Tag Archives: wine
As part of a new weekly post, we’ll be highlighting five things we love in the neighborhood. The first installment? Five red wines we’ve been loving lately. We love these wines because they make for a great dinner or night out and don’t break the bank.
1. Ardeo+Bardeo‘s Touriga Nacional, Cedro do Noval, Portugal 2006 ($35 bottle, we’re not sure if it’s available by the glass anymore) – It’s Portuguese, it’s something different, we love it.
2. Ripple‘s Cabarnet Franc, Domaine de la Butte “Le Pied de la Butte”, France 2009 ($11 glass, $33 b0ttle) – Complex and earthy for a cab franc.
3. Medium Rare‘s Fitou, Bertrand Berge, France 2009 ($9 glass, $34 bottle) – They call it complex; we call it delicious.
4. Ripple‘s Garancha Tintorera, Quitieria “Higueruela”, Spain 2009 ($6 glass, $21 bottle) – The best bottle of red wine we’ve found for $21 at a DC restaurant.
5. Calvert Woodley‘s Dow Douro, Vale do Bomfim, Portugal 2009 ($12 bottle) – Found while perusing Calvert Woodley’s eclectic selection; great rich fruity wine pairs well with cheese, crackers, and a casual night at home.
Cheers to the weekend!
For the oenophiles among us, two exciting events are taking place in Cleveland Park on Monday, March 12. Jean-Marc Espinass of Domaine Rouge-Bleu wines will be visiting Cleveland Park to show off his organic, award-winning wines at both a tasting and a dinner in the neighborhoood. Fewer than 1,000 cases are produced of most of Domaine Rouge-Bleu wines, and even fewer are imported to the US. Thse events look like great opportunities to enjoy wines from a small, family owned winery that still manage to routinely earn 90+ points from Wine Spectator.
First, winegrower Jean-Marc Espinasse will be stopping at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits for a tasting from 2:30 – 6:30 pm. The tasting is free and no reservations are required. Then he will proceed down the street for an 8 pm winemaker dinner at Ripple. Espinasse and Ripple Executive Chef Logan Cox will be preparing a multi-course tasting menu prepared with Domaine Rouge-Bleu wines. Reservations are recommended, and the price for the dinner is $90 (all-inclusive).
Could Ripple be the best wine bar in Washington, DC? Perhaps… The relatively new Cleveland Park business is a growing sensation, even making Washingtonian’s 100 very best restaurants. We are certainly not the first to approve of its wines (in fact, the Wall St. Journal did so back in November). Nevertheless, we feel it is only appropriate to add to the chorus of kudos.
What’s most amazing to us is Ripple’s ability to offer quality and affordability and knowledge without pretense. Standard on Ripple’s wine list are a handful of really great bottles of wine for less than $30. Some are even priced as low as $21. Although the cheaper wines hold their own, visitors should not shy away from their more expensive bottles. Ripple, unlike just about every other wine bar, actually gives you a full glass discount on bottles. That means some amazing $15 glasses are available for $45/bottle. It’s also kind of neat that you can get a bottle of the sparkling wine for only $20. Talk about a cheap celebration!
By the glass, there are four really solid $6 offerings (a red, two whites, and a sparkling). We’ve all experienced some places in DC, which shall remain nameless, that sell mediocre to bad wine for double and triple the price. But Ripple’s $6 glasses are really quite impressive, especially given the price. And the offerings by the glass are not limited to a handful – there are over 20 reds available by the glass. The list continues to impress with the significant number of sustainable and organic offerings.
Ripple would be one of our favorite wine bars if it made more space for wine drinkers outside of the bar. It now has two separate dining rooms, plus the 2-tops in the bar. It’d be awesome Ripple could carve out a space for lovers of its wine menu to lounge and “gather” as they say in their tagline. Given the success of the restaurant, however, this seems unlikely. In any event, next time you are enjoying nightlife in Cleveland Park, give Ripple a shot. Whether your price point per bottle of wine is $20 or $200, we guarantee that you will find something that you like.
In today’s news for the 1 percent, the Washington Business Journal reported last week that Domaine Wine Storage and Appreciation has leased 11,000 square feet of underground space at 4221 Connecticut Ave NW. This address is current home to the vastly underrated Indian Ocean restaurant and the new Sushi Para. Exactly what value does Domaine seek to provide in the Upper Northwest market?
Wine storage appeals to both collectors who lack space to store their own bottles and serious investors who require precise temperature controls. Domaine will charge members between $2.50 and $4 per case per month to store wine, depending on what services they require. At the higher end, Domaine can digitally catalogue and monitor a customer’s collection.
The service is available at a pre-opening price of $1/month for storage of 1-149 cases.