Build a Barrel (or drink one) in BK
Two unlikely transformations occurred on North 8th Street in Williamsburg just one year ago, and I’m thrilled that they did:
- Some wine-loving IT gurus opted for a career change.
- A wild nightclub was transformed into a profitable winery.
The Warehouse-looking venue now boasts a broad sign for Brooklyn Winery, a spot that was brimming with Brooklyn-ites (and admittedly a few Jersey girls) when I stopped by Saturday for a glass of draft wine–yes that exists–and a tour this weekend.
I’m not sure whether its the tap made of WWII ammo boxes, or the chairs made from pogo-stick parts, or the antique bottles lining the shelves, but the place certainly feels more than a year old. According to my cute Aussie tour guide, that’s exactly what the owners were going for (in addition to being green) when they furnished the young winery with completely refurbished items.
The winery gets grapes carted in during harvest time, and crushes, blends, and ages them on-site in huge neutral oak or steel barrels. The results are served on tap…which is pretty cool. BK offers rotating draft varieties, depending on the season and what they have on hand.
In addition to being able to make your own barrel, BK Winery has awesome specials and a menu designed for aspiring wine wizards. The 36-page, hardcover book (yes, book) details each wine selection, the winery’s beer and food offerings, and includes a glossary describing wine words like “oaky,” “tannic,” etc. (read: get to the bar 20 minutes before your friends, and sound like a pro as you swirl and sip).
I went for the “Brooklyn Nouveau,” BK’s take on beaujoulais nouveau, and winter sangria was the thought that came to mind as I gulped it down. A traditional holiday wine, beaujoulais nouveau is only aged for a few weeks and released on the third Thursday of November. The BK version was warm, but still light and easy to get along with (like a cute, friendly bartender who takes shots with you, but wouldn’t dream of dancing on the bar). Fresh and fruity, beaujoulais nouveau is a perfect pairing with snacks (or as a snack….), but generally doesn’t hold up well with real meals.