- Vox Populi » Judge finds that Epicurean worker has right to seek compensation in civil case on Epicurean faces multiple lawsuits from employees
- Nico Dodd on Critical Voices: Snoop Lion, Reincarnated
- Senior on Biracial student snubbed by Georgetown cultural society
- Asma on GenderFunk a crass caricature of a complex trans identity
- Brad M. Seraphin on Evading etymology eschews the excitement of English
Photos from Flickr
Goes Down Easy
Nobody likes a wine snob, but I don’t need you to like me. I need you to like good wine. And I want you to drink it at a restaurant, paired with good food. An honest bottle of wine—poached from the low end of the wine list and foreign, if at all possible—is the pinnacle of the culturally constructed drinking experience.
You could buy a decent wine at any liquor or wine store in the area, but you wouldn’t know what to serve it with. You’d also miss out on the appropriate ambience for good wine. So get that special someone, or several, and don’t be afraid of the cost—$50 to $75 for a good meal can be saved by skipping the crappy fast food you normally eat for a week or two—and get thee to an eatery. Dress it up a little, too, huh?
Start off slow at Georgetown’s own Bistro Francais (take advantage of their late nights—3 a.m. on weekdays, 4 a.m. on weekends). Pair a bottle of the Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais Villages 2005 ($35) with the curried mussel soup—you’re being bold, shellfish and red wine!—and steak frites. The wine is sweet without losing its intensity and doesn’t have that gross tannic aftertaste you’re used to from Franzia.
Now that you’ve experienced what your neighborhood has to offer, head downtown to the Tabard Inn, a Washington favorite for contemporary American cuisine. Pick up a bottle of the Finca Antigua Tempranillo 2005 ($29)—a quintessential Spanish wine from La Mancha—and pair it with one of the Inn’s bolder entrées—maybe the bacon-wrapped pork loin? The wine has a warm, peppery aftertaste that will tingle on your tongue.
Once you’re ready to graduate to browsing the wine list on your own—don’t forget to furrow your brow—remember that your waiter or, hopefully, the sommelier is there to help you choose the best wine for your dinner and your dollar. Don’t be afraid to specify price ranges or favorite varieties.
The sommelier at Nora, Glenn Bidwell, is a particularly gracious wine expert, especially at pairing his restaurant’s eclectic organic cuisine with a fine wine, often from their extensive collection of subtle, balanced Pinot Noirs. When I dined at Nora, he gave me three varieties to taste for each glass I actually drank, even though Nora does not technically offer individual glasses of wine. Bidwell also knew how to expand a drinker’s palate, introducing me to dessert wines, vibrant, honey-textured varieties to pair with, say, Nora’s excellent pineapple upside-down cake. After all, you should end the night the way you began it: with the fruit of the vine.
Bistro Francais, 3128 M St.
Tabard Inn, 1739 N St.
Nora, 2132 Florida Ave.