I love wine, no disputing it. Its personal and emotional. For me, by the glass format is a fantastic option to taste (and learn) as much as I can when I have the opportunity to do so. I was fortunate to spend some time back in New York City this past week and enjoy some absolutely wonderful wine.
One of the many great things about NYC is that you have an immense global selection of wines, and some of the best sommeliers to help guide you to that perfect glass. So much quality and choice in fact, that it really is difficult to narrow down for my visits.
Several years back there was a shift in wine service and sommeliers took note that many clients were interested in exploring wines but were bound by the pocket book, or tomorrows 8 am meeting. So began the “half bottle” programs, notably by John Slover, then at Bar Henry Bistro (which he then carried over to Ciano). Increasingly everywhere, sommeliers provided an incredible BTG menu, such as the weekly selections by Michael Madrigale at Bar Boulud. Clients now have quality options when they are looking for a glass of wine over dinner; either to try a more expensive bottle or perhaps a wine from a terroir or style unknown to them.
Some of my favorites in the city:
Terroir Murray Hill. This is the newest location for this Manhattan wine bar from partners Marco Canora and Paul Grieco. Grieco has one of the most educational and entertaining wine menus I have ever come across. Take the time to read through it. My favorite BTG: Musar Jeune, Château Musar 2009 Bekaa Valley. This wine actually moved me the first time I had it. Pairs well with the sage wrapped sausage, or try one of my new favorites, the oyster slider. (@terroirNY)
Bar Boulud. Michael Madrigale has done an outstanding job presenting a new bottle each night. The night I was in it was a jeroboam of 2007 Meursault 1er Cru “Les Gouttes d’Or” JM Gaunoux. Pair any of the wines he presents with the famous house made charcuterie. Deliciousness. (@BarBoulud)
Anfora Wine Bar. Joe Campanale has several weekly events including “Producer Night” where he presents a new vineyard or brewer available BTG. Many times he will also post prior to the night a short video with the producer talking about its finer points. Anfora also has a great selection of seasonal cocktails and small bites that are well worth a try. (@AnforaNYC)
John Dory Oyster Bar. It’s true, I might have an undeniable love for bivalves, however, JDOB also offers a great selection first and foremost of quality BTG wines, and second, some from wine taps. A great place to start an early happy hour.
Time was not on my side and missed two new exciting wine lists. Given the talent behind both they should not be overlooked; Crown Restaurant (Jordan Salcito, Wine Director), and Monkey Bar (Belinda Chang, General Manager and Wine Director).