New York City might not immediately spring to mind as one of the world’s great wine havens. But a wine tasting in NYC is one of the best things to do in New York next month. The Big Apple could also be the “The Big Grape.”
In actuality, New York City is an extraordinary place for any wine lover. It is teeming with fine wine bars and restaurants. It also has expansive wine shops with huge selections. There’s even a few intriguing vineyards within the city limits.
Whether you want a bottle of red or a bottle of white (or a bottle of rose, tonight?), New York City is a perfect spot for tasting. This guide will show you where to try wine in NYC.
The Best Wine Bars and Restaurants in New York City
Fine wine bars exist throughout New York City, but most of the hottest places are in Manhattan. The East Village boasts several.
One of the best is Ruffian at 125 East 7th Street. This is a cozy and warm neighborhood joint with a big wine menu. It serves up small plates of Southern French cuisine alongside the vino. Ruffian features over 250 bottles from around the world. Stop in for its occasional “Old Vines” series, featuring very vintage bottles. The restaurant also boasts one of the largest arrays of orange wine in New York City.
Travelers to the East Village should also visit The Athenian. This Greek bar spotlights plenty of Mediterranean food selections. The large wine menu focuses on Greek varieties.
In Brooklyn, the Tailfeather in Clinton Hill is a relaxed and spacious hot spot. It stocks a superb range of wines from around the country and the world. For the complete experience, pair the wines with one of the restaurant’s excellent charcuterie boards.
Out in Queens, travelers searching for wine in Astoria should journey into Bottebar. This is an old-school Italian joint with traditional food and a long list of Italian reds and whites.
If you’re going uptown to the Bronx, explore the upscale American bistro known as The Hill. A great establishment for wine tasting in NYC, this Riverdale Avenue favorite is bursting with live music, raw bar oysters, intriguing comfort food, and international flair. Wines from Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Chile, and California are all on the menu here. Venture in during happy hour for $5 reds and whites.
The Best Wine Shops in New York City
With the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city comes plenty of great wine shops. Those who want to go home from their trip to the Big Apple with a few bottles are in luck.
Go down to the Flatiron district and check out Flatiron Wines & Spirits. This lovely shop offers a superb variety. Flatiron’s international section includes hard-to-find wines from countries like Switzerland, Slovenia, and Greece. It also has popular wines from countries such as Germany, France, Italy, and the United States. Stop in, browse, and have a chat with the knowledgeable employees.
In Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill, Leon & Son is an intimate shop with a vast selection and wine-wise staff. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants to go wine tasting in NYC. Be sure to visit on Thursdays and Fridays for the evening tastings.
Cool and colorful, Manhattan’s Bottlerocket is in the middle of Grammercy Park. Its unique gimmick? The store sorts the wines by food pairings rather than region. It’s an ideal place to go if you’re looking for the right wine to complement your chicken, beef, or seafood dish.
The Best Wineries in New York City
Yes, New York City has wineries! It’s not a region on par with Napa Valley or Burgundy — or even upstate New York. Yet the city has several intriguing urban locations that provide wine tasting in NYC with a truly local flair.
The Brooklyn Winery brings in grapes from all over the United States to make wines right in the borough. It delivers a full array of libations. On the menu are whites, reds, roses, and sparkling wines. Visitors to this Williamsburg-based business can enjoy the “Brooklyn Winery 101” tour and tasting. Brooklyn Winery features a wine bar with food service. It also has a retail shop for patrons who would like to take wine home with them.
Also in Brooklyn is the intriguing Rooftop Reds vineyard. This destination is on a rooftop in the blossoming Brooklyn Navy Yard. It uses grapes from New York’s acclaimed Finger Lakes wine making region, providing a very local wine tasting in NYC. The Rooftop Reds space has plenty of great wines and cool events. Check out one of the “Pizza, Movie Night” showings or its viticulture classes. Be sure to call or visit the website before you go. Rooftop Reds’ space is reservation-only.
Big Grapes in the Big Apple
Whether it’s a glass at dinner, a bottle at home, or a variety out on the town, New York City is the perfect place to enjoy wine. Follow this guide and you’re guaranteed to have a truly spirited wine tasting in NYC. Salut!