Cool wine bars

Bacchus's nectar flows freely at these breezy, unpretentious spots.



Add +
  • The Counting Room

  • The Counting Room

  • The Drunken Horse

  • The Drunken Horse

  • Pudding Stones

  • Pudding Stones

  • The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen

  • The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen

  • Terroir Tribeca

  • Vyne

  • Vyne

The Counting Room

Black Mountain Wine House
There's no need to travel to an upstate farmhouse when you can recline in an Adirondack chair on Black Mountain's rough-hewn deck. The small but varied list of 26 international wines includes the Forstreiter grner veltliner ($9) from Austria, which serves as a light foil to an order of wild-mushroom-flecked mac and cheese ($10). 415 Union St at Hoyt St, Gowanus, Brooklyn (718-522-4340,

The Castello Plan
This casual spot entices with more than 30 vinos by the glass and small Pan European plates, plus a rosebush-adorned patio on which to sip them. Reds and whites get equal play on the predominantly European list, which changes every five days. For a warm-weather swig in late summer, order a glass of txakoli ($7)—a slightly sparkling Basque wine marked by crisp citrus flavors. 1213 Cortelyou Rd at Westminster Rd, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn (718-856-8888,

The Counting Room
Indulge in cocktails or wines in the sultry basement or on the first floor of this multifocus bar, where small producers reign, like Austria's Weingut Thierry Weber (try the label's grner veltliner, $32). Large garage doors open to the street, making the industrial-chic space airy enough to spend the whole day working through a bottle of zingy Christian Venier La Gautrie cabernet franc ($44) and a cheese plate ($13--$18). 44 Berry St at North 11th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-1860,

In an egalitarian move, most single glasses in DiWine's crowd-pleasing lineup (an amalgam of Old and New World selections) costs just $8—we like the rich, berry-tinged Sonoma County Mark West pinot noir. The bar is at once hip and comfortable, combining billowing curtains, outsize front windows and decorative pillows with warm wood paneling. 41-15 31st Ave between 41st and 42nd Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-777-1355,

The Drunken Horse
When its floor-to-ceiling glass facade opens, the Drunken Horse transforms from a snug den into a sun-splashed living room. Drink your way around the world via a menu that runs the gamut from an easy California zin (bottle $48) to a complex Spanish priorat (bottle $110). For a true taste of the season, savor the smoky KWV pinotage ($10)—it's like a barbecue in a glass. 225 Tenth Ave between 23rd and 24th Sts (212-604-0505)

Flatbush Bar(n)
Wine is served in humble tumblers at this annex to rustic eatery Flatbush Farm. But that's not to say the New York--heavy selection isn't up to stemware snuff: Try a bottle of Lini lambrusco ($38) for proof. Pair it with some vitamin D on the garden patio. 76 St. Marks Ave at Flatbush Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-622-3276,

Pinkerton Wine Bar
Owner Thomas Hudson made sure to fill his small but well-edited list with wines he'd drink himself: The list rotates constantly and features such stellar selections as a light Errazuriz sauvignon blanc ($9). 263 North 6th St at Havemeyer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-7171,

The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen
This shrine for organic and biodynamic wine takes its dedication to sustainability seriously: The eco-friendly varieties are stored in self-temperature-regulating limestone towers to save energy. Gather some friends around a communal table and share something from the Old World--heavy list, like a flute of bubbly Clur Cremant Bourgogne ($14). 434 Amsterdam Ave at 81st St (646-863-3896,

Terroir Tribeca
The kid brother of Terroir in the East Village maintains owner Paul Grieco's original mission—to offer approachable varietals that represent their homelands—with the benefit of more room and sunlight. Delve into the wine list with a floral Hermann Wiemer riesling ($15) from the Finger Lakes region. 24 Harrison St between Greenwich and Hudson Sts (212-625-9463,

White-wine drinkers have found their temple in Vyne, which specializes in the pale tipple—around 75 percent of the primarily European list is white, much of it sustainable and biodynamic. Request the bright, floral Italian vernaccia ($10) and sip underneath the rays streaming through the retractable glass facade. 82 W 3rd St between Sullivan and Thompson Sts (212-353-8963,

Additional reporting for the Castello Plan by Leah Faye Cooper.

Users say