What to ‘B’ to Zaytoons


Every week or so in ‘What to B When You BYOB’ we ask a local wine shop to recommend a few good wines under $20 to pair with the food at a nearby BYOB restaurant.

This week, we talk to KaMar, one of the managers at Smith & Vine about what to bring to Brooklyn Middle-eastern joint Zaytoons. Smith & Vine works with select importers like Louis-Dressner, and is a haven for the $10 bottle seeker. “We get a lot of people coming in to check out our $10 table for stuff to take to Zaytoons,” says Kamar. He recommends two whites, two reds, and nothing over $11.

Marques de Montemor, Vinho Tinto 2006, Alentejo, Portugal ($10)
“This is a Portuguese red blend. It’s medium-bodied so it’s not as dark and tannic as other Portuguese wines. It’s more fresh and fruity in the mouth.”

Belpoggio, Stupor Mundi Rosso Piceno 2007, The Marches, Italy ($11)
“This one is a Sangiovese and Montepulciano blend. It’s also medium-bodied, and really good with lamb and sausage, like merguez. It definitely goes well with a lot of the Zaytoons fare.”

Winzergenossenschaft Auggen, Gertie & Max Bereich Markgraflerland 2007, Baden, Germany ($10)
“This is 100 percent Gutedel, which is a varietal that is also known as Chasselas. It’s a pretty fruity and crisp, easy-drinking, low-acid white. It’s good with spicier dishes–it really helps to balance them out.”

Meinhard Forstreiter, Grooner 2007, Niederosterreich, Austria ($9)
“This is probably the most popular one for customers going to Zaytoons. It’s crisp and easy drinking, but with a touch of minerality. Gruner is one of those wines that works well with hard-to-pair foods–it’s really earned a reputation for that. The reason is that it has a touch of a vegetal note, whereas other whites like Sauvignon Blanc are more fruity.”