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Senior editor Alison Napjus joined Wine Spectator in 2000. She is the lead taster for Alsace, Beaujolais and Champagne and also tastes wines from regions throughout Italy.
Alison Napjus

A Bubbly at the Opulent Winston’s Champagne Bar

Deutz Brut Champagne Classic NV

Alison Napjus
Posted: November 18, 2011

Last month, I decided to check out the recently opened Winston’s Champagne Bar, adjacent to the trendy Gansevoort Park Hotel (and conveniently across the street from Wine Spectator’s offices). A glass of bubbly seemed like a great way to welcome the weekend after a long week.

The place was decidedly swanky, with dark lighting, plush fabrics, a sparkling chandelier and prime real-estate dedicated to a canary yellow piano. (“Not Veuve Clicquot yellow,” a staff member noted.) But I caught it at a quiet moment—it’s more of a late-night scene than an after-work watering hole.

This gave us the full attention of our server—always a bonus—but we didn’t need help to pick a good glass of Champagne. I opted for a solid favorite, the Deutz Brut Champagne Classic NV, which I enjoy for its consistent minerally note, firm structure and appealing aromatic profile of apple blossom and apricot. I rated it 90 points, non-blind, and it was offered for $20 a glass.

Winston’s by-the-glass offerings are limited to five to six brut Champagnes and five to six brut rosés, with a mix that leans more toward grower Champagnes, such as my colleague’s glass of the Godmé Père & Fils Brut Rosé Champagne NV ($27 per glass). But there are plenty of Champagne’s big houses in the mix, particularly among the by-the-bottle offerings, and if you’ve got the bank account, Winston’s will find you the perfect bottle of Champagne to go with it.

Winston’s Champagne Bar
Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel
Address: 420 Park Ave S., New York, N.Y. 10016
Telephone: 212-929-9070

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Deutz Brut Champagne Classic NV (90 points, $41).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated non-vintage Champagnes.

Aaron Meeker
Kansas City, KS —  November 20, 2011 10:50pm ET

You seem disappointed in the selection of Grower Champagnes being poured BTG as you highlighted the "bug houses" at the end of the article. Do you fin consistency or quality differences between RM and NM/CM?
Alison Napjus
New York, NY —  November 22, 2011 3:44pm ET
I certainly didn't mean to express any disappointment with Grower Champagne! I only meant to illustrate that Winston's has something for everyone, though people should look to the bottle list if they're not immediately familiar with the names on the BTG list.
I feel that among grower offerings you find some of Champagne's most distinctive bottlings and they're not to be missed if you want a broader understanding of the region's wines. That said, many growers understandably lack the resources of the houses, so a difficult vintage may spell some inconsistency--they may not have the depth to fall back on in terms of réserve wines that might help to balance a lesser year.
But this is more of an academic point, and personally I enjoy both grower and house bubbly equally and often!

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