Top 10 New York City wine barsBy db_staff
According to menupages.com there are lots and lots of bars calling themselves wine bars in New York City, but which ones are the real deal?
To qualify as a bona fide wine bar, the primary focus has to be on the grape. If the most visible bottles in the establishment are spirits based, it’s not a wine bar.
Here are ten of New York City’s best wine bars serving great – and interesting – wine with expertise.
If you know of any really good wine bars in New York City that we have missed out, drop us a line and let us know – email@example.com
10. Enoteca I Trulli
Thanks to an award-winning all-Italian wine list, the restaurant I Trulli has spawned its own bar. It is best described as a cosy room with a handsome bar and marble-top tables, right next door to the Italian restaurant I Trulli.
The 100 selections in stock cover the full spectrum of Italian producers and the range allows for sampling by region or by variety. The bar snacks are prepared in the adjacent restaurant and this rises the bar above other contenders, while cheeses, salumi and olives are available on their own or combined.
Address: 122 E. 27th St. near Lexington Ave www.itrulli.com.
9.The Bourgeois Pig
A massive wine selection matched by sweet and savory fondue and funky shabby-chic décor make this East Village spot a stand-out wine bar.
Enjoy half-price bottles of wine Monday-Wednesday, 5pm-2am.
Ravi DeRossi, chef Luis Gonzalez, and barkeep Frank Cisneros have also opened a second Bourgeois Pig in Carroll Gardens.
The Brooklyn location looks much like the East Village original, with nineteenth-century saloon vibe complete with flocked wallpaper, shiny gold ceilings, and chandeliers.
The use of pigs in their branding is very impressive and this image of a tattooed pig that they use on their Facebook page could have easily made our top 10 wine and spirits tattoos.
Address: 111 E 7th Street, New York, NY www.bourgeoispigny.com
8. Bar Veloce
A recent expansion has transformed Bar Veloce into a large and ultra-modern space. Famous for its plate of tramezzini, three-layered finger sandwiches made with Sicilian tuna or eggplant with olive paste, the Italian connection cannot be missed with three vintage Vespas on display.
Should the drinker tire of Italian wine, there’s now a choice of grappas, amaros and even sake.
Address: 175 2nd Avenue, between 11th and 12th Streets www.barveloce.com.
7. Bin 71
Bin 71 describes itself as “a cozy restaurant and wine bar offers delectable Italian cuisine and a superior selection of fine wines.”
On weekend nights, the place gets packed with wine lovers standing shoulder to shoulder. On a weekday the local after-work crowd snags seats at either the bar or at a dark-wood communal table. Mediterranean small plates are also available.
Some may be put off by the television but this wine bar is well served by the 20-30 year old New York professional who appreciates the well-thought-out, international wine list.
Address: 237 Columbus Ave. and 71st St. www.bin71.com.
It feels somewhat like a hip cocktail lounge and though the whole drinks list is impressive, the main business here is wine.
Anfora opened in May of 2010 and the name is a reference to the clay vessels (Amphorae) used to store and transport wine in ancient Greece and Rome.
There is a resurgence of amphora aging among some winemakers, and the list features great examples of these wines.
Address: 34 8th Ave. and Jane St. www.anforanyc.com.
5. Morrell’s Wine Bar & Café
The Wine Bar & Café is located directly on Rockefeller Plaza, next door to Morrell’s Wine Store, a leading retailer of wine in New York for over 60 years, own and run by the Morrell family – Peter and Roberta Morrell and Nikos Antonakeas.
Tom Stanley, wine director at Morrell Wine Bar & Café has assembled an extensive list of wines to accompany the food – or enjoy on their own. Customers can sample 100 wines by the glass, from benchmark Bordeaux to up-and-coming New World wines. The by the bottle list offers over 800 wines from all over the globe.
This wine bar is also renowned for its friendly, well-informed staff who guide the customer through the menu.
The menu alone is worth a visit as it’s hard to do better in the neighbourhood.
Address: 1 Rockefeller Center, 49th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. www.morrellwinebar.com.
4. Ten Bells
The Ten Bells, named after the bar in London where Jack The Ripper supposedly chose his victims offers an ample, well-curated selection of international wines.
The menu is large and mostly European-inspired food menu of cheese (including a cow’s milk cheese called “Barick Obama”, charcuterie and assorted salads and appetizers.)
A sure winner is the oyster happy-hour special from 5pm to 7 pm – you can eat your fill for only US$1 each.
Address: 247 Broome Street, 212-228-4450 www.tenbells.com
Just the description of “an Old World wine bar tucked behind an ostensible cheese shop” stirs the imagination ahead of trying this wine bar.
The dark backroom, with its cast-iron sconces jutting out from the brick walls and heavy wooden benches pulled up close to candle-lit tables, is one of those hidden gems. The short wine list favours inexpensive vintages – primarily from California and South America – all served at an Old World pace.
A variety of cheeses from 14 different countries and the hummus make the wine taste even better.
Address: 856 Ninth Ave., near 56th St. http://www.kashkavalfoods.com.
2. Kaia Wine Bar
Kaia is one of the few bars in the city that serves wine on tap. The two “draught” vintages are from the Gotham Project on the North Fork of Long Island – a Riesling and The Fork, a Merlot-based blend.
In general this South African wine bar specialises in lesser-known wines from South Africa, as well as New Zealand and Australia. Almost all are available by the glass.
Address: 1614 3rd Avenue between 90th and 91st Streets. www.kaiawinebar.com.
1. The Tangled Vine
The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen brings a unique sensibility to the bustling bar and restaurant scene of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, integrating a casual and friendly wine bar experience with a Mediterranean-inspired menu and Old World wine list.
The New York Times wrote that the Tangled Vine “has put together a detailed, wide-ranging and smartly chosen list that is miles beyond the generic without getting lost in the esoteric.”
Address: 434 Amsterdam Ave. and 81st St. http://tangledvinebar.com.