Friday, November 17, 2017

The Music of the A Cappella Ensemble "Männer und Tenöre" and the Wines of Weingut Aufricht, Lake Constance, Baden, with Manfred Aufricht - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Manfred Aufricht and the A Cappella Ensemble "Männer und Tenöre" at Weingut Aufricht, Baden

The visit of the Lake Constance Region was a first for the Germany-South and Alsace Tour by ombiasy WineTours. We had never been to the Lake Constance Region before as it is a bit out of the way. It was worth the detour. We started with a wine tasting concert at Weingut Aufricht on the day of our arrival. The following day, we spent the whole day at Schloss Salem, touring the historic abbey before lunch and having a visit of the winery of Schloss Salem  - Weingut Markgraf von Baden - in the afternoon, before visiting Kirche Birnau and its vineyards. We concluded the day with a tour of Meersburg and had a light dinner in a wine tavern in Meersburg.

Pictures: Arriving at Weingut Aufricht, where the Harvest was in Full Swing when we Arrived

The visit of Weingut Aufricht was not a typical one. Annette had booked us seats at an wine and music evening event at Weingut Aufricht. The Ensemble "Männer und Tenöre" performed A Cappella music and Manfred Aufricht poured 6 wines and talked about his winery and his wines.

Pictures: The A Cappella Ensemble "Männer und Tenöre"

A cappella (Italian for “From the chapel/choir”) music is singing without instrumental accompaniment. The Comedian Harmonists were an internationally famous, all-male German ensemble that performed between 1928 and 1934 as one of the most successful musical groups in Europe before World War II.

Manfred Aufricht and his wife Hildegard Aufricht were our hosts. This was an evening of music and wine.

Baden

Baden is Germany’s most southerly and - with 16,000 hectares (39,300 acres) under vine – third largest wine region. Despite its size and the quality of its wines, it is not well known outside of Germany, because it exports very little.

From north to south, Baden spans approximately 200 kilometers, and is primarily situated on the right bank of the Rhein river. On the left bank is Alsace in France. Baden is divided into nine districts; one of them is the Lake Constance district, where the Aufricht Estate is located.

Baden is known for its Pinot wines, both white and red,which account for more than half of Baden’s wine output. Riesling plays only a minor role.

Lake Constance

Lake Constance - in German: Bodensee - is shared by Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The largest City on the lake is Constance - in German: Konstanz. On the Swiss side is the Canton of Thurgau, where the grape variety Mueller Thurgau comes from, created by Hermann Mueller in 1882. The Austrian part does not have much wine, if any; the wine regions of Austria are on the other side of the country, in the east.

Picture: Lake Constance in the South of Germany, with Swiss Mountains

See also: The Evolving Structure of the Wine Industry in Germany – The Case of the Lake Constance Region

Weingut Aufricht

In Baden - like in Württemberg - the wine industry is dominated by wine co-operatives; they account for 85% of the region's production. This explains the low export share. Private winemakers are the exception. One of these exceptions is Weingut Aufricht. Weingut Aufricht started out as a member of a wine co-operative and became independent about 30 years ago, after the brothers Robert and Manfred Aufricht had taken over from their parents.

The Aufricht winery was founded seventy years ago by the father and grandfather of the current generations. Today the winery has 24 hectares of vineyards. 80 % of the vineyards are planted with Burgundy grapes (30% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chardonnay 10% respectively), the remainder with Müller-Thurgau, Muskateller, Riesling, Sauvignon-Blanc. The Aufricht brothers were the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc again in the Lake Constance region. The top red wines are matured in barriques for several years. Bottle-fermented sparkling wines are also produced.

Weingut Aufricht is located at Lake Constance between Meersburg and Hagnau. The lake’s water reflects the sun like a mirror. The roots of the vines get their "food" from the glacial moraine of granite, limestone and gneiss of the Alps. The idyllic location in combination with the elegant and modern architecture and the view on the lake and the Swiss Alps in the distance make this winery the perfect spot for a romantic concert.

The vineyard area totals 24 hectares, with holdings in the Fohrenberg and Sängerhalde sites. The Aufricht brothers grow Pinot Noir, Lemberger, Pinot Madeleine and Regent, and Pinot Gris, Auxerrois,Pinot Blanc, Müller-Thurgau, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

Weingut Aufricht has 2 Grapes (out of 5) in the Gault Millau Wine Guide.

Wine and Music

This was a most enjoyable evening of good wines and good music.

Pictures: Wine Tasting Concert with the A Cappella Ensemble “Männer und Tenöre” at Weingut Aufricht

The Wines

2016 Weingut Aufricht Gutedel
2016 Weingut Aufricht Johannes Aufricht Müller-Thurgau Alte Reben
2016 Weingut Aufricht Spätburgunder Rose
2015 Weingut Aufrich Weissburgunder 1 Lilie
1015 Weingut Aufricht Aufricht Weiss (Riesling and Grauburgunder)
2014 Weingut Aufricht Chardonnay trocken 3 Lilien
2015 Weingut Aufricht Aufrichtig Rot (Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir)

Pictures: The Weingut Aufricht Wines

schiller-wine: All Postings (Published and Forthcoming): Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: Baden, Alsace, Pfalz and Rheinhessen

Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: Baden, Alsace, Pfalz and Rheinhessen

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour (and Lunch) with Robert Schätzle, Owner/ Winemaker, Weingut Schloss Neuweier in Baden - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

La Cucina della Passione and Weingut Schloss Neuweier Wines: Wine Pairing Lunch at Röttele’s Restaurant (1 Star Michelin) at Schloss Neuweier, with Owner and Winemaker Robert Schätzle, Weingut Schloss Neuweier - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Wine tasting concert with the A-Cappella Ensemble “Männer und Tenöre” at Weingut Aufricht in Meersburg – Stetten, with Manfred and Hildegard Aufricht

The Lake Wines of the Aufricht Brothers: From Lake Constance in Germany

The Evolving Structure of the Wine Industry in Germany – The Case of the Lake Constance Region

Schloss Salem at Lake Constance in Germany: A Museum, a School and a Wine Estate

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Markgraf von Baden in Salem, Baden

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Löffler in Wettenberg, Markgräfler Land, Baden, with Hannes Glöckner of the Löffler Family and Founder Wolfgang Löffler 

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Stigler in Ihringen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden, with Andreas and Maximilian Stigler

Dinner at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler (1 Star Michelin) in Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and Wine Taverns in Freiburg, Baden, Germany

The World Class Wines of Alsace

In the world class white wine region Alsace

Tasting at Domaine Marcel Deiss in Bergheim, Alsace

Lunch in Alsace: Wistub du Sommelier in Bergheim and Bistro L’Epicurien in Colmar

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Dirler-Cadé in Bergholtz, Alsace, with Jean Pierre Dirler and Ludevine Dirler-Cadé

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Schlumberger in Guebwiller, Alsace

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Hugel & Fils in Riquewhir, Alsace, with Jean Frédéric Hugel

Dinner at the 1 Michelin Star Restaurant L’Achémille in Kaysersberg, with Owner/ Chef Jérome Jaegle

Wine Lunch at Weingut Jülg with Johannes Jülg – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Jülg in Schweigen, Pfalz, with Johannes Jülg

Schiller's Favorite (Wine-) Restaurants in Deidesheim in the Pfalz, Germany

Tasting at Maison Jülg in Seebach, Alsace, with Peter Jülg

Tasting at Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen, Pfalz – Germany-South by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen, Pfalz, with Valentin Rebholz and Stephanie Wagner

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Münzberg – Lothar Kesseler & Söhne in Landau-Godramstein, Pfalz, with Friedrich and Gunter Kesseler

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Rings in Freinsheim, Pfalz, with Andi Rings

Tasting at Weingut Krebs in Freinsheim, Pfalz, with Jürgen Krebs

Tasting at Sekthaus Raumland in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen, with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Wittmann in Westhofen, Rheinhessen, with Philipp Wittmann

Cellar Tourvisit and Tasting at Weingut Gröbe in Westhofen, Rheinhessen, with Fritz Gröbe

Cellar Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Louis Guntrum in Nierstein, Rheinhessen, with Konstantin and Stephanie Guntrum




Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tasting and Vineyard Visit at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel, with Gernot Kollmann - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Tasting with Gernot Kollmann, Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel

We started the day in the Ahr Valley, visited 3 world class winemakers in the Mosel Valley during the day and finished the day in the 2 star Michelin Restaurant Schanz in Piesport with a fine-dining dinner.

We had breakfast in Bad Neuenahr in the Ahr Valley. From there we drove about an hour for our first appointment at Weingut Markus Molitor in the Mosel Valley. After lunch, we spent the early afternoon at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg with Managing Director/ Winemaker Gernot Kollmann. The third visit was at Weingut Fritz Haag, with Oliver Haag.

The visit at Markus Molitor was tasting only. At Fritz Haag and Immich Batterieberg we also visited the vineyards. All 3 tastings were most impressive.

At Weingut Immich-Batterieberg, Gernot Kollmann was our host.

Picture: Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel

Weingut Immich-Batterieberg

The Big Glue: Immich-Batterieberg is one of the oldest wineries in the Mosel traced back to the year 911. In 1495, the Immich family purchased the property, producing traditional dry and off-dry wines under their name for almost 500 years. After filing for bankruptcy in 2007, the estate was acquired in 2009 by Gernot Kollmann and two Hamburg based investors (Owners: Dr. Volker Auerbach and Roland Probst). Since taking over, the wines are once again produced in a dry or off-dry style, with sugar levels depending on each site, each vintage. All of the Cru wines are once again being vinified separately in old oak barrels; spontaneous fermentations are the norm and chaptalization, re/de-acidification or any other intervention during vinification is forbidden. Sulfur is added in low doses and only before bottling. 80% of the vines are un-grafted and over 60 years old, and everything is worked organically (though not certified).

Picture: Arriving

History

Gernot Kollmann: Immich-Batterieberg ranks among the oldest estates on the Mosel. The middle portion of the estate’s grounds – still standing today – was first mentioned, in 908 A.D., by Ludwig IV, the last East Frankish Carolingian king, in a deed that confirmed the estate’s transfer to the church.

According to archaeological estimates, the foundation of the building dates from the second half of the 9th century. Especially remarkable is the cellar’s load-bearing basalt pillar, which was “recycled’ from a nearby Roman estate.

In the 12th Century the estate was ceded as a fief to Prince von Esch (hence to day’s Escheburg) and was then remodeled and expanded. The right wing of the property, the “Franzenhaus,’ was not built until the 16th Century and the “Herrenhaus,’ richly adorned in the Mosel-Frankish style and which today makes up the left wing, did not appear until the early 1900s.

It was the Immich family – among the oldest winemaking families on the Mosel, with a history that spans from 1425 through 1989 – that was especially crucial to the history and the development of the estate. We have them to thank for our most famous site, the Batterieberg, which between 1841 and 1845 was formed into one of the Mosel’s top sites by way of ceaseless rounds of dynamite. Batterieberg, along with the older top-tier sites Steffensberg, Ellergrub, and Zeppwingert, are all steep slate slopes and all achieved the highest ranking in the Prussian Vineyard Classification of 1868. Today they comprise the heart of the estate.

Pictures: Tasting with Gernot Kollmann

Vineyards

Weingut Immich-Batterieberg works four vineyards on extremely steep slopes, all of which were included in the highest class in the Prussian Vineyard Classification of 1868 (based on Napoleon’s Classification des Vines from 1804).

Just as important to us as the inherent quality of the vineyards is the available grape material. We are delighted to have a very large portion of old, ungrafted vines, from which, because of their genetic diversity and their naturally low yields, the highly differentiated, deep, and site-typical Rieslings that we want can come into being.

Pictures: In the Vineyard with Gernot Kollmann

Cellar

Gernot Kollamann: With our fresh start at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in 2009, we are looking to connect to the very noble stylistic standards of this tradition-rich estate. For us there is the special challenge among the recognition of the great wines that were made here, our own viticultural and vinicultural ideas, and a respect for the natural conditions defined by our top sites in Enkirch – there is a lot to learn!

What that means for us concretely is an even clearer orientation toward dry Riesling, a style long well-cultivated here, even when the rest of the area was committed to sweeter wines. We stand for a very pure, unadorned, and rather powerful style of Riesling, with ripe, moderate acidity and with the pronounced structure intended for a long aging potential – and also, of course, for a certain ripeness requirement, especially for our top wines.

Our wines are raised without a heavy hand, primarily in barrels (but also in stainless steel), and are left for a long time on their lees. We use no cultured yeast, no enzymes, no protein stabilizers, and no clarifying agents. We do not chaptalize, concentrate, or de-acidify and place ourselves in the tradition of natural wines that – until the 1971 reform of the German wine law – was indicated on the bottle by the phrase naturrein.

Gernot Kollmann

Gernot Kollman hails from Wetter (in Westphalia). In the early 1990s, at Weingut Dr. Loosen in Bernkastel, he began to transform into a career what had previously been an intensively cultivated hobby. After completing his studies in Wine Business Administration in Heilbronn, and after a brief tenure at the Fürstlich Castell’schen Domänenamt, Gernot worked first at the Bischöflicher Weingüter in Trier and then at Van Volxem on the Saar. Since 2004 he has consulted at several estates, both in Germany and abroad, and has enjoyed high praise for his wines in the national and international press.

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Christian Schiller with Gernot Kollmann in New York City. See: A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2015, USA

In 2009 Gernot assumed responsibility for the direction and the winemaking at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg. He stands for a powerful, sometimes somewhat wild, “unstyled’ style of Riesling (cultured yeasts are renounced for all wines), more on the dry side, and as a rule not intended for immediate consumption.

Tasting

Gernot led a wonderful tasting of his wines, ranging from a Brut Zero Dosage Sekt an aged Spätlese trocken and an aged Auslese.

2014 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Riesling Brut Zero

2015 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg C.A.I. Riesling

A racy and expressive, mineral-driven Riesling.

2015 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Escheburg Riesling

The name comes from a fiefdom agreement made with Count of Esch in the 12th century. A very elegant, fine and mineral-driven wine.

2015 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Zollturm Riesling

An extremely steep vineyard with meagre soils of grey and blue slate, with perfect south-southwesterly exposure. A prime parcel in the rocky, terraced landscape between Enkirch and Traben-Trabach.

2014 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Ellergrub Riesling

Ellergrub is 150 m to the right of the Zeppwingert. Here, you find the classic blue slate of the middle Mosel.

2009 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Escheburg Riesling

1989 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Batterieberg Spätlese trocken Riesling

Batterieberg is a 1.1 hectare monopole within the Zeppwingert, and also the place that gives the estate its namesake: it was Carl August Immich's decision to dynamite this hill between 1841 and 1845 which permitted him to create terraces and plant vines (Batterieberg translates to Battered Mountain). The slate here is grey and very rocky, with a heavy amount of quartz.

2015 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Zeppwingert Auslese Riesling

The Zeppwingert parcel is to the right of Batterieberg. The soil is darker here.

1991 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Batterieberg Auslese Riesling

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg

Postings: Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)

Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Weingut Georg Müller Stiftung in Hattenheim, Rheingau: Cellar Tour, Art Tour, Tasting and Vineyard Tour with Winemaker Tim Lilienström - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau: Lunch, Tour of the Abbey, the Steinberg and the Steinbergkeller, with Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau: Tour and Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Ratzenberger, Mittelrhein, with Jochen Ratzenberger - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Rhine River Cruise in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein in Winningen, Mosel, with Reinhard Löwenstein - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting at Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr, with Technical Director Albert Schamaun – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Jean Stodden, Ahr, with Alexander Stodden - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting with Markus Molitor at Weingut Markus Molitor in Haus Klosterberg, Mosel - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting and Vineyard Visit at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel, with Gernot Kollmann

The Wines of the Berncasteler Doctor, Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley, Germany

Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany

Tasting and Vineyard Walk at Weingut Fritz Haag (VDP) in Brauneberg, Mosel, with Oliver Haag

Dinner at the 2 Michelin star restaurant Schanz in Piesport, Mosel

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany

Visit and tasting at Weingut Maximin Grünhaus (VDP) in Mertersdorf, Ruwer, Mosel, with Dr. Carl von Schubert 

Visit and tasting at Weingut von Hövel (VDP) in Oberemmel, Saar, Mosel, with Max von Kunow

Tasting at Weingut Emrich-Schoenleber (VDP) in Monzingen, Nahe, with Frank Schönleber

Wine-pairing Lunch at Landgasthof Zur Traube in Meddersheim, Nahe, with Petra Hexamer and the wines of Weingut Hexamer.

Dinner with Wine Pairing the Restaurant of Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in Münster-Sarmsheim, Nahe, with Corenlia, Stefan and Georg Rumpf

Tasting at Weingut J.B. Becker, in Walluf, Rheingau, with Hajo Becker




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Washington DC, USA

Pictures: Christian Schiller at the New Maxwell Park Wine Bar in Washington DC, USA

This is a list of my favorite wine bars in the Washington DC greater area.

Washington DC is the center of the Washington DC greater area. Most people live either on the Maryland side of the Potomac River or on the Virginia side. I live in McLean in Virginia. My selection of wine bars is naturally biased by my home base.

America has a bar culture. Many restaurants therefore have a nice bar area with often an amazing selection of wines by the glass. Thus, I have divided my list into 2 groups: (1) wine bars and (2) restaurants with good wine bars, for Washington DC and Northern Virginia.

This is an update of an earlier posting: Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Washington DC, USA (2013)

Wine Bars in Washington DC

Cork
1720 14th Street NW

This feels very much like a “my down the road wine bar’. Unfortunately I do not live in the neighborhood and need to travel to go there. But I do it, because I feel so comfortable there. Cork has a thoughtful wine list focused on old-world classics from France and Italy. In addition, the food is very good, prepared by an ambitious Chef.

Dickson
903 U Street NW (bet. 9th and 10th Sts. NW)

A three-level wine bar. Follow the stairs up into a modern, cozy space with communal tables, bar seats and flickering candles. Dickson focuses on wines made with an ecological mindset, such as natural, organic and biodynamic wines. Classic wine bar fare such as olives, charcuterie and cheese.

ENO
2810 Pennsylvania Ave NW

ENO Wine Bar, located adjacent to Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC. ENO works to locally source many of its evening menu items, which include cheeses from nearby Virginia and Pennsylvania as well as local charcuterie and chocolate pairings. An extensive list of wines by the glass includes the option to enjoy a flight of three 2.5-ounce glasses. Take a seat in the space’s modern atrium and overlook all the action. (Complimentary two-hour valet parking at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC when visiting ENO Wine Bar.)

Flight Wine Bar
777 6th St. NW

Wine Spectator October 2016 - 11 Capital Wine Lists To Try in Washington, D.C.: There are plenty of wine bars to choose from in D.C., but few have the breadth and depth of Best of Award of Excellence winner Flight in Chinatown. Wine directors Swati Bose and Kabir Amir oversee the 475-selection list, which features strengths in France, Italy and California, as well as offerings from countless wine regions around the globe, to pair with chef Brendon Mahon’s contemporary Italian dinner menu. True to its name, the restaurant provides flight options spanning nine pages, as well as a selection of choice fine and rare pours accessed via a Coravin wine preservation system, which allows drinkers to sample a wine without removing the bottle's cork.

La Jambe
1550 7th St. NW

The 11 Best Wine Bars in D.C. by Travis Mitchell in Food on Jul 12, 2017: This French wine bar got a nod last year as one of our best new bars of 2016 thanks to its lively Parisian sensibility that avoids pretension. The space feels open, with lots of natural light. While other wine bars are focusing on local producers or scouring the globe for underrepresented grapes, the selection is entirely French. There are still more than enough interesting choices, and it's a nice reminder that, when it comes to wine (and cheese), France knows its stuff. So why think too hard about it? Glasses are around $9 and up, and there are many bottles in the $40 range. La Jambe also stocks French beers and liquors along with regional cocktails like a French negroni and an armagnac sour. The kitchen turns out plates of cheese, charcuterie, and baguette sandwiches to complete the experience. It's a quick way to get a hit of European travel without leaving the city.—Travis Mitchell

Picture: La Jambe

Le Bar a Vins Chez Billy Sud
1039 31st St. NW, Georgetown

The 11 Best Wine Bars in D.C. by Travis Mitchell in Food on Jul 12, 2017: Georgetown is about as charming a place in D.C. as you can find to sip a fine wine, and this wine bar adjacent to Chez Billy Sud (now the only Chez Billy in town) looks the part. The Bar a Vins (literally French for "wine bar") has both space inside as well as a nice patio for soaking in the warm weather. It's possible to drop a lot on a nice wine here, whether you want something from France, California, or somewhere else entirely. The food here trends toward the small grazing bites of meats, cheeses, and snacks that you'd expect at a wine bar. Head next door to the Obama-approved restaurant if you're craving a full French meal.—Travis Mitchell

Picture: Le Bar a Vin Chez Billy Sud

Maxwell Park
1336 9th St. NW

The 11 Best Wine Bars in D.C. by Travis Mitchell in Food on Jul 12, 2017: Is it possible to be a purist who doesn’t take things too seriously? Award-winning sommelier Brent Kroll might argue yes. The by-the-glass wines at Maxwell Park are kept at one of four different temperature zones, the better to appreciate the aromas of particular varietals. Alongside that exactitude, though, you find the quirky and the laid-back. There's July’s featured menu of uncommon Italian whites, entitled Anything But Pinot Grigio (ABPG), with a logo that’s a play on rock band AC/DC. Then there's the bar’s slate surface, designed so sommeliers can ID samples for customers. In practice, it’s a blank canvas where patrons leave behind offbeat doodles or memorable wine quotes. This is the kind of place where it’s OK to admit that you like Riesling because it’s sweet. Rising-star sommelier Niki Lang, one of Kroll’s partners in the venture, can guide you to something new. So relax and enjoy, perhaps with a small plate by guest chef Tony Conte, who last worked with Kroll at The Oval Room. If you’re lucky, you may even catch Kroll teaching the skill he’s been known for since his stint at the St. Regis—opening a bottle of champagne with a saber.—Carmen Drahl

Pictures: At Maxwell Park with Brent Kroll and Niki Lang

Primrose Wine Bar
3000 12th St. NE

City Paper: Sebastian Zutant is one of several top D.C. sommeliers branching out to open wine bars. He’s even making some of the wine he’ll pour at his Brookland bar-meets-bistro. His wife and partner, Lauren Winter of Edit Lab, is tasked with making the 66-seat space with floor-to-ceiling windows feel feminine and French enough to be worthy of the name Primrose. Chef Nathan Beauchamp of Fainting Goat and Tiger Fork is creating a small menu with classics like bœuf à la Bourguignonne served in big pots with crusty bread to pair with the roughly 14 wines by the glass and 75 bottles.

Pintxos Bar
Truxton Circle, 300 Florida Ave NW

Inspired by the pintxo bars of San Sebastian, the lively main level of the Truxton Circle location is perfect for walk-in guests during all operating hours. Bite-sized snacks called pintxos (PEEN-CHOs) are offered as the perfect compliment to the most extensive cider list in the world. No reservations required; full menu is available.

Forty-nine seats upstairs are reserved for dining guests, including the nine-seat service bar. Walk-ins are accommodated when possible but reservations are recommended on busy nights and can be made up to three weeks in advance.

Proof
775 G St NW

For a more substantial fare along with a premium wine, check out Proof, known for its numerous small plates but also for its eclectic selection of creative modern cuisine. Its wine list is outstanding, containing  over 40 by-the-glass selections and 1,000 different bottlings, reaching up into the highest price and quality levels.

Pictures: At Proof with Proof General Manager Morgan Fausett and Proof Chef Austin Fausett as well as Fred Merwarth, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard

See also:
Winemaker Dinner at Proof with Fred Merwarth, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, and Chef Austin Fausett, Washington DC, USA
Rock ‘n’ Roll and Wine: Rolling Stones Live and Wine at Proof in Washington DC, USA

The Pursuit
1421 H St NE

Travis Mitchell in Food on Jul 12, 2017: I recently saw a Fringe show on the second floor of this small H Street spot, and found myself wildly distracted by the delicious smells wafting from below. The Pursuit is a neighborhood wine bar that definitely doesn't neglect food, with options that go several steps beyond your standard cheese and/or charcuterie board, though they have both of those, too. Dining options also include spreads, small plates, bruschettas, and larger plates (for what it's worth, Yelpers have mixed reviews about the brunch). Naturally, the wines are even more varied, with a diverse list printed on a delightfully unpretentious sheet of white paper. And let me tell you, the delightful sparkling rose (who knew they even made those?) went a long way toward making it through that Fringe show. Flights of five tastes, or three half pours, are available for a very reasonable $15— Rachel Sadon

Ruta del Vino
800 Upshur St NW

Travis Mitchell in Food on Jul 12, 2017: The wine bar stereotype (which generally keeps me pretty far away from wine bars) is dark and snooty with a tiny menu of unfulfilling snacks. This relative newcomer to the Upshur Street corridor food scene subverts all that, with an open and airy dining room and plenty of excellent options, both of drink and food. There's a wide array of wines, largely from Chile and Argentina (the name translates to the wine route, or way of the wine). But you don't need to be an expert to decipher the menu, with very helpful descriptors for the non-oenophile. Heck you (or a companion) don't even need to like wine! Their cocktails are just as good as what you'd find at a cocktail-focused bar (including a caipirinha that doesn't bastardize the classic Brazilian drink for a nice change). Meanwhile, the South American food isn't an afterthought, with empanadas that are hearty and flaky at the same time and a generous grilled octopus that you may or may not fight your partner over (Now if only they'll put the queijo coalho back on the menu...)— Rachel Sadon

Picture: Ruta del Vino

Room 11
3234 11th Street NW

The Culture Trip (2017): The beverage list at Room 11 is spectacular, to say the least. Room 11 can satisfy all palates with a wide selection of both red and white wines as well as cocktails and beer. In addition to alcohol, Room 11 also serves tasty food that is best shared with another. The atmosphere at Room 11 is intimate and cozy, with a zinc bar and a patio for seating during the warmer months.

Picture: Room 11

Slate
2404 Wisconsin Ave NW

This Glover Park wine bar and bistro showcases small-production wineries from around the world, paired with a menu of moderately priced small plates and mains; the urban-rustic space has exposed brick and ductwork.

Sonoma
223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

In the Capitol Hill district, and popular among House and Senat staffers, Sonoma offers a cozy, Italian-influenced atmosphere and plenty of vino to warm you up. The menu and communal tables are made for sharing, and the wine list leans heavily toward Italian and California varietals, which is a perfect pairing for all that cured meat you are about to eat.

Tyber Creek
84 T St. NW

Travis Mitchell in Food on Jul 12, 2017: Tyber Creek: Red, white, rose, and amber. The new kid on the Bloomingdale block brings not only the classic colors, but also the classical wine: amber, also known as orange wine, sourced from Georgia. It's thought to be the first kind of wine crafted several millennia ago, well before your pinot hung out in temp-controlled steel barrels. Tyber Creek is just as much neighborhood hangout as wine bar, with its wraparound patio and family-friendly atmosphere, but the wine list is impressively approachable and wallet-friendly. And to make sure the millennials are happy, there are two wines on tap—and bottomless rosé at brunch.—Evan Caplan

Picture: Tyber Creek

Veritas
2031 Florida Ave. NW

Calling itself “DC’s first and only true wine bar,” Veritas opened in 2007 near Dupont Circle. This intimate bar offers more than 70 wines on tap. Each is available by the glass. Its lengthy wine menu includes flutes, flights, blends and bottles of red, white, and sparkling varietals from throughout the world. All the drinks can be paired with a wide selection of cheeses, charcuterie and chocolates, as well as dips and panini. It's always loud and bustling, but the prime location and broad assortment make up for any noise problems.

Vinoteca
1940 11th Street NW

time out: The owners of this U Street wine bar have looked to the old country for their inspiration. There’s a cozy dining room as well as a backyard plaza with a covered bar and two bocce courts. Sample some of the 50 wines by glass or bottle and divvy up small plates among friends. Brunch is a mimosa bonanza: unlimited pours for $15, ideally paired with a duck confit Benedict.

Washington DC Restaurants with a Good Wine Bar/ Wine List

The city also has a number of fine restaurants with outstanding wine lists, and the booming popularity of wine in the United States has prompted these eateries to move their collections out of their cellars and place them front and center in the dining room. In many of DC’s top eateries, wine chillers are a central part of the decor.

Bistrot Lepic
1736 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

Bistro Lepic is the most French Wine Bistro in Washington DC. It consists of a restaurant downstairs and a lounge plus wine bar area upstairs. Regulars know that the real action happens on the second floor. Low, cushioned chairs and parlor tables create the ambience of a wine-centric clubhouse. The 20-deep bar list is available by half or full glasses (more are available by the bottle), but engaging bartenders often pour samples to encourage new drinking experiences.

I usually go there on Tuesdays, when they have a little wine tasting between 6pm and 8 pm.

Picture: Thomas Schlumberger at Bistro Lepic

See:
Thomas Schlumberger, Domaines Schlumberger in Alsace, presented his Wines at Bistro Lepic in Washington DC, USA, France

Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th Street NW

The Blue Duck Tavern has an encyclopedic wine list, with more than 30 by the glass, mainly American and including top Virginia wines.

See:
The Annual Bordeaux Feast in Washington DC: Fête du Bordeaux of Calvert and Woodley (2017) USA, with Damien Barton-Sartorius (Châteaux Léoville Barton, Langoa Barton and Mauvesin Barton), Kinou Cazes-Hachemian (Château Lynch-Bages and Ormes de Pez) and Cécile Loqmane (Château Figeac)

Charlie Palmer Steak House
101 Constitution Avenue NW

For a night out of big food and substantial wines, there is Charlie Palmer Steak House, which only offers 10 wines by the glass. The restaurant’s 3,500-bottle selection is exclusively American, and Charlie Palmer will waive the corkage fee for anyone who brings in a special bottle to drink with their meal, as long as it’s American.

DBGB DC Kitchen and Bar
931 H St NW

Michelin: DBGB Kitchen and Bar's City Center locale may rub shoulders with the likes of Hermès and Louis Vuitton, but this light-filled French restaurant maintains a relaxed elegance with tile floors, dark wood furnishings, and orb pendant lights. It's the kind of place where local politicos and dealmakers come to dish, drink, and dine. The menu is varied, but you'll want to skip the ambitious Americanized cuisine and head straight for the house-made sausages and traditional French selections: pan-roasted salmon is well seasoned and crispy alongside an eye-pleasing vegetable assortment topped with crumbled bacon. Meanwhile, the flaky lemon tart, packed with thick lemon curd and accompanied by a quenelle of blood orange sorbet, makes for a truly satisfying finale.

The offerings include plus 22 craft beers on tap and an expansive wine list.

See also:
Bandol Wine Dinner at DBGB DC Kitchen and Bar, Washington DC
Dinner at Chef Daniel Boulud's DBGB DC with the Wines of Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles and Château de Beaucastel in the Rhone Valley, USA/ France Franck Pascal Biodynamic Champagne Dinner at Daniel Boulud's DBGB Kitchen and Bar in Washington DC, USA/ France

Fiola da Fabio Trabocchi
601 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

The German wine list presents the traditional selection of German wine in the US, i.e. low-alcohol, sweet style wines. 

Wine Spectator October 2016 - 11 Capital Wine Lists To Try in Washington, D.C.: Just blocks from the National Mall, between the White House and the Capitol, you’ll find Best of Award of Excellence winner Fiola, the flagship restaurant of chef-owner Fabio Trabocchi. A native of Italy's Marche region, Trabocchi aims to capture the authenticity of regional Italian cooking in dishes such as seared foie gras with poached pears and balsamic, Nova Scotia lobster bisque, and aged mulard duck with kumquats. Wine director Casper Rice guides the 1,375-selection list, which focuses on Piedmont, Tuscany, Burgundy, Bordeaux and California, including more than 60 options in half-bottle.

Iron Gate Restaurant
1734 N St. N.W.

Wine Spectator October 2016 - 11 Capital Wine Lists To Try in Washington, D.C.: In a historic property in the heart of Dupont Circle, Iron Gate Restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine inspired by Greece and Italy. From chef Anthony Chittum, tasting menu options are offered in four and six courses, with optional wine pairings in addition to the à la carte menu. The 210-selection list has earned an Award of Excellence since 2010, championing indigenous grape varieties from regions across the two countries, and for the less wine-inclined, more than 30 bottles of beer and cider round out the beverage list.

Kinship
1015 7th St NW

Along with Fiola da Fabio Trabocchi, the only Washington DC restaurants on the "Wine Enthusiast 100 Best Wine Restaurants" list.

Le Diplomate
1601 14th St NW

Le Diplomate pays homage to French café culture serving breakfast, lunch, brunch, mid-day and dinner. The extensive menu features a variety of classic favorites including Onion Soup Gratinée, Steak Frites and Escargots as well as daily plats such as Lavender Roast Duck and Rabbit en Gibelotte.  Large wine list with half French wines and half “International Interpretations”.

Picture: Le Diplomate

Marcel’s
2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Wine Spectator October 2016 - 11 Capital Wine Lists To Try in Washington, D.C.:I n the West End, Best of Award of Excellence winner Marcel’s infuses French fare with Belgian influences, a nod to owner and chef Robert Wiedmaier’s background. The prix fixe menu spans from four to seven courses, with optional caviar service, though tasting-menu dishes are also offered à la carte. Wine director Ramon Narvaez champions French wines on the 580-selection list, with particular depth in Burgundy, Champagne and California. For those who prefer beer to bubbly, the restaurant also offers a large selection of Belgian brews, including Wiedmaier’s own double blonde ale, Antigoon.

Pictures: Sommelier Moez Ben Achour and Chef de Cuisine Paul Stearman from Marcel's tasting the wines of Gérard Dupuy. See: From Millésime Bio in Montpellier, France, to Bistro Bis in Washington DC, USA: Gérard Dupuy and his Château Beausejour Wines in AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion

Pictures: Annette Schiller with Sommelier Moez Ben Achour and Chef Robert Wiedmaier

Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak
2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Wine Spectator October 2016 - 11 Capital Wine Lists To Try in Washington, D.C.: Based in the heart of Georgetown at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, Bourbon Steak’s D.C. location has earned a Best of Award of Excellence since 2009. Choose from an array of beef cuts, as well as elk tenderloin, venison fillet, bison rib eye and an assortment of oak-fired fish, on chef Joe Palma’s menu. Wine director Julian Mayor oversees the 700-selection list, with strengths in California, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne, rounded out by several dozen large-format bottles.

Mirabelle
900 16th Street NW

Mirabelle (new restaurant) exudes midcentury glamour. It’s just two blocks from the White House, where Executive Chef Frank Ruta cooked under the Carter, Reagan and first Bush administrations. Mirabelle’s bar, boasting rich materials of Carrara marble, distressed mirror panels, and brass rosettes, seats 22 guests. Huge, outstanding wine list with French wines accounting for 2/3 of it, some at 4 digit prices.

Old Ebitt Grill
675 15th St. NW

You won't find this place listed among the city's best culinary establishments, but it's an institution. The Old Ebbitt also has Washington's most popular raw bar, which serves farm-raised oysters. It reminds me a bit of La Coupole in Paris. Several bars. Decent wine list.

Plume
The Jefferson, 1200 16th St. N.W.

Wine Spectator October 2016 - 11 Capital Wine Lists To Try in Washington, D.C.: For a D.C. dining experience that’s truly presidential, head downtown to Best of Award of Excellence winner Plume. Located at the historic Jefferson Hotel, the restaurant pays homage to the wine-loving third president’s tastes in both its dinner and beverage menus, including dishes inspired by the harvest from his kitchen gardens at Monticello and a vast array of Madeiras dating back to the mid-1800s. Wine director Jennifer Knowles oversees the 1,375-selection list, emphasizing Burgundy, the Rhône, Champagne, Italy, Bordeaux and Germany, plus plenty of local favorites from Virginia.

Taberna del Alabardera
1776 I Street  NW (18th St.)

“Madrid in Washington DC” with a nice bar. One of the favorites of the international staff of the World Bank and IMF, which are close by.

Picture: La Taberna del Alabarder

See also:
Massive (16 Vintages) Tasting of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande with MD/ Winemaker Nicolas Glumineau and Panos Kakaviatos in Washington DC, USA
Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta Winemaker Dinner at Taberna del Alabardero in Washington DC, USA/Spain
Winemaker Dinner with Santiago Vivanco of Bodegas Dinastía Vivanco in Rioja at Taberna del Alabardero in Washington DC

The Source by Wolfgang Puck
575 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Very large and pleasant bar area.

Picture: Source by Wolfgang Puck

See also:
Crab Cakes: Jeff Black from Black Salt and Chris Clime from PassionFish win the 8th Annual Crab Cake Competition in Washington DC, USA

Wine Bars in Northern Virginia

Boxwood Tasting Room
1618 Library St. at Democracy Dr., Reston, VA

A great wine bar owned and run by Boxwood, one of the leading wine producers in Virginia. It serves Boxwood, but also other wines, all by the glass.

Picture: Rachel Martin, Managing Director of Boxwood Winery

See:
Bordeaux Meets Virginia: Tasting Through Recent Vintages at Boxwood Winery in Virginia: With Anne Cuvelier from Chateau Leoville - Poyferre, Annette Schiller from Wine Tours by Ombiasy and Boxwood Winery General Manager Rachel Martin, USA

Cheesetique Cheese and Wine Bar
2411 Mt Vernon Ave, Del Ray

Best cheeses in town.

Grand Cru Wine Bar and Bistro
Ballston 4301 Wilson Boulevard

Large, popular place with good wines. Nice to sit outside in the summer with the dog.

Pictures: Grand Cru Winebar and Bistro

North Side Social
Ballston 3211 Wilson Blvd

A coffee shop with a first floor that turns into a wine bar with an amazing selection of wines in the evening.

Picture: Tasting the Sonoma Wines of Flowers Vineyard & Winery with Estate Director Christopher Barefoot at Northside Social in Washington DC, USA

Screw Top Wine Bar
Clarendon - 1025 N Filmore St.

Charming neighborhood wine bar with interesting wines.

Picture: Meeting a Rhone Ranger and Tasting His Wines - Sherman Thacher from Paso Robles in California

Twisted Vines Wine Bar and Bottle Shop
2803 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA

Charming neighborhood wine bar with interesting wines.

Picture: Twisted Vines

See:
Meeting Winemaker Yolanda Viadero from Valduero Vineyards in Ribera del Duero and in Toro, Spain, and Tasting Her Excellent Wines

The Wine House
3950 University Dr, Fairfax, VA

Charming neighborhood bistro and wine bar.

Picture: Central Otago, New Zealand, Winemaker and Owner Dan Dineen at the Wine House

See:
The Wine House Presented Winemaker Shane Finley from Russian River Valley in California at a Shane Wine Cellars Winemaker Dinner

Restaurants in Northern Virginia with a Good Wine Bar/ Wine List 

Brine
2985 District Ave, Fairfax

With four generations of oyster expertise and a passion for farm-to-table living, Rappahannock Oyster Co.'s restaurant, Brine, sets Mosaic apart as a destination for seafood lovers. Along with the famous Rappahannock oysters at the raw bar, owner Travis Croxton is committed to using only regional meats and produce, from chicken and duck to lamb and fish.

I do not go there for the wine but for the happy hour oysters (US$1.25 per oyster).

Pictures: Christian Schiller with Owner Travis Croxton

See also: Tasting Virginia Chesapeake Bay Oysters with Oyster Producer Travis Craxton at the Rappahannock River, USA

Evo Bistro
1313 Old Chain Bridge Rd., McLean (Virginia)

Evo Bistro is both my down-the-road Wine Bar in McLean, Virginia, and my favorite Restaurant and Bistro in the Washington DC area. It combines an unpretentious French-Mediterranean atmosphere with top wines from around the world, both the old and the new world, and delicious French, Moroccan and Spanish tapas, prepared by Chef Driss Zahidi, who I know from the days of the tiny Corner Bistro on Old Dominion.

Picture: Marlene RedDoor, Christian L. Stahl, Annette Schiller and Chef Driss Zahidi at Evo Bistro in McLean, Virginia

See also:
Franken Wines, Virginia Oysters and French-Mediterranian Food: Winemaker Dinner with Christian L. Stahl from Winzerhof Stahl, Germany, and Chef Driss Zahidi at Evo Bistro in McLean, Virginia

Schiller’s Favorites

Here is a complete list of Schiller's Favorites:

Europe

Germany

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Frankfurt, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Würzburg, Franken, Germany
Schiller’s Favorites: 2 Legendary Wine Taverns in Würzburg – Juliusspital and Bürgerspital
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and Wine Taverns in Freiburg, Baden, Germany
Schiller's Favorites: Frankfurt Apple Wine Taverns that Make their own Apple Wine
Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Winemakers in the Saale-Unstrut Region, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany
Schiller's Favorite (Wine-) Restaurants in Deidesheim in the Pfalz, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Frankfurt am Main, 2014, Germany
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Berlin, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Frankfurt am Main, 2013, Germany
Schiller's Favorite Apple Wine Taverns in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Mainz, Germany

France

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France - An Update
Schiller’s Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France - An Update
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City - An Update
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and other Wine Venues in Chablis, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne
Dinner at a Bouchon - Chez Paul - in Lyon: Schiller’s Favorite Bouchons in Lyon, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne, France (2015)
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City, France (2015)
Schiller’s Favorite Restaurants, Brasseries, Bistros, Cafes and Wine Bars in Paris, France
Schiller's Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City, France, 2014
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France
Schiller’s Favorite Restaurants, Brasseries, Bistros, Cafes and Wine Bars in Paris, 2012 France
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux (City) (2012), France

UK, Spain, Austria, Hungary

Schiller's Favorite Winebars in London, UK
Schiller’s Favorite Tapas Bars in Logroño in La Rioja, Spain
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in London, 2012, UK
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars and Other Wine Spots in Vienna, Austria
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Budapest, Hungary
Schiller’s Favorite Spots to Drink Wine in Vienna, Austria (2011)

USA

Schiller's Favorite (Seafood) Restaurants in Rehoboth, Delaware, USA
Schiller's Favorite Oyster Bars and Seafood Places in Seattle, Washington State, USA - An Update
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Seattle, USA - An Update
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Austin, Texas, USA
Riesling Crawl in New York City – Or, Where to Buy German Wine in Manhattan: Schiller's Favorite Wine Stores, USA
Schiller's Favorite Oyster Bars and Seafood Places in Seattle, USA (2013)
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in New York City, USA (2013)
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Seattle, USA (2013)
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Washington DC, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Crab Houses in the Washington DC Region, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in New York City, 2012, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Charleston, South Carolina, USA (2013)
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in San Francisco, USA
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars and Other Places Where You Can Have a Glass of Wine in Healdsburg, California

Asia

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Singapore
Schiller s Favorite Winebars in Beijing, 2014, China

Africa

Schiller's Favorite Restaurants in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa
Schiller's Favorite Wines of Madagascar
Schiller’s 12 Favorite Restaurants of Antananarivo, the Capital of Madagascar