Hoboken, New Jersey: Wine Paradise

Hoboken is a town of contradictions. There’s the rough-and-tumble past of dock workers and organized crime, the birth of baseball and Frank Sinatra, the old-school residents versus the new generation, and the self-image Hoboken has as a restaurant haven versus the reality that Jersey City actually has some of the most interesting new restaurants in the area.

One final contradiction: The popular image of Hoboken as a bro-bar place to drink beer as opposed to a more sophisticated spot for wine and more adult cocktails. While it can still be a chore to find a place to make a great Old Fashioned in this town, the fact is Hoboken has quietly become a fantastic place to be a wine lover.

The Places

So many great wine spots have opened in Hoboken in recent years, it’s difficult to pick a favorite. There’s Bin 14, of course, which remains perhaps the best wine bar in town. There’s the old-guard standby of Amanda’s, which has been around for as long as it has for good reasons, one of which is its great wine selections (and there is a bar in there, albeit a small one), and the similarly old-school Court Street. New places include Grand Vin and Sorrelina, both of which have their own distinct personalities when it comes to wine. The simple fact is, there are plenty of restaurants with great wine lists (Halifax and Dino and Harry’s each have some pretty great lists, actually) and there are places with a real focus on wine, and that means Hoboken is a great place to take someone who loves wine, which is everybody.

Bin 14 to the rescue.

In fact, even in restaurants that aren’t necessarily known for their high cuisine or their wine lists, there’s usually at least a decent selection. We’re living in a wine paradise, people.

The Events

In addition to the wine bars and great curated wine lists, there are also plenty of wine events in Hoboken. First and foremost, Sparrow Wine & Liquor Co. has regular wine tasting events where you can learn a bit about wine, sample a selection, and ask a wine expert all those wine questions you’ve been worrying over.

Sorrelina also to the rescue.

Sorrelina also offers up a regular slate of wine events; in September they’re offering an Intro to Italian Wine and in October they’ve set up a Women in Wine event. Sorrelina also has some pretty amazing ambiance and food, so there’s no better place to learn a bit about the wine we love so much.

Bin 14 also schedules regular wine events. First of all, they offer up a regular Friday evening Wine Knowledge Happy Hour, where they offer up 4 wines complete with a brief education (Fridays, 4pm – 7pm) (did you know that Bin 14 will also set up a wine tasting in your home? THEY WILL). In September they’ve also got a pair of fun events. First off, Mouton Noir: Out Of The Garage and Into Your Glass: A Special Winemaker Event with Andre Hueston Mack, on Tuesday, September 5th at 7:00pm focused on the “garage wines” of Oregon’s Mouton Noir, joined by sommelier André Hueston Mack. Second, they have their signature Wines that Give Back event (Saturday Sept 23rd, 2:00-4:00pm), focusing on tasting wines that donate proceeds to their communities. Why not taste and learn about great wines and support companies doing good works? Call Bin 14 directly (201-963-9463) to make reservations.

Andre Hueston Mack

Like a lot of stuff in life, Hoboken can be two things. It can be chock full of crowded bars that deal out dance beats, TV screens, and Jager shots—and it can also be a great place to check out wine and pretend you know what you’re doing in life. If you’re looking for the latter, we’ve got you covered—and if you take part in any of these events, let us know all about it!


Jeffrey Somers

Staff Writer • Jeff Somers (jeffreysomers.com) is the author of 9 novels including We Are Not Good People (wearenotgoodpeople.com) and the publisher of The Inner Swine (innerswine.com). Jeff may be reach at jeff@HobokenLife.co . Follow him on Twitter at @jeffreysomers .

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