Tucked away on a quiet stretch of Washington Street in the way West Village is a tiny gem - The Upholstery Store. Do not bring grandma's needlepoint-embellished dining chairs with you, there is actually no upholstering going on in this dimly-lit wine bar. At least not as far as I could see on my recent visit with fellow Wineaux Carol.
A footnote of sorts to Kurt Gutenbrunner's Wallsé next door, the Upholstery store is heavily Austrian-influenced, giving us Big Apple Wineaux a chance to 'stretch our legs' from our usual tours of France, Italy and the US.
We began with a pair of offerings from Weingut Walter Buchegger - I had the 2009 Riesling Lössterassen Kremstal, which exhibited pleasant florals and notes of melon and peach with light acidity  and Carol sampled the 2008 Grüner Veltliner Pfarrweingarten, which had complex notes of lemon, pear, lavender, honey, earth and white pepper, nice body and good finish although light in acidity. 
At this point in our tour, we were getting a little hungry, so snacked on some nuts and a pair of cheeses (the Epoisses was a standout!) The menu at The Upholstery Store is limited, but pretty perfect - snacky options, a few entrees, salad and strudel. Our bartender Evan was incredibly knowledgeable and made perfect suggestions along the way, including guiding us to our next two wines.
I had the 2008 Peter Schandl Furmint Neusiedlersee Hügelland - nose of lemongrass and earth, a hint of CO2 "shpritz," good weight mid-palate with a long finish and notes of grass and buttered toast. Carol also suggested an unusual but apt descriptor of "oatmeal" (good one, Carol!)  She was sipping the 2009 Peter Schandl Muskateller Gelb Brut, which had candied pear and apricot on the nose, nice sweetness at the top but bone dry finish. We both found this wine flirty and fun - a little 'schitzo,' but in a good way! 
While it would have been great to stay and continue our in-town journey to Austria, we had a plan and needed to head to our next spot. But Evan wouldn't let us leave without trying the 2007 Kreinbacher Somló Juhfark. This Hungarian wine is from a tiny region just off the Austrian border, and is made with 100% Jufark (a variety previously unknown to me, grown exclusively in Hungary). It had a barnyardy nose and was very clean and steely with a hint of butter, sweet lime and herbs. It had a light acidity but a nice balance. Aged ten months in Hungarian oak.  Carol wasn't as interested in this wine, but then again, she did apply menthol lip balm just before tasting it... ooooohhhhh, Carol! (In all fairness, she did think we were leaving when she did so.)
While there are other regions represented on The Upholstery Store's wine list, the opportunity to taste less-familiar Austrians wines is a fantastic excuse for a visit. And next time, I'm saving room for the strudel.
The Upholstery Store - 713 Washington St. (W 11/Perry) 212-240-9557 ext 10.