Bar Review: Aria

LESLIE PARISEAU



Aria's wine is organized by woman. Alisia is a warm, heady tempranillo. Joy is the racy "Naked" riesling. Nsiki is a complex, but gorgeous merlot-pinotage-cab franc blend.  Produced solely by women, and like all the women in your life, the selection at the West Village wine bar runs the spectrum -- complicated, sweet, serious and quirky. Unlike the women in your life, they aren't terribly expensive. The Verdemar '09, an albariño from Riax-Baixas, made by the vibrant Grand Dame of Rioja, Maria Martinez-Sierra, tops the list at $8 a glass. Also for $8 is the souffle de cioccolato, which we, the fairer sex, will inevitably order at the end of the evening. In one window seat, three ladies sipped and slipped into the weekly cocktail hour conversation, shuffling through work, pinot grigio, men and merlot-cabs. Behind them plates of cicchetti, or little snacks, were delivered to long wooden tables and a shiny tile bar -- mushroom piled bruschetta and goat cheese stuffed eggplant --  as classic cocktails were shaken and shimmering Village couples got close over little tables and window nook stools. Certainly Aria can be appreciated by women at the end of a long day, like those lounging in the window seat -- who eventually drained their glasses, exchanged kisses and departed -- but also by the men who worship them and the fruits of their labor. Namely, wine.

Aria Wine Bar
117 Perry St.
(212) 242-4233

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