Chelsea Wine Bar Has Southern Italian–Wine Mission

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…Photo courtesy Bar Baresco
With the wine-bar craze going at full tilt, it’s only natural that the Malta brothers, with a dozen restaurants to their credit, would want in. They’ve redone the pleasant but generic Sette as Bar Baresco, a Chelsea wine bar with the mission of promoting Southern Italian wines. “The wines of Southern Italy and Sardinia were ignored for a long time,” says Enrico Malta. “They had great grapes, great soil, but just lacked the technology. But now the winemakers from north are coming down and helping, and the wines in that region are going into another gear.”

In an effort to make sure the wines are served at their best, the brothers have invested in an Oz Cruvinet, an expensive piece of machinery that keeps 40 bottles open and preserved simultaneously. So along with the usual quaff-able Sangioveses and Syrahs, better bottles will be available by the glass, including good amarones and Barolos. “The more expensive and rarer wines tend to not sell as fast as our less costly ones. Therefore they will probably sit for longer periods of time, which makes it important to have a really good Cruvinet system like Oz,” Malta says. A largish Pan-Italian—food menu, prepared by BiCE and Cipriani Dolce vet Roberto Lopez, accompanies the wines.

Bar Baresco, 191 Seventh Ave., nr. 21st St.; 212-675-5935