Truly great discoveries are never immediately obvious, but it is fair to say that this one is sitting right under our noses.
With the “locavore” movement gaining momentum every day, it is shocking that New Yorkers remain unfamiliar with their region’s locally produced wines. Thus, Long Island and Finger Lakes vineyards have been disregarded as a mere novelty—a bottle is procured like a lighthouse magnet—a break from one’s normal taste for the sake of souvenir.
It’s time to get schooled.
There is no place better outfitted for such education than Brooklyn Oenology in Williamsburg, where they’d be happy to dispel all your misconceptions of local wines. Not quite as happy as you’ll be, however, after a flight or three of exceptionally good wines.
And while this experience is necessary to experience in person, here are the cliff notes from our recent visit: the vineyards of Long Island have really grown up. The overly optimistic-seeming, scrappy little farms have blossomed into voluptuous grapes and mature wineries producing astoundingly complex wines. Let the expertise of the BOE sommeliers guide you effortlessly across this generous range of wine, from crisp whites and earthy reds that rival their California counterparts, to the exuberant sparkling and mysterious orange varieties that will inspire many summertime pairings.
We advise you not to rush, but rather, to settle into the BOE experience—chatting with the sommeliers about varietals and admiring the walls and bottles that exhibit designs by local artists. Thus was the vision of BOE founder, Alie Shaper, who sought to create a collaboration between the culinary, agricultural, and art worlds—realized with tremendous success at the Williamsburg Tasting Room.
For those skeptics that need additional incentive, BOE plays host to a number of very cool events and pop-up restaurants that showcase the inventive spirit and broad range of its wines. Our current favorite is Mayanoki, the bi-weekly pop-up sushi feast featuring legendary sushi chef, Albert Tse. Each of the nine elegant and sumptuous courses is brilliantly paired to a BOE wine. The non-traditional pairing of wine to Sushi is nothing short of a delicious revelation.
The deft palates of the sommelier’s choices exposes an astonishing balance and a depth of flavor that only such a pairing could reveal. Perhaps there is no truer testament to the tremendous quality of the wines than the vibrancy of their presence amidst top-notch, one of a kind cuisine, while perfectly complimenting and emphasizing the cuisine itself.
A pop up experience like Mayanoki is certainly a reason to visit Brooklyn Oenology for the first time, but the quality of the wines and the wonderfully engaging experience is reason to become a regular.
The 2-for-1 happy hour doesn’t hurt either.
– Ava Fedorov
Photos by Jeff Owens for Socially Superlative
206 Wythe Avenue, #106
Brooklyn, NY 11211