Jr. 59, A Fixture Of The Wine Scene In New York
From The New York Times / February 7, 2003
Albert L. Hotchkin Jr., a wine merchant specializing
in Burgundy whose Manhattan shop, restaurants, and classes became meeting places for wine enthusiast of all levels of expertise,
died Tuesday at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. He was 59.
The cause of death has not yet been determined, said Geraldine Tashjian, his business
partner in his shop, The Burgundy Wine Company.
The shop, which was established in 1988 in the West Village and moved to Chelsea
last October, has become renowned nationwide as a supplier of red and white Burgundy and of Pinot Noirs from the West Coast,
as well as Rhone wines.
Mr. Hotchkin, a former executive of the consulting firm McKensey & Company,
entered the New York wine scene as a restauranteur and educator in the early 1980's. He owned Tastings, a popular wine
bar in Midtown Manhattan, and Tastings 2, on the East Side. Both served wine by the glass when it first became fashionable
and drew a clientele who included celebrated winemakers.
In 1982, Mr. Hotchkin founded The International Wine Center, a wine school, upstairs
at Tastings. The school offered classes and wine club tastings for consumers, both novices and collectors, as well as
for sommeliers and others in the wine trade.
The International Wine Center became a site for trade tasting offered not only
by individual producers, domestic and foreign, but also by importers and distributors. It was the site of some of the
first commercial tastings held in New York City by the Long Island wine industry, then in its infancy, and by the Austrailian
and Oregonian wine industries.
Mr. Hotchkin eventually closed both bars to establish The Burgundy Wine Company.
He retained a financial interest in the center until 1997, when he sold his share to Mary Ewing-Mulligan, its director since
Mr. Hotchkin is survived by his wife, Deg Rasmussen of Manhattan, and his brother,
Douglas, of Kennebunk, Me.