Outdoor Drinks: Great Wine Lists

For whatever reason, it’s hard to find a great wine list, or even a solidly good wine list, at a bar in Brooklyn, even places that pride themselves on homemade bitters, syrups and infusions. Here are a few places where you can enjoy your rosé in the sunshine.

Brookvin seats parties of four or less in its garden, so you can have a serene evening over a glass, bottle, or half bottle of wine. Photo: Brookvin

Brookvin seats parties of four or less in its garden, so you can have a serene evening over a glass, bottle, or half bottle of wine. Photo: Brookvin

Cent’Anni (Crown Heights, 742 Franklin Ave; 718-942-5201) This casual new Italian restaurant on Crown Heights’ Franklin Avenue has two great options for taking in the sunshine with some vino. On nice days, the bar stools facing the streetside windows, which open up to Franklin, are almost always the first spots to go, making everyone who walks by on the busy boulevard wish they were sitting there with a carafe and watching the day go by. But an even better spot is the serene back garden, where the pristine picket fence is dotted with potted plants and soft Edison bulbs string across the space from above, creating a cozy secret ambiance that feels worlds away from the city life. They serve a full dinner menu at Cent’Anni, but the best bet is perhaps to pop in around 10pm, when the mealtime rush had ended, and enjoy a glass of red on the back patio, maybe with a serving of supremely creamy burrata. The wine list is short and changes frequently, but always has nice options from small vineyards, with bottles usually staring as cheap as $35.–Brendan Spiegel 

Brookvin (Park Slope, 381 7th Ave. at 11th St., 718-768-9463) Brookvin has been a top date spot in Park Slope for a while now; you don’t get more romantic than wine and charcuterie, at least in my book. They’ve also got a sweet little backyard, which is quite peaceful, if generally filled with like-minded couples. In fact, to keep your romantic evening from being crashed by a big, rowdy group, they only seat groups of four or fewer in the backyard. If you don’t have the cash to splash on $10 glasses of wine, but still want to impress your date, I recommend hitting up Brookvin on Mondays, when their happy hour lasts all night and lets you live large on a budget.–Casey Acierno 

Stonehome Wine Bar and Restaurant (Fort Greene, 86 Lafayette Ave. at So. Portland, 718-624-9443) One of the best kept secrets in Fort Greene is Stonehome’s ivy-lined, Secret Garden-esque back patio. Two hundred bottles and 30 wines by the glass run the gamut from rosé prosecco to ice wine from the Finger Lakes’ Standing Stone Vineyards. For variety, try one of the country-focused wine flights—you choose Italy, France or Spain and get three-ounce pours of three different wines for $18. The full menu is served outside, including a $25 summer prix fixe available starting June 15, with farmers’ market finds utilized in rotating menu items like sweet corn and goat cheese ravioli with broccoli rabe, pepperocinis, garlic scapes, slow roasted tomatoes and basil.-BS

Therapy Wine Bar (Bed-Stuy, 364 Lewis Ave., near Halsey St., 718-513-0686) With Peaches and Saraghina offering two tasty reasons to make a trip to Stuyvesant Heights, Therapy Wine Bar is your excuse for a night cap. Right in between the two Lewis Avenue favorites, Therapy proves that the words “wine bar” don’t always equal stuffy. R&B and hip-hop DJs spin indoors on after-work Thursdays, but the real draw is the tree-shaded, tiki torch-lined backyard, open until midnight on weekdays and 2am on weekends. Then there’s the bar’s signature summer cocktail, the Concrete Rose—essentially a frozen shiraz slushie. Cheese plates and hearty weekend brunch options like chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits are all served outside.–BS

Roebling Tea Room (Williamsburg, 143 Roebling Street, 718-963-0760) While Roebling Tea Room is primarily a restaurant, it’s also a great place to get a cocktail or a glass of wine from their excellent wine list. Right now they’re renovating their back patio area, and we have it on good authority that it will be back, bigger and better than ever well before the official start of summer. Back to that wine list–it changes with the seasons, but tends toward natural, eclectic and interesting wines from small producers, all with a lower-than-restaurant-average mark up. Look for delicious bottles from the Arbois, sparkling pet nats (the darlings of the wine nerd scene right now), chilled reds and other gems you don’t find just anywhere. –Annaliese Griffin 

We’ve got more outdoor drink recommendations in our full guide to outdoor bars. Then plot out your bar crawl using our outdoor drinks map.