Eric Asimov has compiled a list of ten restaurants with affordable wine for the New York Times. While partial to the lower half of Manhattan, the list highlights restaurants that have taken particular care in selecting wines that most drinkers can afford.
This is not always easy for the restaurant, whose costs of business make wine an easy place to recuperate losses felt elsewhere. Asimov also notes that, like almost everything, wine prices are rising, for better (quality) or worse (affordability). This is where it pays to have a good wine director, who will know which vineyards and vintners are producing exceptional wines: “Sometimes it requires being open to wine regions of lesser status or renown, substituting wines from the Loire Valley, say, for regional Burgundies.” Asimov includes a small sampling of the establishment’s wine list, no pricier than $60.
Included in the list is Barchetta (461 West 23rd Street), an Italian seafood restaurant whose light fare calls for whites and rosés; Cherche Midi (282 Bowery), a Keith McNally venture; Pearl and Ash (220 Bowery), a small-plates wine bar whose atmosphere strikes a good balance between the austere; and the newly-opened Racines NY (94 Chambers Street), a French restaurant (the original is in Paris) whose owner and sommelier Arnaud Tronche seeks out biodynamic and sustainably produced wines, espousing smaller vineyards over celebrity marks. To round the list to eleven, Buvette‘s (42 Grove Street) brilliantly designed menus offer a mini wine lesson alongside the thoughtfully curated list. [New York Times] [Image: Flickr/ilovebuvette]