We chatted with Brian Gefter, co-owner of Gramercy newbie Winston’s Champagne Bar.
What’s the vibe like at Winston’s? Elegant and seductive. The venue is an intimate 1,800-square-foot, bi-level space with 25-foot ceilings. We have a canary-yellow baby grand piano that instantly defines the style.
A lot of people know something about wine, but nothing about Champagne. What’s the first step to getting “into” Champagne? Like anything, Champagne is a matter of taste. Our menu has multiple tasting flights by the glass. Each flight includes a sampling of three different Champagnes.
What are the best budget glass and bottle to order? Winston’s has an assortment of great non-vintages by the glass, which are more affordable ways for guests to learn about what they like, starting at $20. We offer over 100 different Champagnes by the bottle. The only non-vintage selections are Grower Champagnes. These wines are made from smaller producers in France and [are] generally excellent and more affordable.
How about on the other end of the price spectrum? Aside from the Grower Champagnes, we offer only vintage and prestige Champagnes by the bottle, which makes Winston’s truly distinctive. All of our costs are based on auction prices. Currently, our least expensive vintage bottle is $180. For less price-sensitive guests, we offer vintage Dom Perignon and vintage Tattinger Rose by the glass for around $100, or the extremely rare three-liter jeroboam of Pomerry from 1966 for just under $30,000.
What’s the best special-occasion toast? A round of Winston’s Signature Champagne Cocktails or a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée.
Winston’s Champagne Bar is located at 420 Park Ave. S. at 29th St. (212-92-9070)
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