Even though I’ve been to ‘ino a hundred times–before the Forum, after the Forum, half-way between many of my Brooklyn friends and me–I’ve never thought of it as a “wine bar”, but more as the “panini place”, because their sandwiches are so prime. But an Italian wine bar it is, complete with tramezzini, bruchetta, and paninis; as well as Freisa, Pignolo, Nero d’Avola, and Sangiovese–all tucked inside a tiny hideaway (25 seats at 21 Bedford Street), with warm yellow walls and brick, dark woods, and dim lights.
I arrived long before Farrel, and chose the table by the door. At some time before five, it was Monday and a little on the early side–two women sat with cups and the bar was nearly empty. I ordered a glass of Cantina Taburno, Fidelis, 2004–made from Aglianico (a dark skinned southern Italian grape) deep garnet and ripe fruit. Cherries, berries, and earthy with a slight herbacious note. A medium bodied wine with high tannins and mouth-wetting acidity; the fruits and tannins of this Anglianico ($9/$17/$33) weren’t a matrimonial bunch.
After turning my palate upside down with some tasty bruschetta, I flipped the menu and scanned the list of wines–North, Central, and South and Islands– I counted 47 bottles of white. Seven by the glass, I narrowed it down to one–Stefano Massone Gavi, 2007, made from Cortese, a grape grown in Piedmonte that produces a straw yellow wine. With golden apples and citrus, minerality, and perhaps a touch of cilantro, the Gavi was high on acidity and crisp.
I think next time I’ll order from the larger list——-of bottles and eat a panini.
[Where: ‘ino, 21 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014]