It’s a cold, overcast, late Saturday afternoon and the weather personifies my mood. Feeling a bit like a wayward traveler in a Cormac McCarthy novel, I tie up my steed (bike) to the lamppost outside and shiver into the Brooklyn Winery. Inside, everything is wood and warmth and I shoot straight for a seat at the bar.
The space may appear rustic but its offerings are anything but; there’s little chance of a bar fight breaking out here. Though technologically very advanced, the winery’s tap system feels old fashioned, with wine poured straight from the barrel. Unlike a lot of wine bars, there’s no pretense or snobbery, or even pressure to seem like you know the seasonal vicissitudes of the viticulture of the Finger Lakes region.
With the Finger Lakes in mind, I get a good rundown of what’s on offer, and settle on the “Untitled,” a 2010 dry Riesling from Nutt Road Vinyard, Seneca Lake. It might seem odd to be drinking white wine on such a cold day, but I’m in the mood for reverie, and each sip draws me closer to a specific place, a specific time, a wonderful memory. I ravish a vegetarian flatbread, dotted with caramelized onions, blackened cauliflower, kale, and Gruyere. I order more wine and fall deep in thought for a while…or longer.
I settle the tab and head back out into winter Brooklyn. Fortified by good wine, it doesn’t feel as cold, even though day and night are just saying hello. There is the lightest scattering of flurries falling, brought out by the glow of the street lights. It is eerily quiet. For a moment, it seems like a scene from a movie, or a dream. I take a deep breath, grab my bike and ride into the darkness.