Archive for August, 2009


Yesterday I met Carlo Huber of The Austrian Wines-Darcy and Huber Selections–at Alphabet City Wine Co. for a speed-date tasting of wines from Vienna.  It was an afternoon that originated with my first sip of the 2008 Weiner Gemischter Satz Sommeregg Reserve Jutta Ambrositsch, at a blind/live-blog tasting at 67 Wine. Stupendous on many levels–it’s imported and distributed by The Austrian Wines (and loved by Alice Feiring)–this Gemischter Satz (a white field blend in which–in this case 20–varietals are fermented together) stirred some expectations–a few of which were met. (more…)


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After visiting Bin No 220, I’ve been thinking–What’s it take to make a wine bar? Is it the number of wines that counts, or can any establishment brand itself regardless of list length or depth?  Must the wine bar educate the consumer or simply provide a pleasant place to drink?  With over 130 self-professed wine bars dotting the city, have we been flooded like Chinatown by Gucci-fakes? USWineBars.com formed a committee of professionals and came to define a “Classic wine bar” as one that offers at least 20 wines or Champagnes by the glass with a bottle list that runs at minimum, 100 bottles long.  That would surely reduce our NYC count in half, if that, excluding places like Bin No 220, which was actually voted “Best New Wine Bar 2007” by the readers of Time Out New York. (more…)

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This month’s wine club meet was dedicated to rosé, the queen of quaffable summer wines.  And since we were fortunate enough to spend the evening atop a downtown roof (props to Caitlin’s pops!), we decided to open the evening to a few friends, including Keith, the East Village Wine Geek of In Vino and Alphabet City Wines.  Nine bottles from six countries–a brilliant range.  And since none of these included the rosé region of Tavel, I vote to place Tavel atop our next summer’s list. (more…)

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It could have been the hour of day; it could have been the rain.  But on that Friday evening, Total Wine Bar felt incomplete.  The interior hummed a discordant tune; narrow and nondescript.  The wine list read the same.  It was happy hour (from six to eight), offering $4 glasses of house red or white, and perhaps that’s what Jenn and I should have drank.   (more…)

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