For many, the best way to learn about wine is to taste different types side by side. This allows you to explore nuances and characteristics that make each wine unique. These five spots are perfect for expanding your wine knowledge through flight sampling. By Laren Spirer.
This neighborhood gem in Fort Greene offers flights of three ounce pours of three wines for $18. Start with a basic decision — white or red — then sip a flight from France, Italy, or Spain, among others. When the weather’s nice, take advantage of the garden while you taste, and nibble on some charcuterie and cheese, or indulge in full-on dinner from chef John Gibson’s seasonal menu.
The Bromberg Brothers have built a mini-empire that spans New York and Las Vegas, and Blue Ribbon Downing Bar shares the laid-back atmosphere, delicious food, and stellar wine selection of its sister restaurants, despite its diminutive size. Create your own sparkling wine flight of three from their selection for $17, or explore Greek wines, California Zinfandels, Crozes-Hermitage, sake and even sherry, ranging from $8 to $20. Never fear, they serve Blue Ribbon menu favorites like their steak tartare, country pate, and foie gras terrine as well.
Tucked between bustling Bleecker and West 4th Streets in Greenwich Village, tiny Cornelia street is a veritable restaurant row, and the Cornelia Street Cafe has been its anchor since 1977. In addition to a serving full menu and housing a performance space, the Cornelia Street Cafe has six set wine flights on the menu. If none of them appeal to you, for $15 you can put together your own set of three from their list of wines offered by the glass.
This French wine bar in the West Village is an ode to the Parisian bar à vins, serving over fifty wines by the glass along with bistro fare in an intimate setting. Check the blackboard over the bar for their rotating selection of three-ounce pour flights: three for $18 or five for $28, depending on your mood.
The Brooklyn Winery is not just a restaurant and wine bar, but a working winery and winemaking center. What better place to explore new wines? Choose from eleven set flights of three including an all New York State flight, and “They Make Wine There?!”, a trio from Canada, Lebanon and Greece. You can also choose your own, or if you’re feeling more adventuresome, let the bartender choose for you. While you’re tasting, nosh on some of their mix-and-match antipasti of cheese, charcuterie, pâtés and spreads.