- scene: Neutral palate off set by bright pops of art and pieces of wimpy; bright, not a dark drinking den
- sip: WINE
- savor: Meats, cheeses, in various combinations; boudin blanc
- sit: With your honey for drinks/bites after work; with a friend/colleague to unwind after a stuffier event; with your sister, who loves wine also
- spend: $$$
- address: 151 West 51st Street (across the galleria from Le Bernadin)
- phone number: (212) 554-1143
- website: www.aldosohmwinebar.com
Wine Time! With the exception of possibly a Real Housewife of Somewhere, there are few people around that love wine as much as I do. The idea of a “wine bar” seems repetitive to me, because I order wine at almost every bar; the exceptions of course are the really fun divey ones, where it’s Jameson and beer. Wine, before the craft cocktail craze, was the one spirit where anyone with some knowledge on the topic could be described as a snob, where as now most that charming title could be applied to mixologists, bar keeps, etc that tend to their trade with tweezers and droppers. The best types of wine bars are inclusive and informative without being condescending, elitist and over- priced, and there is currently no better example of how approachable and fun wine can be than Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.
The pedigree and location of Aldo Sohm Wine Bar could be intimidating, beginning with its namesake, who is the sommelier at Le Bernadin, you might have heard of it. In person, Aldo is charming in a way that disarms you, but his knowledge of wine is simply remarkable. Aldo Sohm Wine Bar is located across the courtyard from Le Bernadin, and although that part of town is a bit suits-ville, Aldo Sohm Wine Bar is filled with whimsical, colorful pop art and a soundtrack to match. This is not a candle lit, romantic place; the lights are bright and there is no place to hide. The food is also decidedly less buttoned up than Le Bernadin, with sausages and cheeses more prevalent than fine fish creations. Our server was helpful and happy to get into as much wine-geekery /snobbery as we were into, but didn’t shove it down our throat.
We had come from a cocktail party and decided to nibble on some boudin blanc and the panino, which that night substituted chorizo for another salty meat. To me, the perfect bites, but I have also heard that the beet skewers are fantastic. The big shtick at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar is the 10pm pour, where Aldo selects a fancy bottle to be available by the half glass (in my case, a full glass). This is fun treat for anyone, whether you are familiar with the wine or not, because the best way to learn about wine is through tasting; what could be better than to taste a wine that would never normally be available in a small portion?
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar is the perfect place to loosen up that tie and un-WINED…..( see what I did there?)