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Snooth User: mfriedensohn

Wine Bars NYC and Boston

Posted by mfriedensohn, Oct 28, 2008.

Having been seriously drinking wine for only 4 years -- I only started drinking wines once I could afford them -- and being back in graduate school, I found the best way for me to try and find new wines without buying a whole bottle (and consequently drinking by myself) is to hit up wine bars and try a flight, or a few...

It seems a lot of you Snoothiacs are located in NYC, so do you have any recommendations? I was so sad to see that Vintage in Soho closed! Anyone know why? Any other places you've tried?

Anyone recommend any in Boston?



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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 29, 2008.

Hey Molly,

Can't help in Boston but NY is ripe with winebars and don't despair, VintageNY is still open on the upper west side. Some places that spring to mind are Uva, Pudding Stones, and Vero on the Upper East Side, the aforementioned Vintage on the Upper west side is joined by Wine & Roses, Vinacciolo and Barcibo Enoteca. In the East Village, otherwise known as where I work, we have: Il Posto Accanto, Ten Degrees, and the aptly maned Winebar! If I want to venture a bit deeper into the Lower East Side there are the always reliable inoteca and Tapeo 29. Morells in midtown is one of the biggest players on the scene but the wines are priced accordingly.

Many of these places are really restaurants mascarading as wine bars. But they all strive to offer a great range of wines by the glass. The way I try lots of wines for little money is to get a group together, head out to one of my favorite BYOBs and share wines we each find at retail. If you are in NYC frequently we can arrange a dinner!

I hope this was helpful.


Reply by Adam Levin, Oct 29, 2008.

Vinacciolo looks pretty closed these days. This just happened about 2 weeks ago, though.

Reply by BCoyle, Oct 29, 2008.

Hey Molly -

I am located in Boston and there are some hidden gems around town for wine bars. A really good one that you can't go wrong at is Bin 26 Enoteca In Beacon Hill. I think it was just rated Best Wine Bar 2008 in Boston.

Jury's located on Stewart Street has a really good wine list as well and the atmosphere is really relaxed and cozy there as well. That is located in the back bay.

If you are up for a little trip from Boston, I HIGHLY recommend going to Newport, RI and going to 22 Bowen. Not only is this probably the best Steak House I have been too (I have been to Grill 23, Capitale Grill, Felmmings, Morton's) it has an AMAZING wine list. I think back in 05 it was rated top 50 wine lists in the country.

There are also a lot of small cute wine bar's in the north end to check out as well and you can't go wrong on food up there!

Let me know what ones you try!


Reply by Philip James, Oct 29, 2008.

Aroma Kitchen and Wine Bar on E 4th St in NYC is fun. Very small, but cozy. Italian wines, and they seem to like to explore as they served me some pretty high acid red once that they chilled (not how i'd have done that)

Here's the link to google maps:

Reply by Eric Guido, Oct 30, 2008.


"Morells in midtown is one of the biggest players on the scene but the wines are priced accordingly."

Love that line. I was at Morrels the other day and thought I'd give The Prisoner (ZIN) a chance since their shop said they had it at the bar. This is a $33 bottle in the shop. They wanted... $18 a glass... WHAT?

As for mfriedensohn

This place is great, I used to go there after dinner service when i was a chef at The Hotel on Rivington. It can be very crowded during peak hours but off hours it's well worth a visit.

Reply by Philip James, Oct 31, 2008.

Eric - I took the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) exam recently, and one of the modules was on wine bars and restaurants. Their general rule was that if you are drinking more than 2 glasses of wine it makes sense to buy the bottle, however, its even more stark when you compare it to regular retail prices. $18 for a glass of $33 wine is hardly a bargain!

Reply by Eric Guido, Oct 31, 2008.

I know, I meant to express that I thought the price was crazy in a bad way. I think that was the point Greg was trying to make as well but I could be wrong.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 1, 2008.

I have purchased wine at Morell's wine bar exactly twice. Both times they must have made a mistake or whomever was pricing the wines had one hell of a night the day before. If you've got the money, no big whoop. But if you are like most of us, there are better places to go. Having said that it is not uncommon for the cost of a glass of wine to equal the wholesale cost of the entire bottle! This best thing to do is get some friends together, buy a few bottles, and call it wine bar night at home!

Reply by Philip James, Nov 1, 2008.

Here's a few more wine bars in NYC:

And NYC based Champagne bars:

Reply by Dalene M, Nov 5, 2008.

I like Bin No. 220 in the South Street Seaport area...

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 5, 2008.

That's a new one for me Dalene,

I love the old seaport area, some nice shops have finally opened down there, a great place for snacks and vino!

Reply by Philip James, Nov 5, 2008.

I've been to these few as well:

Xai Xai ( in Hells Kitchen - they only serve South African wine (a few pinotage's of course), and I remember that they had a really nice charcuterie plate. Mainly inexpensive wines.

Inoteca ( in the Lower East Side - ive tried to go here about 7 times, but its always packed with hour long lines. One day though...

The Bourgeois Pig ( in the East Village - very tiny, cheap and super cozy. Great cheese plates (more like meals), including things like a melted brie fondue. Very cheap wines by the bottle. Nice place to relax and its very 'undiscovered'.

Does anyone remember the name of the wine bar that the Snooth 2007 xmas party was held at? That was an ok place. East midtown I believe, I just cant remember the name of it exactly.

Reply by Philip James, Nov 5, 2008.

Actually Tyler Colman maintains a pretty solid list here:

Reply by Adam Levin, Nov 5, 2008.

I was not so impressed by Xai Xai. They do have a fun selection of wines, but mostly everything is available by retail in NYC. It is a bit overpriced too, but that's partly the neighborhood.

Reply by oceank8, Nov 6, 2008.

I actually went to Inoteca when we were in NYC and they told us we could wait for a table upstairs or be seated immediately downstairs. She made it sound like a bad thing, but we were so hungry, we jumped on it. Come to find out, downstairs is their wine cellar, I thought it was actually a better choice!

Reply by Brad Coelho, Nov 8, 2008.

Metro Cafe & Wine Bar, the place that turned me onto wine some years back, is probably the most modestly priced, easy to approach wine bar that I've been to in the city. The majority of wines that they serve are available by the taste, glass and bottle, and the arrangement of flights is clever and well thought out. It's one of the few wine-centric establishments that allows you to watch a ballgame on a flat screen while sippin' on an Aubert Chardonnay. The food is pleasant, if not extraordinary, but covers the dim sum, cheese and crab cake bases quite well. If you are interested in looking for an easy going, fairly broad wine bar that has zero ego attached to it, this place may be your ticket.

Reply by Philip James, Nov 9, 2008.

Brad - that looks like a decent place. Here's the link for anyone who needs it:

Reply by StellaBlue76, Nov 11, 2008.

Love Inoteca! Also, if you're ever on the UES, you can check out Vero or, across the street, Uva. On Mondays Vero dishes out a free pannini with your drink order. There's also Cavatappo; they have a huge wine-by-the-glass selection and on Sundays they advertise 1/2 off wine....of course, it's only 1/2 off on by-the-glass wines from open bottles (not so much advertised).

Which reminds me....the Bourgeois Pig used to have 1/2 off bottles on Mondays and Tuesdays. That deal was still in effect when they moved to their new swanky location across the street, but I haven't been there in awhile so I'm not positive it's still in place. Sweet deal though, and great fondue :)

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 12, 2008.

Anyone want to meet for a glass of wine or two in NYC? We can hit a winebar or two than find a BYOB spot for dinner.


Reply by StellaBlue76, Nov 12, 2008.

Yeah! How's about starting next week off right, on Monday? If it's just a handful of us we can hit one of the no-ressie-BYOs....Tartine, or I&L, or Kuma Inn.....

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