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New York City is known for many great things like music, statues and being home to lovers of wine. Whether you reside in the Big Apple or are visiting from out of town, New York is never short of opportunities to kick back and enjoy a glass of delicious wine. In fact, there are more wine bars than any single person can visit and lots of wine tours that regularly show visitors to New York its wine based wonders.
If you are travelling in a group, a good way to go visiting wine bars is to rent a New York City charter bus. Renting a bus eases logistics planning as the drivers are fully knowledgeable about the city’s streets, and you will not have to worry about anyone in the group getting lost because they took a wrong turn. Everyone can simply get on the bus and relax as they are taken from one wine bar to the next.
Of course, an added advantage to renting a charter bus is that nobody in your group gets stuck with the responsibility of being the designated driver, and everyone will be free to get tipsy (which is highly likely) without having to worry about being able to drive safely.
Below are some of the best wine bars that the City of New York has to offer. Although there are many more bars in New York to try out, planning a wine tour for your group with these bars as stop points is definitely a good idea.
NYC’s Best Wine Tasting Bars
1. The Four Horsemen, Williamsburg
The Four Horsemen is a natural wine bar crossed with a restaurant, that is owned and run by celebrity musician and producer, James Murphy. Known as the best bar in Brooklyn, The Four Horsemen keeps an expansive and ever-rotating selection of natural wines, which are very well accompanied by delicious little veggie-based snack plates and music carefully curated by the LCD Soundsystem frontman. Served by sneaker-wearing sommeliers who can give you the lowdown on each wine you go for, try out a glass of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Orthogneiss from Domaine de l’Ecu with its subtle cream-hue, or Domaine Mosse’s redolent Bois-Rouge, which is a rich blend of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon.
2. Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, Midtown West
Aldo Sohm is located at 151 West 51st Street and was founded by the owners of the world-class, legendary restaurant Le Bernardin. Named after the head sommelier of the seafood restaurant, Aldo Sohm is super stylish and casual, with square sofa and vibrant pieces of art adorning the walls. Their wine selection is as glorious as it is extensive, and the first-rate sommelier servers are always ready to give a little lesson about the wine you are tasting. Try out a glass of Patagonian Pinot Noir paired with chicharrones, or a terra-cotta–coloured Hermanos Peciña Rioja from Spain with its faint tobacco taste that balances out with a hint of coconut in it. The Australian wine Grüner Veltliner is also a great choice, starting out creamy on the taste buds, but ending with a faintly crisp note.
3. The Ten Bells, Lower East Side
In the Lower East Side, The Ten Bells is a dark and vibrant natural wine bar that possesses arguably the most extensive selection of wine options, with bottles from Australia to Japan. If you are going on this wine tasting tour with friends, Ten Bells caters to groups perfectly, with large tables and communal seating arrangements. Sip on a glass of sparkling rosé from Vermont, a sweet and floral Austrian Grüner Veltliner, or a fruity flavoured Syrocco syrah from Morocco. There are also more recognizable wines like Chardonnay from Chablis in France, and Dolcettos from Piedmont, Italy. Their regularly rotating sixteen glass menu of wines comes served with delicious tapas like spicy, garlic seasoned baby eels paired with thick-crust bread, but the general favourites are the $1 oysters available during Happy Hour.
4. Rooftop Reds, Brooklyn
When going on a wine tasting tour, it is always a good idea to visit the vineyards where the wines first start out as delicious grapes. Set in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Rooftop Red is the first commercial rooftop vineyard in the world and features a wine bar and tasting room. This outdoor space is typically packed with people reclining in hammocks, playing games and enjoying the view of Manhattan while sipping on some of the best wines from the Rooftop’s vineyards upstate. The winery holds a “bring your own food” policy, and reservations must be made before arrival so it is best to keep that in mind when planning your wine tour.
5. St Tropez, West Village
St Tropez is a wine bar that brings the culture of the South of France to the West Village. Named after the French fishing town, St Tropez is cosy and warm; with dimmed out lights and candles reflecting off shelves, ceilings and furniture made of dark wood. Its medium sized space seats sixty people on any given day and has a communal table set up for groups of twelve. The wine selection is fully French, of course, and features some of the best cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay in its list of at least forty different wines which can be had in glasses. On the menu to be served alongside the great wines include delicious ground beef stuffed into tomatoes (Farcis Niçois), French duck confit shepherd’s pie, and beef meatballs with ratatouille.
6. Brooklyn Winery, Williamsburg
Your wine tour may have a vineyard on the list of stops, but is it ever complete if you do not visit a winery to see where your favourite vino is made and bottled? Brooklyn Winery is a full-service winemaking facility that not only makes and bottle its own wines but also offers tours and tastings as well as an events hall for all events that are best paired with wines like weddings and office parties. Their wine bar has a pretty relaxed feel that it maintains even when there are as many as twelve hundred people gathered and sipping on whites and reds. Of course, their food menu is delightful, and each meal has great pairings with wonderful wines.
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