I genuinely appreciate good wine. In my eyes, spending time with a group of friends, tasting different wines, and savoring the different flavors is a fantastic time. So when I needed to plan for something to do last week, having a glass of wine—or two—just made sense.
Bar Veloce specializes in Italian wines only. From a quick glance, there appeared to be around sixteen different wines available, but based on their Twitter feed, they also have a series of specials.
One of the things that was both nice and disappointing about the bar were the sommeliers. When my date inquired about a Riesling—a sweet wine that tends to come from Germany—he was able to find an Italian white that would give her a similar flavor.
However, he then went on to bash wines from Long Island, suggesting that they were “simply not worth the price for the bottle.”
I suppose when you are an expert in wine you have the right to pose these points, but this was right after my companion expressed her enjoyment with wines from out east on the Island. Regardless, his knowledge of wine and the fact that he joined in on a few of our jokes made up for the moment of judgment.
Because it was a beautiful day out—something so rare, it seems, this spring—the entire front of the bar was open so that a nice breeze flowed through. The bar’s setup is quite convenient, with the bar in the center of the room and chairs set up all around it. There are more tables ringing the bar which allows for a large number of people to drink.
We did not eat any of the food but throughout our time there I noticed cheese plates and panini being prepared right there at the bar.
With tip, I wound up spending $60 on four glasses of wine. While this is a bit on the pricier side, the fact that we had just spent nearly two hours in a niche wine bar and we actually enjoyed what we were drinking, I’d say it was worth it. And because the sommeliers understood the intricacies of wine, there’s little doubt in my mind that they would have been able to help us figure out what wine to have with what food.
At the end of the day, I’d suggest Bar Veloce for special occasions or if you don’t mind spending a little bit more to try a glass of Italian wine you might not have had before. Explain to the sommelier what you enjoy normally and there’s a good chance he’ll have one you’ll like. Bar Veloce (175 2nd Ave. b/t 11th & 12th Sts.) is open every day from 3 PM to 3 AM. Tell them East Village Vibe sent you.