136 Dekalb Ave, Fort Greene
Rating:4 out of 5 L's
Mauzac, named for a snazzy—sounding grape grown mainly in southwest France, is everything you've been looking for in a neighborhood wine bar. Exposed brick and warm wood paneling? Check. Copper—coated bar, soft lighting, and a hidden nook set apart from the main room? You got it. Sleek bottles lining the walls and a pastoral view of Fort Greene Park out the front window? Yup, it's perfect. Seating only 25 at full capacity, Mauzac is ideal for a twosome and was cozy for our group of four—though a bigger gang would be tricky to squeeze in. "I'd like a glass of white. Something dry and summery—fruity, but not too sweet," one of my friends told the waiter, who said he'd bring back something for her to taste. Impressed by her request, I wondered if she was a closet wine buff. Then she leaned into the table and whispered, "I memorized that combination of adjectives so I sound like I know what I'm talking about when I order!"
Funny, the other girls had their go—to adjectives, too. Earthy. Full—bodied. Complicated and perfume—y. Not too buttery, please. Wine is easy to drink, but can be tricky to choose. Then, the server came back with two glasses and waited to see which she liked better. She preferred the Basa Rueda ($10 per glass), a biodynamic wine from Spain.
Now, if a single glass had been brought over to taste, it would've been easy to accept. Hey, it's wine. And when four friends are huddled around a table and twilight is falling over Fort Greene Park, any wine is pretty delicious. But there's something so satisfying about choosing between two pours. Comparing and contrasting flavors to decide which you prefer is educational, too, for the would—be wine geeks among us.
Wine Bar 101: Mauzac
These mini—blind tastings continued through the night, crowding our little table with glasses of a dry Rioja rose, a slightly sweet slightly sweet Cotes de Provence, a complex Viognier. Fruity California or an explosive—then—smooth Australian Shiraz? When the Shiraz was chosen, our server admitted that the $8 glass was his favorite.
The only thing that could improve this tiny wine bar would be a more extensive snack menu, but at the time of our visit, they were just offering cheese, charcuterie, and pate. The well—appointed cheese plate included creamy brie, mild manchego, a tangy blue, and firm Cabra La Mancha, alongside olives, cornichons, walnuts, quince paste, and a small, basic loaf of bread. At the end of the night, our server brought a complementary round of rose cava—a pink, sparkling invitation to visit Mauzac again soon.