Williamsburg’s ever-growing creative culture and lifestyle includes a local interest in wine and art. When you combine these two elements, you’ve got a truly unique oenology experience. And what better way to enjoy great wine, tasty food and good friends, during the holidays - than with art? You should check out these two popular wine stores in the nabe to drink in both.
Brooklyn Oenology (EN-ology, or simply BOE), a local woman-owned winery, was founded by winemaker Alie Shaper back in 2006. “What I’m focused on is making really balanced, top-quality wines, in a reasonable price range,” she said.
Partnering with local restaurants, markets, food producers and art organizations, BOE has become an exciting part of the city’s art and culinary scene, and works to present the flavor of our region by sourcing grapes exclusively from local New York State vineyards. Contracting with grape growers on Long Island and in the Finger Lakes wine regions, Shaper purchases grapes from them for making her own wines.
In addition, BOE honors local artists by placing their unique artwork on their wine bottle labels. To continually showcase what’s current in the local art scene, each of BOE’s 10 brand wines periodically features a different artist.
Open seven days a week, folks can sample a special selection of local wines and spirits at the winery’s Tasting Room, which also presents a regular series of gallery exhibits and events. On display now, through the end of the year, are 10 pieces highlighting the vibrant works of artist SeeOne, whose painting “Another Whirlwind Romance” appears on BOE’s 2010 Cabernet Franc Rose´.
“Whenever we display a new art show, we host a reception that’s open to the public. Customers can chat with the artist, and we offer special pricing for the wine on which that artist’s work appears,” Shaper said.
Check out the gift wrapping parties with mulled wine or hot cider – Bring three or more friends any weeknight, and drink for $5! Just bring your gifts – BOE provides wrapping paper/tools. Please contact: Tasting Room @ 718-599-1259 or Taste@BrooklynOenology.com.
The Natural Wine Company
The Natural Wine Company, based in the heart of the ‘burg, The Natural Wine Company has regular folks and hipsters alike, raving about its meticulous, hand-picked selection of vinos (some of them, organic), knowledgeable staff, and good prices.
“Our mission is to bring our customers unique wines made from organically grown grapes - by small, independent producers - using traditional methods,” said co-owner Michael Andrews. “Wines that don’t contain coloring agents or artificial flavors, but do capture the essence of a specific place, in a specific year.
NWC is known for hanging works by neighborhood artists on their walls: You can view beautiful paintings created by Sebastian Gross-Ossa, a Chilean-born painter – on display now.
“Like photographs, my paintings capture the moment,” said Gross-Ossa.
“I came to the neighborhood in 1996, when it was the ‘new frontier.’ At that time, I was studying at Columbia University. The neighborhood was different - Bedford Avenue had only two restaurants open for dinner, and Williamsburg, after 5 p.m., was a ghost town,” he said. “Now there’s a mix of artists, emerging galleries, loft parties, and an enormous amount of energy.”
NWC has wine tastings every Friday (from 6 to 8:00 p.m.) and Saturdays (from 2 to5:00 p.m.). In early 2012, they’re planning an off-premise educational (and fun) tasting series, in cooperation with a nearby restaurant, and an art exhibit by Bushwick artist Voodoo Fé —stay tuned!
BOE is located at 209 Wythe Avenue. Visit their website, brooklynoenology.com.
NWC is located at 211 North 11th Street. Visit their website, naturalwine.com.