Squat and squeezed on Columbus between 70th and 71st Streets, Bin 71 gets cozy at night, in a subway-rush-hour kind of way. It’s dark with a marble top 12-seat bar, and a flat screen TV that glares like a mother’s raised brow from the corner. Television aside and there’s a fine 100 bottle selection, though the list of reds emphasizes size, as in these are BIG wines…the whites leave you (or rather, me) with a little more room to breathe.
Last week, I visited Bin 71 on two separate occasions, during the day when it’s flooded with light and ripe for a bottle of Gemischter Satz–and at night, when the competition for a seat is as fierce as the desire for a rent controlled pad in the city.
Beneath dim lights, I found Suzanne at the bar with a glass of Coutier Brute Rosé Champagne– soft and lyrical like raining rose pedals, followed by a ginger tickler that ran the length of my throat. Not the most affordable of selections, but downright sexy.
The reds cater to a Texan’s palate. There wasn’t much lean and mean on the list. I enjoyed the Côte du Rhône, but was simply in the mood for something different.
Chateau de Montfaucon Côte du Rhône 06
Aromas of snow melting off a mountain
And sienna pine needles on the forest floor
Smoke in the distance
Black pepper spice in the air
La Posta Bonarda Armando Vineyard 07 Argentina
Blueberry syrup and burnt Cream Brulée
Tastes like a nightclub at the end of the night, thought Suzanne
I got on the 3 at 72nd
And it smelled of stale cigarettes
Mercouri Rofosco Estate 05 Peloponese Greece
Caramel and sugar plums
Cookies topped with cinnamon spice
New World red licorice
Bitter chocolate T’s
[Where: BIN 71, 237 Columbus Ave., New York, NY 10023)