Hi there, Max here.
Last week, they gutted the small, Brooklyn wine shop where I spent six of the most interesting years of my life. The lease was up, the building sold, and Smith & Vine, with all its bottles, moved out of the tight-fitting, well-worn, pressed tin home, and into another storefront a few blocks down Smith Street. I have no doubt that KaMar and the gang will keep dream alive - the selection will still be scintillating and the staff will be passionate, candid and well-versed; but so much of my wine knowledge and so many important relationships are rooted in 268 Smith Street that it feels strange to know that the shop, as I know it, is no longer there.
It was at Smith & Vine that I first understood that wine is not a fancy drink for people in the know, but rather a basic agricultural product with long and varied cultural traditions, as mundane as it is satisfying and fascinating. To this little orange room lined with bottles, we lured our heroes: Pierre and Catherine Breton, Duncan Arnot Meyers, Roberto Voerzio and countless other legendary winemakers. Our colorful cast of regulars included cocktail maven David Wondrich, master brewer Garrett Oliver, and Plasmatics guitarist Richie Stotts, among many others. Our customers were also our friends, and we felt like a natural and integral part of the neighborhood.
This fateful place was also where I met Daniel and Glenny, and where they first laid eyes on each other, and this would change all of our lives tremendously. Our experience together at Smith & Vine was our inspiration for creating Oakland Yard, and while Smith & Vine moves on and slips into a new skin in 2017, I hope we can honor the memories and recreate some of the magic we witnessed at 268 Smith Street.
Let’s start tonight!!!
Accomplished oeno-magician, Brendan Willard, will be behind the tasting bar this evening, making bottles disappear with your help.
$12 tasting flights – 3 reds or 3 whites - tonight from 4 to 8pm
2013 Borell-Diehl Pinot Noir
2015 Vignoble Lapierre Quietude Merlot
2014 Touton & Torres Montsant
2015 La Staffa Verdicchio
2014 Fausse Piste Le Communard Blanc
2014 Domaine Alary La Grange Daniel Roussanne