Raise a Glass: Best NYC Wine Bars

Christina Parrella
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Cheers! Since you clicked through to this article, you must love wine. Perhaps you’re the type to swirl it around in a glass to activate its aroma, or maybe you only imbibe once in a while and don’t know your Barolo from your Beaujolais. Well, whatever your drinking style, New York City is happy to accommodate you. The City is home to many distinguished wine bars, along with several wineries, ranging from dressy date spots to more casual watering holes. Read on for details.

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Aldo Sohm nyc Photo: Shimmon & Tammar

Aldo Sohm

Polished and well stocked, this sleek Midtown wine bar comes courtesy of Aldo Sohm, Le Bernardin’s longtime master sommelier. There are around 30 by-the-glass options (served in $60 Zalto wine glasses) and 200 bottles that represent well-known and emerging producers. There are many wines from France and California that are under $15 a glass, but you may want to spring for something a bit more unusual, like the 2009 Blason d’Issan Margaux for $29.

Deals: A monthly tasting flight program features rotating themes and regions, offering three glasses for $50.

Drink with: Murray’s cheese plate (four varieties for $24) 

Astor Wines nyc Courtesy, Astor Wines

Astor Wines

Astor Wines is a liquor store, but it deserves a shout out here for its enormous amount of product. An emporium for wine enthusiasts, this Noho shop carries one of the best selections of wine in NYC, featuring both affordable and hard-to-find wines from all over the world. Discover mature bottles of Gran Reserva Rioja and sangiovese alongside Beaujolais and California pinot noirs.

Deals: Find daily and weekly tastings on the second floor, with up to 20 percent off purchases of the featured wines.  

Bar Veloce nyc Photo: Christopher Postlewaite

Bar Veloce

With five locations (including one at the Jet Blue terminal at JFK Airport), Bar Veloce is one of NYC’s most popular wine bars. Inspired by his travels in Italy, Spain and France, owner Frederick Twomey aimed to bring the cozy vibe of European wine bars to the US. That means a heavy focus on atmosphere—and we’re fans of the style.

Deals: $15 glass of dolcetto d’Alba; $7 prosecco from 5 to 7pm daily during happy hour 

Drink with: A shareable Italian panini

Brooklyn Winery nyc Photo: Jen Davis

Brooklyn Winery

Snag a seat at the spacious wood bar of this Williamsburg winery, which serves its house label (made onsite). This rustic spot, whose decor comprises reclaimed wood and antique photos, sources its grapes from California and from New York’s Finger Lakes and North Fork regions. The result is a variety of small-batch wines such as the standout cab franc and unoaked chardonnay. Two rieslings (one barrel-fermented, another cooled in a stainless-steel tank) are delightful, drier than you might imagine.

Deals: Select wines are $7 and snacks $3 during happy hour (5–8pm, Monday through Friday); wine tours and tastings start at $25 and Wednesday is half-off bottle night. 

Drink with: A three-cheese plate served with candied walnuts, black plum jam, honey and a toasted baguette

Charlie Bird nyc Photo: Toure Folkes

Charlie Bird

In 2016, Charlie Bird’s Arvid Rosengren won the World’s Best Sommelier competition—a testament to the serious attention to detail Rosengren and staff put into the restaurant’s wine list. Featuring hundreds of bottles of French and Italian wine, Charlie Bird’s selection covers the expected (Chianti Riserva, Brunello and Côtes du Rhône) as well as some rare and relatively reasonably priced bottles from Piedmontese producers Giuseppe Mascarello and Giacomo Conterno. A hip-hop soundtrack helps set the lively atmosphere.

Deals: A 2015 frappato from Sicily’s Ariana Occhipinti for $85

Drink with: Anything, really, but we like the weekday prix-fixe lunch for $32.

City Winery nyc Courtesy, City Winery

City Winery

Looking for serious wine in an unpretentious spot? This Lower Manhattan space offers precisely that. A restaurant, bar and music venue, City Winery is also a full-functioning winery with a barrel room that dispenses house-made wine from 11 different taps. Made with grapes sourced from all over the US, City Winery features more than 20 house wines, including syrah, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, available by the glass, bottle or half bottle.  

Deals: From 3 to 8pm on Monday through Friday, wine by the glass starts at $7; it’s $20 for a carafe.

Drink with: Mozzarella flatbread

Vine e Grano nyc Courtesy, Eataly

Eataly NYC Downtown

Eataly’s Vino e Grano (“wine and grain”) serves two of Italy’s culinary staples and beloved exports. Just beyond the main entrance, this open restaurant-bar offers regional Italian wine and grain-focused dishes such as bruschetta on house-made pane rustico and Roman-style pizza (thicker than Neapolitan style). Pair your dish with wines from Tuscany, Veneto or Piedmont, regions that make up the majority of the list. The red wines are characterized by different styles, too—light and aromatic, ripe and fruity—making your choice a bit easier.

Deals: Barolo flights ($20 for 2 glasses; $30 for 3)

Drink with: The grande piatto misto includes five meats and cheeses for $24.    

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Molyvos nyc Courtesy, Molyvos

Molyvos

This Midtown Greek spot serves rustic Mediterranean dishes and wines in a stylish setting. Wine director Kamal Kouiri travels to Greece regularly and has managed to curate a Greek-only wine list, which has over 500 selections. The varieties themselves are made mostly from grapes indigenous to Greece, such as the crisp assyrtiko grape from Santorini (similar in flavor to French Chablis). Try a glass of xinomavro (likened to the Italian nebbiolo variety) from one of Greece’s oldest wineries, Boutari, in Santorini.

Deals: A bottle of malagousia, a popular white wine from Macedonia, starts at $47—not bad for Midtown. 

Drink with: A plate of lamb and pork sausage

Red Hook Winery nyc Courtesy, Red Hook Winery

Red Hook Winery

Tucked away at the end of an industrial pier, Red Hook Winery serves tastings of its handcrafted wines, made on site, in a relaxed, communal setting. In addition to reds and whites—made using grapes from North Fork and the Finger Lakes—the winery offers up the expertise of its employees. The friendly vibe and waterside views make this destination worth the trip.

Deals: Tastings include four Red Hook Wines for $15; on weekends, those who participate in a tasting can take a free tour. 

Drink with: Cheese and crackers 

Vanguard Wine Bar nyc Photo: Molly Flores

Vanguard Wine Bar

Regulars patronize Vanguard—the archetype of a wine bar, and successful enough to maintain three Manhattan locations—for its cozy environment, easy-to-understand wine selection and the knowledge of owner Stefan Mailvaganam, who has curated an enviable list of new- and old-world wines from America and France. Try a glass of pinot noir from Sonoma County or syrah from Northern Rhône, which pairs nicely with the low lighting and wood decor inside.

Deals: A glass of gamay for $10

Drink with: Any of their tartines (a French-style open-faced sandwich)


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