Summer’s here and the warm weather seems to stir up different boozy cravings in all of us. Some revel in six-packs at backyard barbeques while others prefer dark air-conditioned bars where the tequila flows like water. But for us, summer is all about wine.
Thankfully, New York has some great wine bar options, with some great outdoor and indoor options and a few that fall somewhere in between. You can sip sparkling Lambrusco at the outdoor bar in Brooklyn Bridge Park or get in on the seasonal cupcake-and-wine pairings at Sweet Revenge. Not to mention the incredible variety of Rosés available at Le Comptoir in Williamsburg. Summer has arrived, folks, and we’re enjoying it one sip at a time…
Brooklyn Bridge Wine Bar for Vino with a View
Address: Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718) 222-9939
It may not be you’re typical wine bar, but this tented spot is one of the hottest places for sipping wine this summer. Granted, you’ll be sipping from a plastic cup, but let’s be honest — you’re here for the view. And what a view! We’re talking the New York City skyline on one side, the Brooklyn Bridge on the other while you drink everything from bubbly red wine, lambrusco or a zesty glass Albariño. Aim to get there on the early side if you want to grab one of the tables.
Wine: 30 for Vino Al Fresco
Address: 41 East 30th St., btwn. Madison & Park Aves.
Phone: (212) 481-0197
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a drink al fresco this summer, Wine: 30 is the spot. For starters, there’s the handful of tables lining the sidewalk out front. Then, there’s the real gem – the courtyard hidden around back. With an extensive wine list featuring wines from around the world, you’ll find yourself lingering over the selection here for hours. And we wouldn’t blame you if you did. There’s a lot to sample, like a dry white Greek Moschofilero or a fruity Reisling from upstate New York.
Le Comptoir for the Variety of Pink Vino
Address: 251 Grand St., btwn. Chrystie St. & Bowery (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718) 486-3300
Like it or not, rosé is the unofficial drink of summer, especially at Le Comptoir in Williamsburg, where they feature a growing list of pink wines from all over the globe. But the best part about this Le Comptoir is the charming garden to enjoy the vast selection in. We suggest arriving early if you want to dine al fresco if you want to snag one of the highly coveted garden tables. Once you’re seated, sample a few of their featured rosés, and then try the “Spontaneous 4-course Chef’s Tasting menu.” At the very least, indulge in their selection of chilled oysters. You won’t regret it.
Terroir for the Summer of Riesling
Address: 24 Harrison St., btwn. Greenwich & Staple Sts. (Multiple Locations)
Phone: (212) 625-9463
This wine bar is a must for any Riesling aficionados. Never heard of the Summer of Riesling? Well, thanks to Paul Greico’s Riesling obsession, all four locations of Terroir are offering at least three Rieslings by the glass nightly from now through September 21st. And yes, that does include their new, open-air outpost on the High Line, so head over to the Meatpacking District to claim your spot while you still can. After all, it’s summer and riesling is best enjoyed in the great outdoors.
Brooklyn Winery for the Housemade Wines
Address: 213 North 8th St., btwn. Roebling St. & Driggs Ave. (Brooklyn)
Phone: (347) 763-1506
Some people go to Brooklyn Winery to learn how to make their own vino, but we go for their housemade wines. And luckily for us, they have nine, truly inspired housemade wines available this summer, including a rich Orange Chardonnay, an aromatic, dry rosé made from 50-year-old Zinfandel vines, and a Riesling that was aged in stainless steel for nine months before being bottled. The bad news? These wines are all limited edition, so once the tap runs dry (or the bottles run out), they are gone for good. While you’re at Brooklyn Winery, check out the new greenhouse-inspired annex they’ve added to their wine bar. With light pouring in through the glass roof, leafy greens growing on the walls, and a breeze blowing in through the large windows, you may never want to leave.
Revel for Vino, Garden-Style
Address: 10 Little West 12th St.,
Phone: (212) 645-5369
Revel’s another worthy pit stop for those looking to imbibe outdoors. While many come here for the grilled meats, served on hot, volcanic rock, and the stellar whole fish, Revel has bragging rights to one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. It’s outfitted with exposed brick, lush greenery and a retractable roof, so you can linger over a glass of rosé day or night – even during one of those impromptu summer rainstorms. Go for an intimate meal with your beau, or perhaps a wine-soaked night out with the girls.
Sweet Revenge for the “Sweet” Pairings
Address: 62 Carmine St., at Bedford St.
Phone: (212) 242-2240
What’s better than a glass of wine? How about a glass of wine paired with a cupcake? At Sweet Revenge, that’s exactly what you’ll get. And in honor of summer, they’ve come up with some eccentric pairings featuring the flavors of the season. Try the “Fresas y Nueces,” an almond cake topped with a strawberry-walnut cream cheese frosting, that’s paired with a light and fruity Lunetta Prosecco. Or try the “Crimson and Cream” cupcake, a raspberry red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting, paired with the “Raspberry Bellini.” Cupcakes and wine? Sweet.
Lelabar for the Summer Wine Tastings
Address: 422 Hudson St., btwn. Leroy & Morton Sts
Phone: (212) 206-0594
Lelabar is the wine bar for everyone, whether you’re an oenophile or a budding wino, a deep-pocketed tourist or a thrifty New Yorker. This Tribeca spot is part-school, part-bar and lots of fun. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, ready to educate you about their wine list, which includes bottles from California, Israel, Greece, and beyond. And their price tags are just as varied, ranging from $9 for a glass of sherry to $900 for a bottle of Nebbiolo. (Yes, really.) If you want to brush up on (or jumpstart) your wine knowledge, they offer guided wine tastings twice a month. It’s the perfect hobby to start this summer and the perfect place to do it.