Chardonnay definitely would not make the cut as a hipster wine, reports Lettie Teague in The Wall Street Journal (1/4/13). Sancerre, on the other hand, makes the grade. “Sancerre is post-post-modern,” says William Fitch, wine director of Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn (naturally). “It sells like crazy. I even have Pouilly Fume on my list. Any kind of Sauvignon Blanc sells like crazy.” Krystof Zizka of Maison Premiere says he’s not sure what it means to be a hipster, exactly, but he does know what his customers want. “They’re not going to buy Yellow Tail,” he says.
They are, however, big on Muscadet. “Muscadet is cool,” according to Krystof. He also knows that hipsters like a good value, and so he offers Muscadets for “as little as $35 a bottle.” Eamon Rockey of Aska, a Scandinavian restaurant in Williamsburg, claims to be “the least cool person in Brooklyn,” but does have a firm idea of what a hipster wine list ought to offer. “It’s a wine list that’s full of small and ambitious producers,” which includes “producers from the Jura (an obscure and decidedly hipster region in France) and Francios Chidaine from the Loire Valley.”
Aska also has “a good selection of Beaujolais,” because, says Eamon, when “people who know Beaujolais see a large selection of Beaujolais, they know it is not a gimmick.” Bordeaux, however, is a hard sell. More than anything, the wine hipster has an open mind, says William Fitch, who claims that Brooklyn restaurants are more hipster than those in Paris, which tend to list only French wine. “Even the sommeliers don’t know Spanish wines,” he says. And, when a Paris restaurant meets the hipster standard, William says its fans like to say, “C’est tellement Brooklyn!”