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The best wine bars in NYC

New York is in the middle of a wine-bar renaissance. Spend your time sipping and swirling at the best of the bunch.

Photograph: Peter Stewart
BLVD

Wine bars are a local obsession among New York barflies. The rise of haute cocktails and craft-beer bars may have once stolen wine's thunder, but grape aficionados haven't retreated into their cellars to sulk. Instead, they've regrouped and reinvented the wine bar, tossing out the pretense, pushing into underserved 'hoods and creating funky, affordable lists featuring far-flung bottles and glasses poured straight from the tap. Check out the best wine bars in NYC, where you can swirl and sip like the pros and nosh on bar food, and craveable small plates that rival some of the best New York restaurants.

The best wine bars

ABV

The menu here is rife with eccentric touches: vino on tap, an exotic all-European beer list and interesting food from chef Corey Cova. More than 50 wines are organized under user-friendly headers such as “rich, earthy, exotic reds” and “clean, crisp, refreshing whites,” with an eye toward offbeat producers. And those continental brews, including classics like Kulmbacher pilsner and beer-nerd bait such as Evil Twin Hop Flood, offer a refreshing detour from the all-American drafts that are de rigueur these days.

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East Harlem

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar

Branch-offs can often snap under pressure, but Le Bernardin has sprung a stem as strong as its base. Sitting across the galleria from that vaulted seafood restaurant, Aldo Sohm’s annexed vino hub is far less buttoned-up than its big brother—no reservations or suit jackets required—but the level of detail here proves this apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

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Midtown West

Ardesia

Le Bernardin vet Mandy Oser’s iron-and-marble gem offers superior wines in a relaxed setting. The 75-strong collection of international bottles is a smart balance of Old and New World options that pair beautifully with an eclectic selection of small plates. We recommend a glass of grüner veltliner—a dry, oaky Austrian white—with a duck banh mi layered with house-made pâté and duck prosciutto.

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Hell's Kitchen

BLVD

Find four on-tap house blends, along with champagne cocktails, craft beer (Bell's Amber Ale, Tröegs Perpetual IPA) and Murray's cheese and charcuterie, at this LIC wine bar.

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Long Island City

Buvette

Over the past decade, Jody Williams has established a serious food-industry following. At the Gallic-themed Buvette, she's got just enough space to feed a neighborhood following. Indeed, with so little room for gastro-groupies, rhapsodic reviews may be the last thing she needs. Williams thrives in this intimate setting. She's filled every nook with old picnic baskets, teapots and silver trays, among other vintage ephemera. Even the bottles of wine seem to have been chosen as much for their aesthetics as their drinkability.

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West Village

The Camlin

Already a formidable gastro duo, thanks to their Hell’s Kitchen den Ardesia, Amorette Casaus and Mandy Oser have extended their handsomely minimal wine-bar empire to Brooklyn. Situated on a windy corner across from an empty warehouse (naturally) the monochromatic space, with its black accent wall, slate-gray couches and white lacquered tables, certainly looks the part of a Williamsburg wine bar, but there’s a warmth here to offset the cool.

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Williamsburg

Corkbuzz Wine Studio

Every type of tippler needs a clubhouse. Oenophiles have a hangout of their own: Corkbuzz, a much-anticipated hybrid that offers a restaurant, wine bar and educational center within spitting distance of Union Square. With its design-mag decor and $15 glasses of wine, it doesn't quite have the for-the-people edge of Terroir. But the earnest educational angle, as well as the youthful energy of owner Laura Maniec, permeates the place and delivers its own inviting appeal.

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Greenwich Village

El Colmado Butchery

Seamus Mullen's meat-and-provisions offshoot of his Gotham West Market tapas bar lives up to its name (el colmado means "the grocer" in Spanish). After dark, the white oak butcher-block counter converts to a wine bar, pouring Spanish bottles and local on-tap varietals such as a Long Island cabernet franc and a riesling-chardonnay blend from the Finger Lakes.

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Meatpacking District

Fifty Paces

Marco Canora (Hearth) refurbishes the old Terroir wine bar, bolstering its menu with an expanded list of by-the-glass vino (albarín blanco, sankt laurent) to complement small plates like pork ragù sloppy joes and broth bowls with gingered beef-neck and garlic-chicken meatballs.

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East Village

Gottino

Jockey for a seat at this narrow enoteca, marked by a long marble bar, a piddling five tables and a menu of choice Italian nibbles to go with the all-Italian wine list. The least expensive glass goes for $9, and there are a few bottles under $40. Then attack the menu. Divided into salumi and cheese on one side, and prepared bites on the other, it provides multiple opportunities for memorable bites.

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West Village
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