John Gizzi and Diann Greco, the American Wine Society?certified wine judges at Make Wine With Us, teach wine aficionados to create their own wines using grapes harvested in Californian and Chilean vineyards. At the start of the nine-month process (California grapes in the fall, Chile grapes in the spring), winemakers-to-be assemble with fellow enthusiasts to learn the intricacies of the trade. Patrons learn to crush and destem grapes in a machine called a crusher-destemmer, named after the device's favorite Germanic metal band. Following the crushing process, a hydraulic press forces juice into barrels, where it shall remain until the conclusion of its sweet, sweet metamorphosis.
At the end of the nine-month period, newly minted winemakers lean on family and friends to fill, cork, and custom-label the finished product. Budding vintners then tote home their vintages to share with family, friends, and robot butlers with built-in carafes.
Brooklyn Winery's team crafts small-batch, artisanal wines in Williamsburg?and if winemaking in an urban environment sounds odd to customers, they can always find out how it works during Tuesday winery tours. The tour guides walk groups through their entire process, from the moment the grapes arrive at the facility to when the cork goes in the final wine bottle, trapping the wine genie inside for good. Of course, the process varies from wine to wine. The team ages some vintages in stainless-steel containers, while the barrel-fermented riesling is aged, predictably, in oak barrels, an old-school technique that originated in prerefrigeration Germany. The result? A quirky riesling with hints of soapstone, mushroom, and honey.
The team doesn't just reclaim old German traditions, though. For their unpretentious 1,200-square-foot wine bar, they also reclaimed most of the building materials. In the cozy, unpretentious bar, visitors sip vintages pulled from wine racks that were once World War II ammo boxes; the walls, meanwhile, were barn wood in a past life, and the bar itself is made from old church pews, completing the aura of modernity rooted in history.
In 13 words, New York Magazine succinctly described the low-key, yet decidedly cultured vibe inside Barcibo Enoteca: " The wine list is gigantic, the post-Lincoln Center crowds are surprisingly not." From its station adjacent to the illustrious concert hall, the intimate, two-level wine bar trades exclusively in Italian varietals—more than 130 bottles, to be exact. With a little advice from the knowledgeable staff, diners can imbibe on Tuscans and Piedmontese, as well as more uncommon wines such as as Mesa Buio and Foradori. The wine list includes 40 options by the glass and also features artisan bourbons and craft beers. To complement the libations, a menu crafted with sharing in mind features such Italian flavors as grilled sweet sausage risotti, baked veal meatballs, and prosciutto Panini. With 65 seats, Barcibo Enoteca is an expansion of its nearby sister wine bar, Bin 71. Guests dwell in two dining rooms, nestling into high leather booths with marble tables illuminated by Edison-bulb lanterns.
Like any good basement, Cellar 58 is full of secrets. Hidden in the back of the East Village eatery is a wine-tasting room that shelters more than 150 different bottles, including some that hail from overlooked countries, such as Greece and Bulgaria. In addition, the wine bar's frequently changing selection features more than 30 wines by the glass.
From the Press
Beyond the Wine List
There is also a surprising treasure in the front dining room. The marble-topped tables play host to entrees and small plates prepared by chef Fabio Bano, who comes to Cellar 58 from the ultraprivate Soho House. Using cooking methods that he learned and perfected in Italy, Bano handcrafts pastas and inventive desserts, which, like top-secret memos, melt satisfyingly upon entering the mouth.