A Greenwich Village Wine Pop-Up Lets Somms Stretch Out

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Food pop-ups can be intriguing, with a chef expressing his or her unique vision, for a limited time, in an intimate setting. But sommeliers have their own vision, too, and now there's a weekly wine pop-up happening to showcase some of the city's top wine professionals. It's called "An Evening With..." and it's an opportunity to taste from a world-class, curated selection of wines, at very low mark-ups.

Sundays and Mondays are the quietest nights for restaurants, and it can be hard to justify keeping their doors open. That's what prompted the owner of Greenwich Project, a casual dining spot on West 8th Street, to come up with a weekly wine event, featuring guest somms from amongst the city's best. Greenwich Project's owner Nick Boccio reached out to Sean Kerby, a wine broker with a personal cellar of around 2500 wines, and the two came up with "An Evening With..."

The vision: each week, a different sommelier would be invited to curate his or her own wine list, with 80 to 100 bottles from Kerby's collection. A few of these bottles would be offered as by-the-glass options, and the mark-ups on everything would be extremely low. Guests could relax in the colorful, cozy upstairs section of the restaurant, to taste incredible wine without all the additional trappings of an exclusive, fine dining restaurant.

Their plan has launched with an exciting line-up of guest sommeliers. "We wanted to do something fun and exciting," explains Kerby. He and Boccio envisioned the two-day wine pop-up as "a chance to exhibit wines you'd never see offered by-the-glass," as well as bottles at very reasonable prices. Kerby's collection boasts many aged bottles, so the pop-up will be a great opportunity to try mature Rieslings, Burgundies, and Napa Valley wines from classic producers, all of which are typically quite expensive at restaurants, and rarely found by-the-glass.

(courtesy Greenwich Project)

"An Evening With..." is also an opportunity for wine professionals to express their passion in an unusual setting. Most of these sommeliers work in some of the city's best restaurants, where the wine will naturally take something of a backseat to the food. By contrast, at the Sunday-Monday pop-ups, the Greenwich Project will offer a limited menu including oysters, tartare dishes, cheese and charcuterie, so that wine can be center stage.

Reservations are available (but not necessary) nightly from 6 p.m. - midnight. Get ready to explore Kerby's extensive collection, as curated by some of the city's top wine professionals. You might, as I did, find an excellent bottling of your birth year wine, or taste the mineral deliciousness of an aged Alsatian Riesling. Whatever your level of wine knowledge, the pop-up will be a chance to deepen it and find new levels of appreciation, with the help of the guest sommeliers, who will have more time to help you select a bottle than they would at their normal restaurants.

The current line-up at the weekly wine pop-up will feature the following sommeliers, and more will be announced soon:

March 20-21: Yannick Benjamin, Chef Sommelier of The University Club and founder of Wheeling Forward, with Heidi Turzyn, Wine Director of Gotham Bar and Grill 

March 27-28: Pascaline Lepeltier, Master Sommelier and Wine Director of soon-to-reopen Rouge Tomate

April 3-4: Laura Maniec, Master Sommelier and Owner of Corkbuzz Restaurant & Wine Bar

Rachel Signer is a food and wine journalist based in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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