Grub Street Highlights New York’s Best “Scruffy” Wine Bars


“Scruffy” is no longer an adjective reserved for dogs or bears. 
According to Grub Street contributor Adam Platt, the word also applies to a new wave of wine bars in NYC. 
“All sorts of stodgy institutions have been upended during the course of the great post-millennial dining revolution,” Platt wrote, “and now, it seems, it’s the wine bar’s turn”
The typical wine bar in this movement doesn’t have the feel of the wine bars of old – they’re more progressive and more focused on digging up nontraditional favorites. They also, Platt pointed out, feature some pretty amazing food. 
And perhaps the biggest difference between today’s wine bars and yesterday’s quaff haunts is the attention given to all aspects of the wine experience: the décor, the music, the food and the breadth of the cellar. 
“The sommeliers in these convivial new establishments aren’t always called sommeliers – ‘wine consultant’ will do,” he wrote. 
This makes sense, doesn’t it? We live in a world where the current generation of wine drinkers have realized that the rules of the gatekeepers of yore aren’t as iron clad as we once thought they were. Thought these sentiments may send shivers down the rigid spines of the gatekeepers, they are, undoubtedly, adding value to the wine world. 
Platt highlighted the Four Horsemen, a wine bar in Williamsburg (hipster central) founded by music mogul James Murphy. 
The bar, according to Platt’s description, is a mix between a “Nordic health club” and a classic-but-modern cedar bar. 
Topping the sommelier/wine consultant/really smart wine guy’s recommendations were the bar’s orange wines. Also popular at the bar are its collection of natural wines. 
Moving over to the East Village, Platt highlighted Rebelle, a restaurant with a lineup of 11 dishes and a wine list with 80 pages. What stands out at this tight little eatery is the variety they have on their wine list, with bottles ranging from the tradition-bucking garagistes to natural wine and ultra-premium offerings. 
 Like it’s other “scruffy” wine bar colleagues, Rebelle is a haven for foodies as well as wine fanatics. Platt likened the restaurant’s cheese offerings to fromageries in Paris, and he also praised the locations desserts.
Last on Platt’s list was Wildair, the wine bar for natural wine lovers – all wines on the list are natural. He also lauded the wine bar’s cocktail offerings and “artisanal liqueurs.” 
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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