Few wine lists have remained as influential as the one beverage director Bill Fitch pioneered nearly a decade ago at Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill House; its seamless blend of offbeat naturalism and Old-World classicism helped to define an entire generation of Brooklyn beverage programs. While many of the fringe producers he first championed have since become staples across the borough, one thing hasn’t changed: Fitch’s restless sense of discovery. This eagerness to explore new frontiers is on full display at Faun, the Italian-inspired, gratuity-free, ambitious addition to the Prospect Heights restaurant scene. At approximately 50 bottles, it’s a smaller list for Fitch. Taking inspiration from the restaurant’s namesake—the goat-human hybrid of ancient mythology—the program highlights Europe’s untamed, less-traveled viticultural regions. “As a concept, the faun is part of the Greco-Roman idea of the forested ‘other-world,’ or hinterlands,” he explains. “It’s about a kind of wild spirit, a rusticity,” discovered in the ancient places where wine was born. This translates to a fascinating cross-section of obscure offerings from Greece and Italy—such as the fizzy, skin-fermented Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio from Ioannina or Lazio producer Andrea Occhipinti’s floral Rosso Arcaico—as well as Eastern Europe (i.e., Richard Stávek’s Vesely, a juicy red Moravian field blend)
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This story appears in the print issue of April 2017.
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