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Premium returns


Bin 73 retools one of the metro’s most extensive by-the-glass lists and returns to a principle that made it exciting from the start.

Greg Horton July 6th, 2011

I first had Cakebread Cabernet at Bin 73 in 2005.

The glass of wine was a graduation gift of sorts; I had just finished grad school, and wanting to graduate my wine taste, I opted for a $20 glass of the iconic Napa Cabernet. The beauty of the moment (and the wine) was that we actually had the choice to order premium wine by the glass.

Bin 73, 7312 N. Western, opened in 2004, and in those days, co-owner Gary “Hunan” Johnson always offered a couple of glasses to introduce his clientele to premium wines they might not have been able to afford by the bottle. Initially, Bin 73 offered Cakebread Cabernet and Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet.

Beginning July 1, Johnson and general manager Candice Pugh returned to that early principle by making 32 Winds Pinot Noir available by the glass on the new menu.

“It was an opportunity to return to a principle we had when we opened,” Johnson said. “We wanted to make exceptional wines available to our customers to help improve their wine education and Oklahoma City’s wine palate. 32 Winds is us going back to that original purpose.”

Tulsa resident Ed Mascarin owns the 32 Winds wines, and he hired former Turley winemaker Ehren Jordan to create wines of the highest quality.

The Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir features remarkable fruit flavors, especially cherry and raspberry, but is not overly fruity as many California Pinots tend to be. A smoky, earthy structure gives the wine a serious note. It’s also available at Edmond Wine Shop, 1520 S. Boulevard in Edmond, and by the glass at Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, 3241 W. Memorial.

Pugh’s list features nearly 50 wines by the glass, including eight sparkling wines. Bin 73 embraced the move toward single-serving sparkling bottles very early, and it has a nice selection of Champagne and sparkling wine on the list, including Nicolas Feuillatte Brut rosé and the stunning Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, allowing customers access to two excellent examples of Champagne by the glass. Both wines are available by the full bottle at Wild Turkey Finer Wines, 12021 N. MacArthur, and Edmond Wine Shop.

The new list is an eclectic mix of what Pugh called “off the beaten path and staples.”

“We wanted to stray from the beaten path a little,” she said, “but we also wanted our regular customers to still have access to wines they’ve come to love.”

The list is remarkably international, including wines from Argentina, Australia, California, Oregon, Washington, France, New Zealand and Spain, among others.

“Several of the wines are very unique,” Pugh said. “They’re the wines you see in a nice wine shop and think, ‘I’ve never heard of that.’ We wanted to make those available.”

As examples she cites Vietti Arneis, Berger Grüner Veltliner, Luigi Bosca Gala 2 and Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais. Not exactly household names, but the wines are all delicious and do offer a unique opportunity to expand customers’ wine knowledge and palate.

The Gala 2 is an Argentine Bordeaux blend of remarkable quality and taste. It’s as balanced and complex as any Napa blend in its price range, and better than many at the higher tiers. It’s also available at Bacchus, 17216 N. May in Edmond.

“I love the Beaujolais, too,” Pugh said. “It’s a chance to introduce people to serious Beaujolais, one that you can drink all year.”

Clayton Bahr, a fine wine representative for Putnam Wines, said the Dupeuble Beaujolais is an organic wine from a winery that has been operating since 1512.

“It’s a great summertime red,” Bahr said, “with notes of raspberry, cocoa and spice. This is not like Beaujolais Nouveau. Those wines are young and often don’t taste very good.”

The Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais is available at Bacchus and Edmond Wine Shop.

In addition to the by-the-glass menu, Bin 73 gives customers the option to build wine flights and order from a bottle list that features even more classic and eclectic selections.

 
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