High fives, hugs, and congratulations filled the air last night at Light Years, Houston’s newest wine bar and its first and only radically natural wine bar.
The congratulations were gladly shared, no doubt, with owners Steve Buechner and John Glanzman, who moved here from New York to build their dream wine bar in a market they suspected, rightly, would embrace it (see Eric Sandler’s preview of the venue for CultureMap here).
But felicitations were also shared between the revelers themselves.
“We finally have the wine bar we’ve been dreaming of,” said one noted Houston wine professional to another.
Houston has seen a boon of alternative and progressive wine bars in recent years: the pioneer was 13 Celsius, followed by Camerata and Vinology.
But the new wine bar/shop represents a new frontier for the city: it’s the first vineria that specializes solely and exclusively in natural wine — à la Terroir in San Francisco or The Ten Bells in New York. No conventionally vinified wine here, whatsoever.
What is natural wine? Most would agree that natural wine is wine that has been organically farmed, spontaneously fermented (using ambient yeast), and bottled with as little intervention and sulfur as possible.
My definition of natural wine? It’s like obscenity: I can’t define it but I know it when I taste it.
At last night’s friends and family event, Tracie and I drank Clos Saron Tickled Pink and Clarine Farm al basc Albariño from the Sierra Foothills in northern California. They were both great and Tracie looked more beautiful than ever.
When we arrived home, paid our babysitter, and tumbled on to the couch together, it just felt like Houston’s now an even better place to live. That’s what natural wine can do to you…
Mazel tov, Steve and John, on your launch! And thank you for bringing Light Years to Houston!