White wine doesn’t always get the respect its red counterpart enjoys. It’s considered less serious, more casual. it’s the wine you sip in the sun or with lunch or when everyone else is having a beer. But a new wine bar promises to give crisp, refreshing, lightly chilled whites their due recognition. Vyne, a wine bar opening in the space formerly occupied by The Baggot Inn (82 West 3rd Street) in mid-April, will specialize in European wines, affordable pours, and — most interestingly — white wines.
Spearheaded by Inez Bon of the now-defunct NL, Vyne will feature a fireplace at the center of the large, sleek space, with 30 tables and 30 more high bar stools in the back bar area. The atmosphere, says Bon, will be “dark, romantic… stylized, with a modern touch.”
Bon hopes to gain favor among neighborhood residents with her affordable wines (starting at $7 by the glass) and elegant decor (it’s designed by Jan Roelfs, an Oscar-nominated art director for such films as Gattaca and World Trade Center). She has enlisted consulting chef Monika Caha to create a seasonal menu of Euro-inspired small plates, including charcuterie and cheeses, pizzas, and crostini, as well as spaetzle, grilled sardines, and patatas bravas.
“People will have to be a little bit daring,” she says of her wine list, characterizing the offerings as “quirky.” Expect bracing, high-acidity whites from Germany and Austria alongside little-known grapes from around Europe. Some 65 percent of the list will be whites. While there will be a sommelier on-premise, the idea is to get people to make their own decisions. The list will forgo the usual flowery descriptions in favor of quotes from published wine reviews.
“[I want to offer] high quality… to fit the new economy,” says Bon. “To give people a chance to go out in a beautiful, elegant way.” And to give white wine, finally, a little respect.