Have you ever wish you could transport yourself to California wine country?  Well, if you're in the New York City area, you can get pretty close.

Located in Manhattan's financial district, California Wine Merchants is the only wine shop in the Big Apple that specializes in wines from California.

Jennifer Frank, wine expert and author, opened the shop and says she has made a point of targeting the smaller boutique wines of California. About 98 percent of the wines on the shelves are from California, and most are smaller production, more limited wines.

Frank also holds an Advanced Certificate with honors from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, so her wine knowledge runs deep.

She says so many people equate Napa with the big Cabernets of the ‘90s, and those can be expensive.  While Napa Cabernets are still the most sought after, there are many good and different varietals coming out of the region at reasonable prices these days.

Frank offered three options all under $35:

“In the case of 2010 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cab and 2010 Round Pond Cab, they have been growing grapes for years and own many of their own vineyards. That helps bring the price down,” says Frank.

She also suggested the 2010 Cultivar, a younger vineyard, just just founded in 2011.  “It's their very mission to represent Napa with high quality, affordable wines,” says Frank.

That’s her mission too, though business is tough these days thanks to Superstorm Sandy.  The Financial District was flooded by the storm and many businesses have not come back yet.  So if you can’t get to downtown Manhattan, check out the web site.

And let me know if you have a favorite Cab under $35.

Cent’ Anni.