Williamsburgers who've given up pickle backs and spelling bees in favor of staying in and roasting a humanely reared chicken can either grab a growler from the new Duane Reade, or take advantage of two new wine options: the Natural Wine Company and the Brooklyn Oenology Tasting Room. This being the 'burg, the wine spots have an artsy aspect: The Natural Wine Company hangs works by neighborhood artists on its walls, and Brooklyn Oenology, which for several years has existed as a Greenpoint-based winery using Long Island grapes, goes so far as to display local art on its labels. And both have guiding principles: Organic, biodynamic, and “natural” (minimally handled) vinos are the focus at the Natural Wine Company, while New York State grapes are the rule for Brooklyn Oenology.
Natural Wine Company co-owner Michael Andrews estimates that 70 percent of the initial selection will be natural wine, with the rest organic at minimum or biodynamic. “It kind of hearkens back to how we used to make wine before the onslaught of pesticides in the eighties,” explains his business partner Ross Bingham of the natural-wine-production process. Popular in Europe, the methods eschew chemicals in growing the grapes, and the wine itself is free of additives such as sugar, oak, and additional yeast. When it opens on Saturday, the store will offer a retail selection of bottles, mostly in the $10 to $20 range. Hours will be Monday through Friday, noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Oenology's tasting room can accommodate 65 people, where flights, glasses, and bottles from the shop’s own label, and from other New York State producers, are on offer — as are bottles of the same to take home. Brooklyn Oenology is open Monday through Wednesday, 2 to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 2 to 11 p.m.; Friday, 2 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, noon to midnight; and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
The Natural Wine Company, 211 N. 11th St., nr. Roebling St., Williamsburg; 646-397-9463
Brooklyn Oenology, 209 Wythe Ave., nr. N. 3rd St., Williamsburg; 718-599-1259