Natural wine has been gaining in popularity in the world’s biggest cities, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Produced free of preservatives and additives — unlike classically made wine, which often adds sulfites and other chemicals — the wine is usually scoffed at by traditionalists, but those who don’t adhere to the past revel in its unique, sometimes funky flavors and boutique, independent makers. It still only accounts for 3.6 percent of the world’s wine sales, but that number is growing each year.
Some of the hip wine bars and trendy restaurants in New York City that serve the ultra-cool drink have pivoted to selling their bottles for takeout, offering New Yorkers the chance to be at the forefront of imbibing from home. From chic French wine bars to an unexpected soup dumpling purveyor, here are the best restaurants to buy a bottle of natural wine in NYC.
All of Cote’s wines are natural, organic, biodynamic, or la lutte raisonnée — a term that means using chemicals in winemaking only when necessary. Beverage director and co-owner Victoria James is something of a celebrity in the wine world, making Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list in 2018 and publishing a memoir earlier this year. At this Flatiron Korean steakhouse, James’s wine picks are available online for pick-up and delivery, including a blind tasting of two glasses with a tasting sheet to fill out and a separate envelope with the answers. Order now.
A Williamsburg Italian restaurant with a focus on sustainability, Have & Meyer’s new website handily lists out which bottles to buy for pick-up or delivery. They’re all from small Italian producers with plenty of options between $22 and $200, and owner Alessandro Trezza will happily suggest something from his rare vintage offerings for a special occasion. Cheese and salumi, olives, and gelato are also available. Order now.
LaLou co-owner and award-winning sommelier Joe Campanale cut his teeth at popular Manhattan Italian restaurant L’Artusi before splitting off on his own to open homey wood oven-fired restaurant Fausto and this nearby natural wine bar in Brooklyn. Campanale is known for his impeccable taste in wine, offering plenty of options under $60 that punch above their price point to spendier large-format bottles perfect for special occasions. During quarantine, he’s been offering access to his cellar with socially distanced Saturday sales from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Prospect Heights’ LaLou, with preorder available online. Order now.
Pinch Chinese in Soho is redefining what drinks pair best with Chinese food, as evidenced by wine director Miguel de Leon’s approachable natural wine list. There’s everything from ancient Georgian offerings to experimental Napa blends, all available alongside Peking duck, savory soup dumplings, and steak fried rice. Bottles are half-off for takeout, and the options are plentiful, with some even available for delivery. Order now.
The most novice of wine drinkers will feel comfortable at St Tropez, where the menu lays out everything there is to know about each option. Buttons call out the natural offerings, while different categories broken out by region easily guide drinkers to whatever their tastes dictate. As the restaurant name indicates, all wines are French, and they’re available for curbside pickup every weekend from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the West Village location. Learn more.
The Ten Bells launched an entirely new website dedicated to the bottles you can buy during quarantine. Picks available for curbside pickup and delivery include red, white, rosé, sparkling, and orange naturals, with some snacks, too — meaning this reliable and romantic East Village bar can still fuel date night at home. Order now.
This Park Slope pasta parlor usually offers more than 100 Italian natural wines by the glass. During quarantine, the options are more limited but just as exciting. Bottles are available for takeout and delivery alongside pints of gelato and plates of pasta. There’s even happy hour via delivery, when a bottle of wine and an appetizer run just $34. Order now.