Oenophiles, take note: there’s a newcomer on New York City‘s flourishing wine bar scene. This is not just any wine bar, however—it’s the first all-kosher wine bar in the city (if not the country). As reported by Wine Spectator, Basil Pizza and Wine Bar opened this past weekend in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights.
In addition to its impressive selection of kosher wines by glass or bottle and full list of beers, Basil specializes in pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven and topped with inventive combinations like asparagus, ricotta & beets as well as more traditional offerings like margherita or wild mushroom. The rest of the Italian/Mediterranean menu ranges from snacks and starters like polenta fries with sun-dried tomato caper mayo to a sizeable list of seafood entrees. Basil is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining.
In other New York wine-related news, the Wall Street Journal recently drew attention to the growing number of wines being produced in the New York City area, specifically at the Queens County Farm Museum, a more-than-200-year-old institution located an hour away from Midtown by subway and city bus. Planting began in the museum’s vineyard “experiment” in 2004, and its debut crop of wines—including Merlot, Chardonnay and a premium red called Adriance (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc), all priced between $20 and $25—was released this spring.
New York is located within reach of a number of wineries, many concentrated in Nassau and Suffolk County, Long Island. If you don’t have time to leave the city for a full-scale tasting tour, but still want to sample some New York-produced wine, visit City Winery in Soho or just pick up a bottle at Union Square Wine and Spirits to enjoy along with your Greenmarket-purchased picnic.
Finally, fans of delicious (and relatively affordable) Spanish wines—particularly those of the Rioja region—will want to take advantage of Rioja Restaurant Week, a promotion going on from May 13-27. Twenty-five NYC restaurants—including Braeburn, Klee Brasserie, Las Ramblas, Tía Pol and Yerba Buena Perry—are offering $25 lunch and $25 dinner menus, each including a glass of Rioja wine. Click here for more details, and a full list of participating restaurants.