Those with sophisticated palates will tell you: the wine experience in New York City is unlike any other in the country. The wine lists here – the good restaurants regard it as equal to the menu – are world-class. Wine shops carry an unrivaled global cross-section of the very best. And then there are the getaways.
Here are a handful of wine experiences to consider during your next Big Apple visit.
The wine bar scene is hot in New York City, including watering holes that specialize in bubbles. Flute Bar and Lounge runs two champagne bars: the original on W. 54th in Midtown and a location in Gramercy, on E. 20th St. This is where you get the best in bubbly from around the world, including top tier Champagnes and sparklers from California to Italy. You’ll also find a wide selection of cocktails and small plates, too, and live jazz on Wednesday nights. Each locale is worth a visit just for the vibe: the Midtown spot is several steps down from the sidewalk and screams speakeasy while Gramercy oozes elegance, with its candle-lit lounge, fireplaces and original artwork on the wall. Flute Bar (which runs a third location in Paris) hosts an annual gala featuring upscale French Champagnes every November.
This is classic urban wine making, and a cool place to hang out. Brooklyn Winery, located on N. 8th St. in Brooklyn, produces a handful of small-production wines, from Riesling to cabernet. The winery’s right on site; in fact, you can tour it for free on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (at specific times). You might even get to rub shoulders with winemaker Conor McCormack, who honed his skills in Napa and helped Brooklyn Winery nab three awards at this year’s coveted San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. If you’re a local, buy a custom growler and come back for refills of exclusive wines right from the tap. Whenever you want. The adjacent bar is a great hangout, with beer, wines by flight or glass and a concise menu of shared plates that ranges from tempura-fried squash blossoms to lamb meatballs. Visiting during harvest season, which tends to peak in October and which kicks the winery into high gear, is an awesome time to go.
Want to spend a day in wine country. We like these guys for the comfort – their vehicles are lounges on wheels, with wi-fi , flat-screen TVs and reclining leather seats with individual power outlets. And we love the wine. Get picked up in Manhattan in the morning – they’ll include your breakfast – and spend the next several hours amidst rolling vineyards and some of the best tasting rooms in Long Island’s North Fork. Cheers to that!
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