WINE SPOT - Wine Bar . Tapas . Cheese – 127 Macdougal St. NY, NY

I went to ‘Wine Spot’ the other night to try out this tiny wine bar in the West Village with a few BFF’s!  The entrance was super cute with a lit up sign and tea lighted lanterns on brick stairs leading you underground into the bar.  Since it’s below Tea Spot it seemed like sort of a “blind driveway” type of bar where it can be easily missed and overlooked.  The tiny “self seated” wine bar is a true wine bar with mini bites, tapas, cheese plates and a small list of select wines along with wine flights.  It had a sort of Tuscan or French provenance feel to it through the wooden decor with red accents and a “candlelit” fireplace.  Unfortunately, it was extremely hot as the AC was broken however, we made the best of the situation and still had a great time.  On the “bites” menu the cheeses match what you are drinking “red plate” or “white plate” which makes it easy to order off of since you don’t have to select the cheeses yourself.

As for the wine, they have a great wine flight menu that features three regions all having 4 wines within each region.  The regions they cover are Spain, California, and Italy.  The wine selections are very unique yet affordable and seemed to cover the regions well through the selection. The regular wine menu had yet more great wine selections from an array of areas that look to have been very carefully picked to be on that wine list.  The prices are very reasonable and they definitely have a heavy hand when pouring so you get the most for your buck!

The one thing that was a negative to us was that the waitress didn’t really know what to recommend when we described what we were looking for.  For a wine bar, that is a major turn off as we are going there to learn and sip on great wines! Regardless we went with a nice white Sauvignon Blanc from Woolaston, New Zealand.  This was a nicely crisp and semi-sweet wine that was refreshing and cooled us off!

Overall, a very cute wine bar that we all thought would be great for a late night glass of wine and drink after a date or party when you need that extra glass before going home!  It is also apart of the “New Wine University” so they have tasting events/lessons all the time which is another great time to go here!

Osteria Cotta – Great UWS Addition to the ‘Wave’ of Wine Bars

We went to Osteria Cotta on the Upper West Side the other night and were very pleasantly surprised! The entrance is a classic replica of a rustic Italian eatery as well as the inside decor.  Brass/gothic chandeliers holding candles hanging from the ceiling, wooden tables and beams, exposed brick walls, and wine paraphernalia displayed around like fine art..  The downstairs is a first come first serve basis for tables and wine bar but the upstairs has regular seating and is much more roomier.  The wine list was (as you guessed) mostly Italian and they offered a nice range of wines that were very reasonably priced!  Everything was actually reasonably priced even their signature dessert dish that was out of this world!  Nutella, Ricotta Calzones… Delish!

For wine, we had a great bottle of the Il Conte Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009 with dinner, which was savory in black cherry taste, very soft velvety tannins with a good fruit to acidic balance.  It went great with our mushroom and coponata/goat cheese bruschette…  Try it out!

513 Columbus Ave
(between 84th St & 85th St)
Manhattan, NY 10024

Malbec – The King of WINE (in Argentina)

Malbec Grapes - Mendoza, Argentina

It’s a wine that is known for it’s incredible taste and beautiful heritage that becomes more and more popular in the US.  Distinctively known as home to Argentina, Malbec is an exquisite red wine and the only red that I know of where the grape ties so closely back to it’s origins.  It has a beautiful red violet color with a depth in taste yet still remains fresh and “deep” berry flavors (blackberry, boysenberry, plum).  The grape’s importance to its culture makes this wine that much more enjoyable to drink because of it’s story and provenance.

Some interesting details into the grape’s agriculture and a few recommended Malbecs can be found in

One of my favorites full of berry, spice, sweet tannins with a long last finish – Familia Mayol Malbec Mendoza 2008.  Even the label is beautiful and comforting…. Try it out with a family style dinner of a hearty pasta or an assortment of cheeses.. Delectable!

Vyne & Lure Fishbar

This weekend we went to Vyne Wine Bar in Greenwich Village for a pre-dinner drink before heading over to Lure Fishbar.  We got there around 830pm and it was really quiet.  They had a nice fire going with leather couches and a long stone table for people to sit at – key to a great wine bar for tastings.  I liked the inside however, I learn towards more of an old wood, exposed red brick, more authentic Italian feel to a wine bar.  This was a bit more modern but definitely a good spot to share a bottle of wine with close friends to really dig in and catch up since it was a bit on the quieter side.

We were in the mood for a little bubbly so split a bottle of 2010 La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti Bricco Quaglia three ways which was delicious.  It was very sweet so make sure you are in the mood for a fruity sparkling wine.  It was a light – medium bodied sparkling white wine with lots of acidity, dry and very peachy with a hint of green pear flavor.  It was a reasonably priced bottle for about $48.  This would actually go great with an outside Spring/Summer brunch or complement a nice dessert.. like the ice cream sandwiches we had at Lure!

We headed over to Lure Fishbar and had the most amazing time.  The interior is reminiscent of a gorgeous cruise ship – love the nautical theme they have going on.  The food was delicious (Recommend: Lobster Roll, Rock Shrimp risotto, Lobster croutons – app).  Their wine list offers over 250 bottles starting around $40 – over $100.  At Happy Hour (5pm – 7pm) they offer featured wines (white, red, rose) by the glass for $6! So I would definitely go back to see what the happy hour is like but the bar scene is very cool and of course the dinner with it’s extensive wine list is also amazing.  Check out the dessert too, next time I would like to try some of their ports and maybe if I am daring enough, their Grappa!!!!

Tablelands Sauv. Blanc @ Flex Mussels

Another Sauvignon Blanc to add the list!

Tablelands Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough New Zealand

The Wine: Last night I went to Flex Mussels on West 13th street for a delicious Mussel dinner and Donut dessert!  There were four of us so instead of ordering individual drinks at the bar we just ordered a bottle.  We picked Tablelands Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough New Zealand which was great to sip on pre dinner and complemented our meal phenomenally. It was under the “Crisp & Mineral” category so we knew we were getting a light-bodied, dry and crisp white wine with a little fruity kick at a reasonable price – $12 per glass and $46 per bottle.

We literally could feel the wine almost melting in our mouth while drinking (and I think in total we had 3 bottles)…. This wine is a MUST try when you go to Flex – I promise it will make your nightthat much more enjoyable!

Wine List: They had a selective wine list which was laid out nicely. As you can imagine, the majority of the list was filled with an array of whites and had more glass options than red, but that should be expected as it is clearly important to have a solid white wine list in a fish restaurant.  Flex offers a nice range in bottle prices ($36 – $150) and did a great job providing different regions, specifically in the white category (France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, California, Oregon, even The Finger Lakes!).  They also offer a few options of Sake which I thought was neat and unexpected (which may entice more people to order).  The wine list set up makes it extremely easy to choose from since it is organized by “taste” category (below).

Organized by:

White – “Crisp and Mineral”, “Aromatic and Elegent”, “Rich and Round”

Red – “Graceful and Sophisticated”, “Ripe Fruit, Medium Body, Soft Tannins”, “Big, Rich, and Distinguished

All in all, a great restaurant with a great wine selection to go with their menu.


Tablelands and Mussels - yum!

Donuts for Dessert


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