Wine at Five is for sale

0:00 Dear Friends,     Happy 2023 everyone and what a joy this journey of owning Wine at Five has been. In March 2006 I […]

Published January 11, 2023 10:45 PM
3 min read

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Dear Friends,     Happy 2023 everyone and what a joy this journey of owning Wine at Five has been. In March 2006 I started my dream of introducing customers to wines that were a little off the beaten track. Varietals they didn’t necessarily know, wines they had never heard of, flavors that transported them to memories they may have forgotten. It’s sixteen years later, and I have loved almost every minute of it. I have watched many of your children grow up, from the days they sat on the Rocking Sheep, to showing me their ID and buying their first bottle of legal alcohol. I have been there for their weddings and, sadly, I have poured at some wakes. I have had so many dinners, and drinks with so many of you, I have lost count. It has been a most wonderful trip, and there are memories and friendships I shall cherish for many years to come.   But everything does eventually come to an end. I have been thinking about hanging up my corks for some time now. Covid was hard, with very long hours and no time off. In fact, the last five-day “vacation” I had was when my son and I went out to Snowbird and spent the most incredible week powder skiing every day. That was in February 2019. Almost four years ago. That was also the last holiday I had with Michael. Losing him this past August crushed me, and many of you have commented that I seem to have lost some passion for what I am doing since then.   I have worked too hard to build Wine at Five into the wine merchant it is today. It would have been disingenuous to both the shop, and to you, if I had let it fall apart. And so, since coming back from Everest (not really a vacation!), I have been talking to a very select few people who may have been interested in taking over Wine at Five.    I finally settled on a young man who has all the characteristics I was looking for. David Pauker has managed a boutique wine store in Greenwich Village (NYC) for the last ten years. And by manage, I really do mean manage. For all intents and purposes, he <was> the store, except he didn’t own it. And he wants to be an owner. He is highly educated — with a B.A. from Miami, Ohio, a full semester learning fluent Chinese in Shanghai, and then back here to receive an M.S.C. from New York University in Global Affairs. He has worked extensively in finance, specializing in Chinese affairs, in particular energy policy. But, like me, he too realized that working in the field of wine is far more satisfying — if a lot less lucrative — than working on Wall Street. I couldn’t be happier with the choice I have made, and I do believe that you, both friends and customers, will benefit enormously from him taking over the reins.   As for me, I plan to spend more time out in Southold on the North Fork. I will travel more, renew my friendships with winemakers across the globe, and constantly search for that “best wine ever”. I plan to remain in the industry, but a little more hands-off with a little less pressure. If anyone, at any time, plans to be out on the North Fork, my home and a bottle of wine are both open, and food is always somewhere. This may be the end of my daily trips to Rye, but it is not the end of our friendships. Maybe it is just a new beginning.   I will remain in the store through the end of January. David will be coming up when he can during the month to work alongside me. I would love to introduce you to him. My email, cai@wineatfive.com will remain active for several months and then merge into caipalmer@icloud.com. Either one works now. You can reach out to me at any time, and I encourage you to do so. There will be a learning curve for David, and I have agreed to retain a vested interest in the store for some time.   Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your trust in me. Thank you for your business. But mostly, thank you for your friendship.    Cai Palmer
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