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.
Unfortunately the wine list is as out-of-sorts as the attempt at decor–cherry-blond wooden cubes illuminated from within, a tall-backed burgundy colored banquette, and silver high-chairs at the twelve seat bar. Eight whites, two rosés, and nine reds-including “Gamay” (a grape), “Austrian” (it was actually zweigelt), and “Languedoc” (a region in southern France). Hmmm…Total Wine Bar is celebrating their fifth anniversary in a week or two; where does one go from there?
I ordered a stemless glass of the Dom. Hering, “Les Coteaux” Alsace 2006 ($10/36), a pinot blanc which might have been good, if it weren’t for the total lack of aromas in my glass. As I looked longingly at Sip across the street, I wondered–Why this, when it could all be so much more?! The service was friendly, but I drank without passion, and was totally uninspired to order anything more.
It could be a neighborhood thing; one that without my living in Park Slope, I’ll never get. I lived there years ago, without wine bars and boutiques. But when I think Brooklyn now, I salivate. You’ve got Marlo & Sons in Williamsburg, and Lebanese at Sally and George in Bay Ridge. For these journeys, I won’t think twice about hopping on the train. For Total Wine Bar? I’ve leave it to the folks who live in the ‘hood.
[Where: Total Wine Bar, 74 5th Ave., Brooklyn, New York, 11217]