationships, a notion reflected in their close bond with their customers. Additionally, the store takes great care to select quality wines from some of the “smallest villages around the world.” Such is the case for the shop’s incorporation of Domaine Arsac wines, produced naturally in the commune of Saint Jean Le Centenier, France. Open daily, Cork Wine and Spirits has locations in both Hoboken and Harrison.
Know of any other spots to get natural wine in North Jersey? Let us know in the comments below.
Main image via @shopneighborswine