Saturday, February 4, 2012


This is our kind of place! We’d barely removed our hats and gloves when friendly bartender Saida brought us tastes of City Winery’s Petit Syrah. Soon we were sipping out way through the lineup, guided by Raul Mesias, Director of Wine Sales. Soothed by gentle rumblings from the No. 2 subway below, we tasted ten wines on tap: two featuring New York State grapes, the rest from California. Our favorites were Finger Lakes, NY Cabernet Franc; Lake County, CA Barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc; and Lodi, CA Petit Syrah. The comprehensive wine list offers much more by the glass and around 500 bottles representing the best of what just about anyone could want to drink.

The Bar
Bottle Lamps, Streetside at Dusk
The Barrel Room restaurant and tasting bar is a very recent addition to this 21,000-foot space, which Michael Dorf of Knitting Factory fame opened as an urban winery and nightly music venue in 2008. City Winery specializes in barrel ownership, offering hands-on experience in the winemaking process and of course private labels to document the results. Winemaker David Lecomte hails from the Rhone Valley, but he’s open to working with grapes from anywhere, provided that they can be properly transported. A barrel (average price around $8000) yields 252 bottles – quite a lot of a single wine, but barrel owners automatically become “members” in the winery and are invited to classes and private events where they can informally trade wine amongst themselves.

In August 2012 City Winery will open a new spot in Chicago’s West Loop. Meanwhile, check here for current information about the NYC winery's hours and events. 155 Varick St. between Spring and Vandam 212.608.0555

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