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5 Hot Wine Lists

BY Nevin Martell | June 29, 2017 | Feature

Part of our 50 finest things happening in the DC food scene right now.
Fiola sommelier Jennifer Foucher, who's nominated for a RAMMY Award this summer, oversees a 1,433-bottle menu.

Overseen by Bar Managers Christian Hayes and Danilo Simic, the Balkan wine program focuses mainly on indigenous varietals and interesting blends, like the 2014 Dveri-Pax Yanez ($47) from northern Slovenia, a fresh blend of furmint, pinot gris and riesling, with green-apple notes, minerality and balanced acidity that works with roasted mushroom crepes. The 2009 Vino Budimir Triada ($51) from southern Serbia shows soft tannins, blackberry and mint that scream for grilled Balkan kebabs. 523 Eighth St. SE; 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.

Just like the cuisine at Mike Isabella’s outpost, Beverage Director Taha Ismail’s 240-bottle list skews Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan, including an impressive selection of sherry, port and Madeira. Ismail pours the briny, nutty and round Yuste Aurora Manzanilla sherry ($11 per glass)—aged in the seaside town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda—alongside saffron fideo noodles with sea-urchin espuma and razor clams, and touts the 2015 Herdade de Esporão Trincadeira ($45) from Alentejo, Portugal, as a Beaujolais stand-in, with soft tannins and juicy plum and cherry notes. 901 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Wine Director and sommelier David Metz’s 1,500-bottle list leans heavy on American and French offerings. He suggests the austere, mineral-driven 2011 Benjamin Leroux Auxey-Duresses ($90) made from chardonnay grown outside Meursault, France, with buttery lobster gratin, while the notes of fig and nuts and searing acidity of the dry 1989 d’Oliveiras Sercial Madeira ($32 per glass) shines with syphon-infused oxtail consommé. Plume’s Madeira selection is unmatched! 1200 16th St. NW

The 1,433-bottle menu at chef Fabio Trabocchi’s flagship restaurant traverses Italy’s wine regions. Sommelier Jennifer Foucher’s stash includes the 2015 Giovanni Almondo Bricco delle Ciliegie Roero Arneis ($70) from Piemonte, Italy, and the 2014 Marisa Cuomo Fiorduva ($210), a blend of rare grapes fenile, ginestra and ripoli picked over-ripe and vinified off-dry, from the Costa d’Amalfi in Campania; it’s lovely with richer dishes like branzino with prosecco zabaglione. 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

The 400-bottle list includes the 2014 J. Fritsch Schlossberg grand cru riesling ($15 per glass) from Alsace, France; it boasts enticing notes of Darjeeling tea, honeyed lemons, minerality and quince for Ruta’s boudin blanc. Less expected is the 2013 Comte Abbatucci Faustine Vieilles Vignes ($17 per glass). It’s a biodynamic pinot noir-esque wine with hints of crushed raspberries, cherry blossoms and dried leaves. 900 16th St. NW

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