Natural Organic wine Guide NYC Wildair Ten Bells Frenchette Racines Hemlock

Grandlife guide

Natural High: The 5 Best Wine Bars Downtown

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If you ever needed a reason to drink wine, the influx of natural wine is sure to be it. Natural wines have made a splash in downtown Manhattan pouring both biodynamic and organic labels that are blissfully sans sulfates, additives, and added sugars. Bonus points: at various locations, oenophiles can pair their wine with seasonal plates from buzzy chefs. Below, a sampling.

Ten Bells

For over 10 years, this Lower East Side mainstay with its moody vibe and tin ceilings has served all-natural, organic wines from Vermont and far-flung places like Morocco and Australia, alongside local Essex Market cheeses, charcuteries, and small tapas dishes like hand-cut steak tartar, and shiitake mushroom and shrimp salad.

247 Broome St, New York, NY; T. (212) 228-4450

Wildair

On Orchard Street, this industrial-chic space caters to those looking to sip artisanal cocktails like a mezcal Negroni or non-sulfate, French Pét-Nat wines such as Domaine Le Briseau, a welcome match for top-neck clams, XO sauce and almond broth, dousing the venue’s famed fresh bread with olive oil or simply opting for scallop crudo with Meyer lemon and chicory.

142 Orchard St, New York, NY; T. (646) 964-5624

Frenchette

In Tribeca, this sexy, long-awaited newbie offers all the classic bistro trappings: dark wood, white walls, warm lighting, and soft leather booths. Chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr (Balthazar, and Minetta Tavern) have created instant hits like duck frites to match wine guru Jorge Riera’s moderately priced organic bottles like Cotillon des Dames orange wine (also containing less alcohol than traditional varietals).

241 W Broadway, New York, NY; T. (212) 334-3883

Racines  

For a dose of Parisian cool in Tribeca, this wildly-popular, industrial and brick exposed kitchen offers over 400-bottles of clean, biodynamic wines from emerging producers like Clos Rougeard. Alternatively, couple a glass of sparking Raventos i Blanc, a Spanish cava, with a cheese plate or opt for the local trout with gnocchi and ramps. For dessert, sink your spoon into the silky rhubarb and custard.

94 Chambers St, New York, NY; T. (212) 227-3400

La Compagnie Des Vins Surnaturels

From the folks behind Experimental Cocktail Club, transport yourself to France inside this cozy, Nolita wine bar featuring brick walls and brass fixtures alongside an intriguing list of domestic (North Fork) and international (Austria) glasses like the Franz Hirtzberger, a riesling that pairs well with the venue’s octopus, spring alliums and jamón broth.

249 Centre St, New York, NY; T. (212) 343-3660

WORDS Kate Donnelly

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