Last night the City Winery opened its slightly unfinished doors to the press, revealing New York's only fully functioning winery/venue. Downstairs in a temperature-controlled room, casks of wine made on the premises were being stored...some of it for customers who had already purchased their own. (Customers like Lou Reed.) That's right, possibly the best thing about this place is that you can put your name on a barrel and come tap into it whenever you like...for a price, of course.

There are four ownership/membership packages that can reach up to $15,000 on the high end. The less expensive ones are the "Barrel Share," which for $1500 gives you a sixth-share of a barrel; and the "Basic" plan, which gives you a cask for an annual fee of $5,000 (plus additional cost of grapes, barrels and labeling--which will bring you closer to $8-10,000). You'll get about 260 bottles of wine from the barrel, coming to around $35 a piece. Not bad for a bottle of wine you will have the opportunity to make yourself, from crushing to labeling (watch here).

As for the food, the menu is still being worked on, but Murray's Cheese Shop is already on board, as is chef Andres Barrera. For the entertainment, owner Michael Dorf (formerly of the Knitting Factory) announced the first pages of their music programming last night, which will include klemzer Sunday brunches and the likes of Suzanne Vega, Phillip Glass, Rufus Wainwright. And to kick it all off on New Year's Eve will be Joan Osborne. There will even be an option to choose your own table while purchasing tickets on their website. One catch: To get first notice of these events (or the wine classes offered), you have to be a VinoFile member, which costs $50 annually.

City Winery is located at 143 Varick Street, between Spring and Vandam Streets. It opens to the public on December 31st.