Get out of your wine rut

Victoria Levin knows good vino.

Victoria Levin’s wine list at relaxed Upper West Side winebar The Tangled Vine reads like a yearbook of old, cherished friends: from a “joyous” and “funky” gavi to a lambrusco “from a tiny vineyard run by the kindest people.”

A self-taught oenophile, Levin lives to take her patrons on what she calls the “beautiful journey of discovery” that is finding new wines, and to make her bar a safe (and reasonably-priced) place to explore. “It has surpassed what I ever thought it could be,” she tells us. “The fact that I have people coming in asking for pinot grigio and having left with an indigenous grape from the tiniest little region of the Loire valley — I couldn’t be happier. And they come back!”

Grape tips

Here are Levin’s tips for finding your new favorite grape.


“A lot of retail shops do tastings at least once a week. They’re free, you can go in, there’s someone knowledgeable there, you can try two wines. Done. And you’ve spent no money.”


“Go out with friends and get different wines, and have the bartender split it into half-glasses of both. You’re still paying for two glasses, but you’re getting to split them. Or if it’s a bother, order a glass of each and ask for two empty glasses.


“I think writing things down is huge, and they sell really great wine journals. They’re not going to be about how many months in oak or residual sugars, it’s going to say: What do you smell? What do you taste? What are the pure facts about this wine? What do you like about it, what do you not? It can be fun also, if you’re doing it with friends, to compare notes.”


“There are a lot of great wine bars and restaurants where the staff are dying to recommend and answer questions. And if they don’t have the answer, they should be able to get you someone that does. There’s always someone on site who can answer a question for you.”


“Look, wine is booze. Let’s not forget, wine should be fun, it shouldn’t be that serious. You’re in a bar. You’re in a setting where you’re there to eat and drink and laugh and enjoy your time.”

If you go
The Tangled Vine
434 Amsterdam Ave.


Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…


Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…


Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.


Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…


‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."


'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…


Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…


Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.


Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.


Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.


Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.


Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…


Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…


Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…


4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.