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Draft Picks

Tap wine takes off.

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Osteria Morini's wine taps.  

There was a time when wine on tap was considered a loony West Coast notion, like est or Pinkberry. Today, we’re fairly awash in the stuff, with more on the way. “I think every new restaurant that opens will dedicate at least one beer line to wine,” predicts Terroir partner Paul Grieco, an early adopter who’s been pouring a high-acid Finger Lakes Riesling since spring. This week alone brings two new converts: Soho “winepub” Burger & Barrel, and Michael White’s Osteria Morini, where antique barrel heads artfully camouflage the mundane business of plastic tubing and stainless- steel kegs. There is logic, though, behind what could easily pass for a marketing gimmick. Reducing packaging (bottles, labels, corks, crates, foil) saves money, for producer and consumer alike. Displacing oxygen with argon or nitrogen, which “pushes” the wine, keeps it fresh for months. And finally, reusable kegs minimize the carbon footprint. Or at least they do when the wine is local, from places like Brooklyn’s Red Hook Winery, or the Finger Lakes grape source for the all-keg upstart Gotham Project, which sells to Grand Central Oyster Bar, Choptank, and Blue Ribbon Brooklyn. Imports from Europe and California are another story—one that the fledgling industry’s intrepid producers, distributors, and sommeliers are scripting now.


What Wine’s on Tap Now, or Will Be Soon

City Winery
155 Varick St., at Vandam St.; 212-608-0555
On tap: The Soho custom-crush facility spearheaded the trend in May 2009, and is currently featuring its own Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and late-harvest Riesling.

Terroir Tribeca
24 Harrison St., nr. Greenwich St.; 212-625-9463
On tap: Gotham Project’s Finger Lakes Riesling ($8.50). Once that’s gone, the next batch will be conveyed from Pfalz, Germany, in 1,000-liter bags and kegged in Mattituck, Long Island.

The Breslin Bar & Dining Room
16 W. 29th St., nr. Broadway; 212-679-1939
On tap: Wine director Carla Rzeszewski has a soft spot for Donkey & Goat’s White Label Syrah ($10), made in Berkeley from Mendocino grapes, but otherwise stays local with Gotham Project Riesling ($8) and Channing Daughters’ offbeat Rosso Fresco ($10).

Vesta
21-02 30th Ave., at 21st St., Astoria; 718-545-5550
On tap: Hermann J. Wiemer’s Frost Cuvée (Riesling-Gewürztraminer-Chardonnay blend); Channing Daughters’ Rosso Fresco; and two house blends from the North Fork’s Raphael vineyard.

Seersucker
329 Smith St., nr. President St., Carroll Gardens; 718-422-0444
On tap: This summer, the Cabernet Franc–based Red Hook Rosé was the best-selling wine by the glass. Up next: Gotham Project Riesling ($8).

Burger & Barrel
25 W. Houston St., nr. Mercer St.; 212-334-7320
On tap: Wine director Natalie Tapken has worked the harvest at Red Hook Winery, and will feature its Chardonnay (Jamesport Vineyard grapes, aged in used barrels from Napa’s Kongsgaard winery) and Merlot (from Ackerly Pond Vineyards), plus Syrah and Vermentino from Donkey & Goat.

Osteria Morini
218 Lafayette St., nr. Kenmare St.; 212-965-8777
On tap: Two wines from Imola’s Tre Monti winery: the white Vigna Rocca Albana di Romagna, and the red Campo di Mezzo Sangiovese di Romagna—“Very fresh, very young, and juicy,” according to partner Chris Cannon—transported in three-liter bottles and served by the stemless Schott Zwiesel glass ($8), the quartino ($11), or the $32 liter. Also on tap: Carpano Antica Formula vermouth.

The John Dory Oyster Bar
1196 Broadway, at 29th St.; 212-792-9000
On tap soon: The Breslin’s Rzeszewski will run five lines for wine, including unoaked Scuttlehole Chardonnay from Channing Daughters, and Gotham Project’s Riesling.

Eataly
200 Fifth Ave., at 23rd St.; 212-229-2560
On tap soon: When the beer garden opens this winter, all wines will be on tap, shipped in barrels from Eataly partners’ Oscar Farinetti’s and Joe Bastianich’s Piemontese and Friulian wineries.

St. Anselm
355 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Havemeyer St., Williamsburg; 718-384-5054
On tap soon: Red Hook Winery’s Brooklynbrusco (a carbonated blend of six North Fork grapes, including Merlot and Gewürztraminer), if there’s any left when the liquor license arrives.

Red Rooster Harlem
310 Lenox Ave., nr. 126th St.; no phone yet
On tap soon: Gotham Project’s Pfalz Riesling and North Fork Cabernet Franc.


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