It’s handled — Scandal returns tonight! We admire Olivia Pope for so many reasons, but perhaps most of all because she never spills a drop of red wine on her show-stopping white outfits – no matter what world-shattering drama is going down. Though she only makes the rarest of allusions to what’s in her glass, she has enjoyed a 1994 Châteauneuf-du-Pape and a tear-inducing Bordeaux, so it stands to reason that she loves full-bodied reds. But where would she sip them if she allowed herself a night out on the town in the Capital? We’ve picked out six grand cru D.C. wine bars and asked their experts to select something special for the Gladiator-in-Chief to sip.
Consider it a liquid atlas of wines from around the world. Flight’s menu has 450 selections – including 40 by the glass – from America and Hungary to South Africa, Argentina, and many, many points in between. Situated across the street from the Verizon Center in Chinatown, the vino bar makes it easy for indecisive drinkers by offering 25 carefully curated flights.
What Olivia would drink: “A full-bodied blend from Priorat, Spain – 50 percent Garnacha, 30 percent Carinena, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10 percent Syrah. The wine is produced by Bodegas Los 800, which gets its name from the fact that they source fruit only from 800 meters above sea level or higher from the hills of Priorato, where they believe the quality of the fruit truly reflects the terroir and best of the region. This wine is a little more Old World in style. Big but restrained. Fruit-forward, but balanced by delicate tannins.” – Swati Bose, owner/sommelier. Make a reservation at Flight.
Tucked away in Cleveland Park, its list focuses on sustainable, organic, and biodynamic options from boutique winemakers. The wine selection is well-matched by breathtaking fare from recently installed executive chef Ryan Ratino, who made an unexpected splash at Masa 14 with his wow-worthy tasting menu dinners.
What Olivia would drink: “Retro Cellars’s Petite Sirah from Howell Mountain, made by Randy Dunn’s son. Randy Dunn is an icon in Napa Valley and his son has seemingly picked up on his father’s talent to make concentrated, full-bodied wines that showcase much more than just ripe, saturated fruit. The wine shows lovely floral aromatics and intense blue and dark fruit, as well as white pepper notes alongside a graphite mineral component. Big, bold — but also delineated.” – Jose Aguirre, general manager and wine director. Make a reservation at Ripple.