Travel

Where to drink wine in New York

By Nola James

10 Nov, 2022

New York is one of the best places in the world to buy (and drink) wine. Thanks to its geographical proximity to Europe and a thriving local bar scene you can get just about anything...if you know where to look, writes Nola James.

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“In New York, beer is considered a grocery item, so you can buy it at pharmacies, bodegas and delis,” says Tekla Israelson – Brooklyn resident and CMS-certified sommelier.

However, the same rules do not apply to wine and spirits, which must be sold at a stand-alone outlet and come with restricted hours (if you want beer, you can buy it 24/7, where wine stores are forced to close by midnight). 

“New York is special because we’re highly regulated,” Israelson says. “We have retailers that concentrate on really good quality wines and spirits, and they’re not diluted by spreading themselves too thin.”

One of the hippest places to stock up is Parcelle, a Manhattan wine store in the base of an apartment building near Hudson Yards from the team behind hip NYC eateries Charlie Bird and Legacy Records.

The bar at JuneJune, Cobble Hill. 

“[New Yorkers] are very European in that they like to go to different shops for different reasons,” says Parcelle wine buyer Christine Collado. “It’s not always about convenience – we find that often people are seeking an experience.” 

Parcelle also offers “wine school”: free weekly classes that cover topics like blind tasting or Burgundy. “It’s nothing too technical,” she says. “We just want people to feel comfortable drinking great wines.”

Speaking of experiences, Rooftop Reds is a worthy excursion. It’s New York’s only rooftop vineyard, with riesling, grüner veltliner and pinot noir (among others) in custom planters across a 14,800-square-foot space on top of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. While the venue is enormous, with benches, picnic tables and hammocks aplenty, bookings are essential due to the industrial location.

Ruffian bar, with a painting of a horse on the wallRuffian, East Village. 

Four great wine bars

June

Cobble Hill