Best Wine Selection - 2012
Cibo Wine Bar
There's been a lot of fuss over Cibo Wine Bar's unusual method of stowing and salvaging bottles of wine. The temperature-controlled glass "cellar" is stocked with an international laundry list of labels. It's really more of a storage wall, otherwise known as an Enomatic wine dispenser, which allows for dual-temperature control to "modulate temp zones." This means that when Cibo serves your vino, it should be ideal, whether red or white. When an order is placed, the server enters a corresponding bin number into the computerized system so he or she can select the correct bottle the first time. Retrieval involves hoisting the employee 20 feet into the air via a specially designed hydraulic system (very, very tricky). What we like best about the list is the great range available by the glass, making it possible to create your own wine flight appropriate for menu selections. You can begin with a glass of Veneto prosecco ($9) at the bar and then move on to something white for a seafood starter, such as a 2009 Falanghina from Campania (Vinosia, $9). For heavier, more rustic Italian dishes, you can easily commit to a well-priced 2008 Super Tuscan (Brancaia Tre, $12) or treat yourself to something special, such as Antinori Tignanello, a truly superb 2008 Super Tuscan ($45). What else is there to love? Happy hour, which runs seven days a week from 4 to 7 p.m., offers a rotating selection of wines by the glass or bottle at half the cost. The space, like the food it presents, is designed to evoke a sense of unpretentious sophistication and sincerity. Every detail, piece of furniture, and bite has been finely crafted with quality materials.