Why are you not reading this in Brooklyn Oenology’s new tasting room right now?
Seriously, you have no excuse.
For starters, urban winemaker Alie Shaper has taken an old warehouse space and turned it into a cozy farmhouse complete with an inviting wood bar and a big worn table. Having a glass of wine here — actually, forget glass and go for a whole bottle — feels like you’re 20 paces from grapes growing in the field.
Next, Shaper sells the appropriate “picnic” items, such as New York cheeses and charcuterie from Salumeria Biellese to accompany her wines, as if you needed more incentive for buying a whole bottle and making a day of it.
And most important, the wines are outstanding. Shaper, who has been crafting vino for about four years under the Brooklyn Oenology name, has nine of her own vintages for sale by the half-glass, glass or bottle (prices range from $3 for the taste to $44 for a full bottle), plus a half-dozen other New York State wines.
New York wine?! Get that snooty nose out of the air and into one of Shaper’s glasses. Her wines — some made from upstate grapes, others from Long Island fruit — have really come into their own, with complexity and flavors that one doesn’t expect from a Williamsburg-based winery.
The best of the bunch is a 2005 Merlot — exclusive to the tasting room! — that’s full of lush deep notes of plums and black cherries.
Of course, you don’t have to settle on one variety; Shaper offers tastes of any four wines in a “flight” for $12–$16.
And best of all? The tasting room also handles retail sales, and prices are extremely reasonable. The top-flight Merlot that costs $44 to drink on site is just $27, while the “house” red — a 2006 Bordeaux-style blend — is just $15.
You’ll drink to that.
Brooklyn Oenology Tasting Room [209 Wythe Ave. between N. Third and N. Fourth streets in Williamsburg, (718) 599-1259]. Opens Mon-Fri at 2 pm; Sat-Sun at noon.