Day Two • 12 Sips of Brooklyn
ON OUR FIRST VISIT TO BROOKLYN WINERY, the Brooklyn Artisan taste/sip squad donned hard hats and clambered around a raw construction site. In the two years since then, the winery has developed into a first class facility with a terrific wine bar integrated with the winemaking facilities. The B-A squaddies stopped by again recently to check out a flight of wines and some charcuterie. We didn’t have time for the winery tour (with 10 tasting/sipping stops that day, food journalism can be brutal, I tell you), but we are definitely going back. Brooklyn Winery takes wine very seriously and with classes and tours, they are committed to educating and informing as well as entertaining.
The main room is outfitted with long wooden farmhouse tables in beer garden style, with the upstairs rooms more lounge-like. Very comfortable settings for various sizes of groups, but we opted for the zinc bar, with its copper wine dispenser and proximity to Lex Kiefhaber, the knowledgeable manager. Lex helped us select our flight—the 2011 Stainless Steel Riesling for a white, the 2011 Rosé of Merlot, and the 2010 North Fork Blend red, all made with New York State grapes and all terrific young wines.
Lex then enthusiastically insisted on our comparing a glass of the 2011 Barrel Aged Riesling toe-to-toe with the same grape fermented in stainless steel. The Barrel Aged, with grapes from the Finger Lakes region, is fermented and aged in old oak barrels which Lex explained allows the tart malic acid to convert to smoother lactic acid (a process logically called malolactic fermentation), providing a richer mouthfeel. The Stainless Steel has a more crisp fruit taste characteristic of a modern Riesling. Two distinctly different variations on a common theme, and either is definitely a pick for a Christmas white.
213 North 8th Street, Williamsburg
Photographs by Bruce Campbell. Date stamp typographic design by Joy Makon Design. The font is Mrs Eaves, by Zuzana Licko, Emigre, 1996.