Press: The New York Times

austin pouring wine for customers

A Wine Shop Focused on the Gems

Spirit Animal in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, carries organic, biodynamic and natural wines.

Albert Di Meglio, the chef and an owner of Barano restaurant in South Williamsburg, said that customers who liked a wine on his list would ask where to buy it. “It was sometimes a problem,” he said. “Restaurants can get wines on allocation that people won’t find in stores. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to open the shop, to sell the wines.” The airy store, a few doors down from the restaurant, is centered on a curved bar for tastings and small classes, with racks of wines and spirits along the walls. It carries a limited inventory, fewer than 200 labels, mostly from organic, biodynamic and natural producers. “I want to sell wines made with good farming practices,” he said. “This is not a wine shop with everything.” Austin Flechler, previously the wine director at Nix restaurant in Manhattan, is running the store.

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