Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bridge Urban Winery & Tasting Room

There is a winery located in Brooklyn. No kidding, there really is. They don't grow the grapes here, which I have to think is a good thing. They don't actually make the wine here either - they do that at a contract wine making facility in Mattituck, Long Island. But Bridge Urban Winery does have barrels and a steel tank and plans to make small lots of wine at their Brooklyn facility beginning in 2008.

Right now Bridge Winery is more of a wine bar, and it's a very good one. Owners Greg Sandor and Paul Wegimont have been in the Long Island wine world for some time now, and they've selected their favorites from the various New York wine regions to feature at the bar. In fact, it's only New York wine at this place. And since they're licensed as a winery, they can both serve wine and sell it retail. So you can pick up a bottle to bring home if you like what you taste.

Is it a stretch to serve only New York State wines at a wine bar? Definitely not. No one would say that these wines are all better than their counterparts from other places in the world. But they are interesting and well selected wines, and they're local. And a few of them are excellent by any standard. The wine geek will enjoy a visit to Bridge, and so will a couple on a date, or a group of friends out for the evening, whether or not they are wine people. It's just a nice place - plain and simple. I would happily take the BrooklynLady there on a date.

You can choose from at least 15 wines by the glass, and the most expensive will run you about $6. That's right - $6 gets you a glass of sparkling wine by The Lenz or Wolffer or Wiemer, amongst the finest examples of New York sparkling wine. Or a glass of 2001 Old Vines Cabernet or Merlot, also by The Lenz. And those are the most expensive glasses. More fun, I think, is to get a flight of wines, three tastes for about $12. Not tiny little tastes either, but generous pours (4 oz, I think). There are many things to order if you feel like grazing while drinking your wine, from cheese plates (local) to charcuterie (imported from Italy) to panini.

I stopped by early on a Thursday afternoon and Greg and Paul were almost done tasting a lineup of Peconic Bay wines with wine maker Greg Gove. I horned in on that action, and I have to tell you - the 2001 Merlot (a blend really, including 25% Cabernet Sauvignon) was just delicious and interesting and completely graceful. Not sure which wines Greg and Paul eventually decided were right for Bridge's tasting room, but I hope that's one of them.

After that I was treated to a tasting of Bridge Vineyards wines. My favorite was the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, $19, with a great nose of slightly pruney cassis and loads of bright red currents. And since we're talking about Long Island, not California - this is 13% alcohol.

I really like this place - it's modern and it's got a great vibe, in a completely romantic setting a block away from the river in the shadows of the Williamsburg Bridge. And I like the owners Greg and Paul. They are passionate about local wine and food, but they're not dogmatic or preachy. They want you to enjoy yourself, and if you're interested, to learn something. If you live in NYC or if you're visiting and you're into wine, go hang out at Bridge for an evening - it's a sure thing, people.

Bridge Urban Winery & Tasting Room
20 Broadway
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
718-384-2800

11 comments:

Drink, Memory said...

Hey,

Thanks for letting me know about this place, I will definitely stop by for a flight soon!
I would also love for you and Brooklynlady to stop by and visit me at Vintage New York in Soho-we are also a licensed winery and have our own label. We carry only New York wines, including all the wines you mentioned in your post.
Attached we have a restaurant with local foods, too. www.vintagenewyork.com
482 Broome St. at Wooster (I'm there on fri, sun, tues, and wed)
and it would be fun to taste Ny wines with another blogger.
best,
memoree

Brooklynguy said...

hey memoree - i didn't know you worked at Vintage. i used to go there for tastings every now and then, but i haven't in a while. i got annoyed with the high prices and the "we sell everything from New York, whether or not it's any good" mentality. last time for me though was well over a year ago. maybe anther visit is in order.

Joe said...

Hi Neil - how easy is it to find this place from Midtown - cab? Subway? I would like to get there on my next trip - I have not tasted LI wines, ever.

Brooklynguy said...

hi joe - very easy by cab. subway too, but there is a little walk or bus ride involved. why don't you just contact me next time you're coming and we'll go together?

Joe said...

sure thing - I am itching to get back to NYC.

Marco said...

I'm amazed that these guys have been able to open a place like this, part winery, part distributor for the other LI wineries, part retail store, part tapas bar. It's like they "crushed" the three-tiers of the system onto one place and then topped it all off with a little cheese and olives. I'm not aware of all the details... are they licensed just as a farmer-winery or do they also carry a retail license under the same roof? I'm jealous. If I proposed a place like this under a farmer-winery license to the Massachusetts ABCC, they would probably have me jailed :-)

We Are Never Full said...

Used to live a block from Vintage! Also, I love this blog, glad to have found it since we're here in Brooklyn too. Equally great is knowing about this winery/tasting room here! Never knew it. I'll be back for sure!

Amy @ http://www.weareneverfull.com

Becky said...

I was shopping in SoHo and found Vintage! Being from Northern California wine country.... I was interested to see what you had to offer. I truly found my interest in the wines produced on Long Island. I enjoyed the tasting and the staff.

Brooklynguy said...

marco - i think it's one license, a winery license. you'd have to ask them for more information.

hi amy - glad you found me, hope you'll stop by again. Bridge is worth a visit, for sure. and since you're in brooklyn, there's really no excuse not to go.

hey becky - glad to hear it. you should spend more time here in NYC.

sachs said...

mr. wegimont has no liquor license. he basically has what a liquor store is required to have; a wholesale license. with the bar, food and live music, it's obvious there are rules being broken, but that's just the way this guy gets things done. never on the level. by the way, their wine blows.

Anonymous said...

Bridge Wine Bar on Broadway in Williamsburg is great, has great wine and sparkling wine. The food is also really well done and works beautifully. The neighborhood loves this place and never wants it to go away.