Saturday, September 6, 2008


OK Terroir is new but it is the all time, best ever, saliva inducing, ejaculation producing wine bar. Not to be gross, but seriously it's awesome. Its stern leader of terroirism is Paul Grieco (of Hearth and Insiemme) and I think he's the only man in NYC for the job. He's at every tasting taking notes quietly and seriously. He proclaimed 2008 the summer of Riesling! Yay! But as seriously as Terroir takes its wine it doesn't have its head up its ass. This wine bar is cool, politically liberal, edgy and totally approachable. Now if only I could get a seat.

OK so this is what you need to do. Go early, if you're one of those people who likes to drink wine while sitting down. Let's define early: 5:00 pm. What? you don't get off work that early? Come on people say you have a doctors appointment! You will get an extra special present when you arrive. What's that? Terroir has a happy hour, one sweet beautiful hour from 5-6pm. You will get wine at $5 a glass and no, they are not shitty. While you are at it get something to eat, the food is delicious and it is what you want to eat when you are drinking the vino.

Hofer, Gruner Veltliner, Weinviertal, Austria (Skurnik Wines)
A totally simple, organic, quaffable Gruner Veltliner. It won't change your life, but hey this is happy hour. New Yorkers have been gulping this liter bottle down since it hit the market.

Mattias Dostert, Roter Elbling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany (Metropolis)
A lovely little pink German oddity. Notes of fresh strawberries and a tiny touch of sweetness.

Vinos Sin Ley, Monastrell, Three Different Wines, Same Grape, Three Different Regions in Spain (Martin Scott)
This is is a fun little experiment in terroirism displaying how Monastrell displays itself in three different terrains. Fun, crowd pleasing wines.

Highlights by the glass include:


Francois Pinon Vouvray, Loire Valley, France, 2006 $12.75 (Polaner Selections)
One of the great producers in Vouvray putting out consistently excellent wine. This wine has a nose of baby powder with layers of exotic fruit, nice touch of sweetness with the balance of acidity.


Domaine Montgilet, Anjou Rouge, Cabernet Franc $8 (David Bowler)
Enjoy this wine while it lasts on the New York market. It might not have the personality of other wines in this region, but it's a totally drinkable organic earthy red that pairs well with most food. For a wine bar it makes total sense.

Raspay, Primitivo Quiles, Monastrell, Alicante, Spain 2002 $14 (David Bowler)
This confusing and wonderful wine is a product of old school Spanish wine making. The mention of Primitivo has nothing to do with the grape, since this is all Monastrell. This is a lighter Spanish wine that aged and slightly brown in the glass. Very cool and slightly reminiscent of sherry.

WARNING: If you choose to visit their website beware of the possibility of a Riesling induced seizure. You'll know what I mean.

TIPS: This is a place to have fun, so don't be intimidated. The staff is unpretentious and helpful, so feel free to ask for suggestions. If you arrive too late and can't get a seat, slip into their parent restaurant, Hearth. There's plenty of good wine drinking to be done there.

LOCATION: 413 East 12th Street, near First Ave

DIRECTIONS: L to First Avenue


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