Wining in DC – Part 3

This is the final part of a 3-part series on Wining in DC. If you missed Parts 1 and 2, you can read them here: Part 1  |  Part 2

The great thing about taking a long weekend, is that when you wake up on Saturday morning, you’ve already had two good nights out, yet you still have the whole weekend ahead of you! It’s a wonderful feeling, so Mere and I decided to take advantage of all this time we had…by doing absolutely nothing all morning.

We didn’t really have big plans for the day, but since it was one of those glorious fall days that still feel like summer, we decided to head to the zoo. The zoo is another free Smithsonian Museum, so on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, it was packed.  It seemed like every family in DC was there. With all the crowds of small children,  Mere and I didn’t last very long. I did manage to see my favourites (the lions and tigers), then we grabbed popsicles at Pleasant Pops in Adam’s Morgan before deciding to head back to Mere’s and figure out a plan for dinner.

Mere wanted to go to a nice restaurant called Red Hen. They were all booked but they said that we could try walking in as soon as they opened. So we were there at 6 and promptly seated. Success! The food was delicious. We started out with the charred octopus as an appetizer, which was perfectly seasoned. After realizing we’d never actually ended up eating pasta the night before, we both ordered pasta as our mains. Mere had squid ink pasta and I had sausage rigatoni. We were so enthralled with our meals we didn’t even take a picture. To go with our meal, we had a bottle of Nebbiolo: another food-friendly light red from Northern Italy with light berry notes and a hint of earthiness.

The problem with eating at a geriatric meal time is that when you’re done, it feels super late but it’s only 7:30 and you don’t know what to do with yourself.  We hit up a bar for a cocktail to try and overcome the food coma, but it wasn’t happening. We ended up going home and polishing off a bottle of Côtes du Rhône while watching Netflix. The perfect nightcap!

Breakfast Wining

The Washingtonians know how to keep the party going Sunday morning, with bottomless mimosas being served at almost every brunch place. This is a practice I whole-heartedly support. With the vitamins from the juice and the bubbles from the sparkling wine, it truly is the perfect way to start the last day of your vacation.

When we arrived at Shaw’s Tavern, we noticed that probably about 80% of the tables were working on bottomless mimosas. I figured, when in Rome…

Bottomless mimosas at brunch. Brilliant.

Bottomless mimosas at brunch. Brilliant.

With the trip coming to an end, we decided to grab one last glass of wine at Vinoteca. I opted for the Tempranillo from Finca Fabian. Tempranillo is the grape that makes up Spanish Rioja wines.

imageI had no idea it was organic! I haven’t tasted many organic wines, but those I have tried were sort of bland and uninteresting. With organic farming, producers don’t use many of the growing and winemaking techniques that are normally used to make wine taste great, because they are not considered organic practices. Just like any organic crop, no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used in the vineyards. The main culprit or source of confusion here is sulfites (or sulphur dioxide), which act as a preservative when added to wine. Although they can be naturally occurring, sulfites cannot be added to wines that wish to be designated organic. Without them, wines tend to be flat and unstable, potentially oxidizing more quickly. Some people even think that sulfites lead to headaches, but there is no proven link between the two. All this to say that this particular medium-bodied organic Tempranillo was lovely to drink on its own, and would likely have gone well with most foods, but I’m thinking it would be great with pizza or cured serrano ham (a typical Spanish pairing).

So there you have it! Washington DC is a happening place with so much going on it needed a three-part post. Have you been to DC? What was your favourite part? Did you go to a happy hour or partake in bottomless mimosas? And who do we talk to about getting some more of that here in Ottawa?
Next time on Wining with Mel: Thanksgiving Wining

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