Erik Neilson on March 23, 2017 0 Comments New York City is considered by many people to be the cultural center of the universe, and for good reason. There’s plenty to love about living in or visiting NYC, chief among the benefits being some of the best dining and drinking establishments the world has to offer. Wine lovers will understandably find themselves at home in the big city—especially those who have a penchant for nightlife. If you find yourself out and about in NYC, be sure to make your way to one of the following wine bars, each of which is in its own class and deserves at least one visit. 1. The Immigrant New York City’s East Village is a cultural hotspot to say the very least, and it happens to be the neighborhood in which many of the best restaurants and bars New York has to offer call home. The Immigrant certainly deserves a spot on this list, and for those who love wine, it’s a no-brainer. Dimly lit with exposed brick accents and a quiet atmosphere, this small outpost never feels too tiny and manages to deliver in every way possible. Featuring tap wine, as well as an extensive list ranging from Finger Lakes wines to Old World European offerings, The Immigrant is a must-stop for those who wind up in the neighborhood. 2. Wildair If you’re heading to the Lower East Side with plans to eat at the excellent Contra, don’t skip the chance to have a glass of wine at Wildair. Natural wines reign supreme at Wildair, which are funky and often spontaneously fermented lending them unique grassy characteristics. With over 100 selections to choose from, even those who are completely unfamiliar with natural wine will no doubt find something to love. 3. The NoMad The NoMad on Broadway has time and time again been called the “Best” wine bar in NYC, and while that’s obviously debatable, there are plenty of reasons why people might make these claims. First, there’s Thomas Pastuszak’s thoughtfully curated list, which doesn’t contain a single offering that won’t impress even the most critical of wine drinkers. Second, there’s the highly knowledgeable and attentive staff that make visiting The NoMad worthwhile in and of itself. You’ll want a loose budget to get the full experience, but there’s scant a better bar in NYC to enjoy a bottle of wine in. 4. Lois Alphabet City may not be the first place that comes to mind when looking for top NYC wine bars, but Lois is proof that the neighborhood can deliver. This is the perfect wine bar for those who find themselves intimidated by the very notion of going to a wine bar in the first place. The first bar to offer an all-tap wine list, visitors can choose from 16 different varieties that are served in 3 different pour sizes to allow for trying a number of different wines in a single sitting. Have a question? The friendly and accommodating staff will answer without any hint of judgement. 5. The Four Horsemen Williamsburg is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Brooklyn today, and there’s no shortage of places to pop in for a quick glass of wine. Then, you have The Four Horsemen, which takes things to an entirely different level. This bar first found notoriety due to the fact that it was opened by LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, but the cool, airy atmosphere and extremely extensive wine list (over 250 bottles) have cemented it as being one of the city’s true gems. There are typically 12 by-the-glass selections, but those who are interested in learning more about natural wine in particular will have plenty to choose from when ordering a bottle. Add to this the minimalist interior, and it becomes quite clear why The Four Horsemen garners so much respect among wine lovers in NYC. 6. Charlie Bird The list at Charlie Bird on King St. and Sixth Ave. is astounding, and there’s a reason for that—it’s currently being overseen by Arvid Rosengren, who recently won the title of Best Sommelier in the World. One of the most unique aspects of Charlie Bird is that they’re typically happen to open any bottle on the list, so long as at least two glasses are purchased. This opens up a wealth of options for couples who are looking to experience some of the world’s finest wines. For those who really want to paint the town red, a handwritten book of special wines is available to peruse. 7. Bar Veloce There are certainly a number of great bars to visit in Chelsea, but Bar Veloce takes the cake for anyone who is looking to further explore the world of Italian wines. Umbria, Sicily, the Piedmont region and more are highlighted on the massive list of mostly Italian wines at Bar Veloce, including a number of wines from small producers that would otherwise be very difficult to find. With most of the wines selling for $10 or less per glass, Bar Veloce is the perfect choice for a regular hangout spot. 8. Aldo Sohm Wine Bar People know Le Bernardin as being one of the premier seafood restaurants in New York City, and its offspring—Aldo Sohm Wine Bar—has far from floundered since its opening. You’re not going to need a reservation or suit and tie to pop into Aldo the way that you might its sister restaurant, but that doesn’t mean you should expect anything but the utmost quality from this Midtown West drinking establishment. Moderately priced wines flank a relatively large menu, and with views of Le Bernardin from across the galleria, this is an exciting spot to spend time in no matter what you have planned for afterward. Navigating the vast landscape of NYC wine bars can be tricky, but with so many great options to choose from, it’s pretty difficult to lose in any way. Try one of the above establishments, and if you’ve already hit them all, don’t worry—there are plenty more benchmark wine bars to get lost in, no matter what neighborhood you’re in.