In NYC, reusable “wine bottles” are a fun way to repurpose any nondescript vessel for sipping in the park, movie theater or doctor’s office. But new, sustainability-focused programs that sell, take back and refill more traditional wine bottles with an aim to reduce waste among other goals, are slowly increasing in numbers.
City Winery will be the latest to implement the practice at a new location in Grand Central Terminal on November 1. The multi-city music venue, restaurant and vintner plans to open with nine varieties like Montgomery Mills riesling, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir to tap and fill 375-milliliter minis and 750-ml standards for $15-35. Customers will receive a $5 credit for the next wine purchase upon return, and those sanitized bottles might just make it back into your own home down the line.
“[We're] very proud to launch an important returnable bottle program to urgently combat climate change in how we drink wine on the go,” City Winery founder and CEO Michael Dorf said in a statement.
This part of the new operation will be located in Vanderbilt Hall. City Winery Grand Central, with tasting bars, a full menu and live music, and City Jams, a grab-and-go all day spot with coffee and tea, will occupy the site of the terminal’s former Great Northern Food Hall. City Winery’s Cornelius, a white-tablecloth, reservations-only restaurant billed as “high-end farm to table” and named for that famed Staten Island magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, ancestor of some of today’s most beloved nepo-babies, will take over Agern’s vacated space.
City Winery’s program, and others like it, follow the grand growler tradition of getting a whole big thing of beer to bring home and return to the brewery for refills again and again. It also brings to mind other consumer-forward environmental efforts like Billion Oyster Project’s shell collection center, which accepts spent oyster shells from your dinner and returns them to the sea from once they came to replenish and begin anew. But unlike City Winery’s refillable wine bottles, you shouldn’t expect to see the bivalves back on the table.
Each of City Winery’s latest will be located at 89 East 42nd Street.