Donna Da Vine is either a minefield of perfectly single, beautiful women quietly sipping on oversize glasses of wine in purple-tinged light, or a bar where all those ladies go to get away from men. Either way it’s gorgeous, and women seem to love it. The two times we stopped by the clientele was almost exclusively female inside. Even accounting for the occasional male date, the purple interior, low light, and all female bartenders seem to extenuate the feeling that this place is meant to be for the ladies.
Unlike the all-Italian list of new Cobble Hill wine bar, Bocca Lupa on Henry Street, Donna Da Vine doesn't have a particular region of fancy to indulge in, nor any relevant credo like Tini in Red Hook. It's a wine bar. And it’s a very good one. Though there's the obligatory Bordeaux, most of the wines are from less popular regions, which means you’ll never have to pay more than $14 for a glass. Since these fairly unusual wines can put those unsure of their regions of Chile into a slight spin, Donna Da Vine offers flights, or three tasting of themed wines that average around $20.
The idea of flights isn't particularly novel, but here they use the flights less to show off their massive list (they don’t have one) and more for pure whimsy. The "ABC Flight" takes you through three white wines that are "Anything But Chardonnay". The "Red, White and Bubbly" reverses the normal progression of wine, starting with a lighter red, before moving to a heavy white, and a full throttle bubbly. "Hail Me A Cab" presents three completely different versions of the cabernet grape, from light and quick to full and heavy. The latter one is our favorite.
The flights are interesting, but not always delicious. You’ll find a few worth keeping and one or two that you wish would just go away - particularly the clumsy Riesling. And since the three tastes barely equal two full drinks, the flights are more for the worldly experience than the traveler’s budget. I guess that’s the point. Once you figure out your favorites, latch onto them. We particularly loved the red from Languedoc. The bottles are affordable, and the individual glasses are large.
The food is exactly what you might expect from a wine bar. Olives, meats, cheeses, and lots of sandwiches that are pressed with Italian inspired insides. The bread is top notch, you’ll get a fine splotch of potato salad, but it’s their pickles that will steal the show. They have lots of bite, and just enough spice to contrast all that starch you’ll be snarfing through. The waitress said that Donna, the owner, made them in the back. And that’s sort of the feeling around the place. It’s casual and unpretentious, which is just the way they want it. When we left, we waved to the female cashier, glanced back at the ladies in the back and exited, leaving the calm room alone to the rightful patrons, and that suited them just fine.
Donna Da Vine
378 Atlantic Avenue