Amidst the sports-bar circus that is the five square blocks around North Station (not that there’s anything wrong with that), there’s a new game in town, and it’s all about wine. And if you’re thinking “Meh, I’ve been to wine bars before,” think again, because this place is like nothing you’ve ever experienced.
City Winery isn’t just a catchy name, and it isn’t just a wine bar—it’s exactly what it sounds like: a winery in the middle of the city. They source grapes from all over the world, shipping them in temperature-controlled containers from some of the best vineyards in the business straight to the heart of the city, where the fun begins. From crushing to fermenting to blending, the whole process takes place in-house. And the best part? You can get in on the action.
While you won’t exactly be stomping around in a giant bucket of grapes (health codes spoil all the fun), there are plenty of aspects of the winemaking process that you can be a part of, and you can even make your own. There are spring and fall “crush events” where you can help prepare newly-harvested grapes for crushing and fermentation, and true vino nerds can geek out about creating a custom blend with their very own label. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind wine experience, whether you want a whole barrel to yourself or would prefer to give out bottles of your wine as gifts.
City Winery is the brainchild of Michael Dorf, owner of NYC’s acclaimed music venue The Knitting Factory. Dorf loved wine so much that he started to make his own out in California and noticed how jealous his friends were when he popped a bottle with his name on the label. He decided that it was an experience others might be into, and he started putting together a business plan back in 2006. Now, City Winery has locations in New York, Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, and D.C. in addition to this fair city.
Designed as an intimate live-music venue where guests can immerse themselves in all aspects of wine, from cultural to culinary, there’s plenty to to do even if you’d rather leave the winemaking to the professionals. There will be wine classes for all you budding oenophiles, where you can learn everything from tasting techniques to the nuances of Nebbiolo. And if you’re just out to enjoy a glass or three with the gang, the bar has you covered, with a sommelier-selected wine list boasting bottles from all over the world and on-tap offerings straight from City Winery’s cellar, just a few yards away.
If music, wine, and seriously original date night activities aren’t enough, City Winery is a restaurant, too. The menu was designed with wine in mind, and flights are available to make pairing easier (and because decisions are hard). If for some reason you find yourself craving a beverage that didn’t begin its life as a grape, the bar is fully stocked, with a full range of creative craft cocktails and a well-rounded beer list.
So whether you’re looking for an alternative to sticky floors and sliders after the big game, want to play vintner for a day, or are just plain thirsty, City Winery on Beverly Street has you covered.
Visit them at 80 Beverly Street any day from 5:00-11:00pm.