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The Castello Plan

Wine may be a sometimes daunting beverage, but three brand new Brooklyn wine bars are here to get even the most intimidated novice over their fears.

Meet The Castello Plan in Ditmas Park, The Bodega in Bushwick and La Casita, a wine bar-yarn shop in Cobble Hill. These three newbies join favorites like Park Slope’s Brookvin as vangards of a new brand of wine bars that break down the haughtiness of wine and make it as accessible as a $3 Bud.

“Wines have a real snobbery. We wanted to start getting out of the wine-speak, which turns people off, and show people that wine can be really exciting,” said Ben Warren, co-owner of The Bodega. Warren focuses on wines that are organic, holistic and sometimes a little out there, like his 2008 La Mothe ($9), a funky, apple-y wine that he describes “as the craziest white wine I’ve ever had.”

There may be crazy wines, but you’ll find no lifted pinkies here. Warren, an amateur wine enthusiast turned pro, doles out generous tastings from behind the bar himself, encouraging folks to try before they buy. He’s been known to nerd out behind the bar, explaining, “wine can be just as nerdy as beer.”

At the Castello Plan, too, owner Benjamin Heemskerk instructs his staff to have customers sample two, three, even four wines until they find the one they like.

“Everyone’s taste is different,” said Heemskerk. “We have stuff on the menu that I don’t even like, even though I know it’s ‘good’ wine. There’s nothing more intimidating than promising to pay for $35 for a bottle wine and then finding out you hate it. That’s why I want people to taste.”

Where: 1213 Cortelyou Rd. at Argyle Road
Tel: (718) 856–8888
How much: Variable Prices
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Updated Jan. 30, 2012
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