Up on the Roof, with a Glass Full of Gotham

It’s kind of appropriate that the Pod39 Hotel is housed in a former, landmarked Salvation Army building, because hanging out on its open-to-the-public rooftop cocktail lounge on a beautiful day (or night) is the kind of open-air rescue that a New Yorker needs every now and again.

It’s kind of appropriate that the Pod39 Hotel is housed in a former, landmarked Salvation Army building, because hanging out on its open-to-the-public rooftop cocktail lounge on a beautiful day (or night) is the kind of open-air rescue that a New Yorker needs every now and again. I was there recently for said rooftop’s official spring kick-off, but while taking in the pretty brick, arch-framed view of Midtown and munching on snacks from April Bloomfield’s downstairs project, Salvation Taco, something else caught my eye: a wine list that had a few NY-centric offerings, which is always something my Long Island-born and -bred self likes to see (right now, they’ve got a Chardonnay from Ravines — an outstanding FLX producer whose Rieslings I’ve been hoarding as of late), as well as vino on tap — one of the greatest fuel-conserving, package-eschewing, money-saving, all-around good ideas to hit the imbibing world at large.

That tap offering, though — it’s interesting stuff. At Pod39, its downstairs “Play Room” (e.g. indoor bar in the lobby), and Salvation Taco there are two on the menu from The Gotham Project, a kind of vino super-duo collaboration between Bruce “Cab Franc” Schneider of Schneider Vineyard’s on the North Fork and elsewhere and Charles “Pere et Fils” Bieler. This tap-centric, low-waste, sometimes locally sourced wine project launched in 2009 with a Finger Lakes Riesling (which Bloomfield had on tap at the John Dory right outta the gate), and took off from there. I had their zippy, refreshing 2011 Sauvignon Blanc and my friend tried the bright, pretty rose — both great with the super-fresh snacks on hand and for the warming-up months ahead. Point being: If you’re stuck in Midtown looking for some juice that left a kinder, gentler mark on the planet at large, a rooftop perch with a glass full of Gotham isn’t a bad way to be on sunny spring day.

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Amy Zavatto is the daughter of an old school Italian butcher who used to sell bay scallops alongside steaks, and is also the former Deputy Editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She holds her Level III Certification in Wine and Spirits from the WSET, and contributes to Imbibe, Whisky Advocate, SOMMJournal, Liquor.com, and others. She is the author of Forager's Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients and The Architecture of the Cocktail. She's stomped around vineyards from the Finger Lakes to the Loire Valley and toured distilleries everywhere from Kentucky to Jalisco to the Highlands of Scotland. When not doing all those other things, Amy is the Director of the Long Island Merlot Alliance.