What is a Wine Bar ?

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Wine bars are no longer the domain of the ‘highbrow' niche market but have moved into mainstream and have found their way into every neighborhood. It seems a new one is announced weekly; they are popping up everywhere but often not living up to expectations.  
The NY Wine Bar Guide endeavors to maintain the most accurate and useful list of wine bars. As part of this effort a practical and consistent definition of a wine bar was needed.
So, in creating this new Dual-Media product we needed a clear definition of what exactly a venue had to offer to be considered a wine bar. We checked online and offline dictionaries in several countries and the best that we found was: Wine Bar, Noun -- A Bar That Serves Only Wine.
Clearly a more rigorous definition than this is needed to be useful and we have put a process in place that has developed and will continually refine the definition of a wine bar.  
Based on interviews with customers and managers at various wines bars we created an initial list of the key elements of what people expect when they visit a wine bar. These criteria will be applied to all wine bars on this portal and in the companion printed guide.  
The following are the current requirements to qualify for inclusion in the NY Wine Bar Guide:

CLASSIC wine bar– A stand-alone venue that has:
     1. A minimum of 20 selections of wine or champagne available by the glass;
     2. A minimum of 100 wines available by the bottle;
     3. Food service is only small plates and must include bar seating;
     4. Dining area cannot be part of a full service restaurant;
     5. Dining area cannot have tablecloths.
BISTRO wine bar – A CLASSIC wine bar integrated with bistro or café.
Includes bistro menu and food service, but no tablecloths.
RESTAURANT wine bar – A full services restaurant with a CLASSIC wine bar area.
If a wine bar that meets CLASSIC requirements but also offers or is attached to a full food service restaurant then their listing will be identified with a special flag or icon.
TRADITIONAL wine bar -- This is more than the CLASSIC definition above. It is the true or pristine wine bar is usually a smaller and informal venue than what is presented in the US marketplace.  One of the classic definitions – typically in Europe– is the small very focused wine bar that rotates offerings from specific vineyards and has local recipes (plat du jour) to match.

NOTE – Online users will be able to filter the listings and display or printed only one category if they choose.

To continually improve this definition we have formed an informal committee of experts from various market segments: wine bar managers, sommeliers, restaurants managers, wine writers. This committee will meet periodically and update and refine the definition. All input and contributions welcome; please send comments to Mario@NYWineBarGuide.com



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