Saturday, December 15, 2007

Local Wine Surprise

It's been a very social past two weeks. Jesse's friends want to hang out with him or talk to him on the phone nonstop and I'm trying to retaliate by getting a life. The result is that we've been out with or without each other almost every night, and I think that pizza was the only thing I cooked since my birthday.

Anyway, one day this week we were early to meet some of Jesse's friends at a bar in Soho, so we decided to walk around the area and find a place for a quick drink and bite to eat. I lamented in my head about how I hate when this kind of situation happens, because I always end up eating a shitty meal at some random place, while there are so many restaurants out there on my list of places to go. This time, the gods smiled at me.

"What about that wine bar?" Jesse asked.

"What wine bar?" I responded.

"That one, where it says 'Wine Bar' down the street."

I squinted, and sure enough I saw a giant sign saying just that, Wine Bar. We approached and were delighted to find that it is actually the Vintage NY Wine Bar, a place we'd long ago thought about going to after we bought some wine from the Vintage NY wine store uptown, and then forgot about. These people need a new name for their wine bar...as the name makes passersby think it's your average wine bar like a million others around New York City. When it is actually a TREASURE. They need to do a better job marketing, because that place should not have been as empty as it was.

Vintage NY is a company that sells only New York-made wine in its stores, and the Wine Bar follows the same principle with an extensive list of wines that are exclusively from Long Island, Hudson Valley, and the Finger Lakes region. The menu proclaims "Eat Local" and "Drink Local." Even the beers are all from the New York area. This is my dream!

I had a Rivendell Riesling, which I knew I would like because I had it when we went wine tasting at Rivendell last fall. We ordered from the Tasty Bites portion of the menu, three for $15. I enjoyed the "crispy chevre," delightful fried squares of goat cheese that I scooped into my mouth with a perfect touch of sweetness from the drizzle of honey on the plate. We also really liked our "Long Island duck meatball," which was a nice mixture of meat, with a mystery flavor that made it slightly sweet. We had to run soon after to the bar for the meet up, but we will go back someday, as this is one of the few places in the city that I can drink wine guilt free when it comes to my carbon footprint. For some reason, it's so much easier to get local beer than local wine, which is just silly, because I think New York made wines are just fine. Maybe wine conoisseurs would disagree.

Interestingly enough, while we ate, we enjoyed eavesdropping on a nearby table, where they were having a discussion about the hunt for buying an apartment in Brooklyn, bucking the trend by being young, single women buying on their own, biking all sweaty to open houses, in comparison to the well-groomed couples looking at condos with them. I wished we we had joined in on their conversation, since Jesse and I may soon be doing that, biking to open houses to find a place to buy when our lease is up this July. But let's not talk about that too much, because it makes me feel nervous.

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