I've been hoping a good wine bar would open in the Cobble Hill-Carroll Gardens area—where I live—for some time now. I'm still hoping.
It's almost stupifying to me how this growing residential area, teeming with yuppies, has not yet produced a first-class wine bar, particularly given the presence of "restaurant row" Smith Street. Fort Greene has a good one (Stonehome Wine Bar), as does Boerum Hill (Donna de Vine) and Williamsburg (D.O.C. wine bar). What gives? But so it is. There are bars galore, where people go for beers and dirty martinis, but none specialize in wine. Savoia, a fine Naples-style pizza place, has a adjoining bar with a decent selection of Italian wines. But it feels secondary to the restaurant.
I had high hopes for Bocco Lupa, the place that opened on Henry and Warren a few months back. They have a fairly extensive Italian wine list to go with their menu of panini, tramezzini, bruscetta and crostini (many of which are delicious). But upon inspection, the wine selection, while servicable, proves a bit shallow and obvious. Many big producers and plenty of Pinot Grigio. I mean, I love Sella & Mosca's Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva. But I want that to be one of the most recognizable selections on a wine bar list, not one of the most obscure, as it is at Bocco Lupa.
Another sign that these are more food people than wine people: wine goblets. Everything's served in them, and you don't have the choice of a stemmed glass, because they don't stock them. Goblets are a trendy choice, but not a smart one if you plan to be dealing with serious oenophiles.
Perhaps they will overhaul the list sometime soon. In the meantime, we wait.