The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2018

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Page 26 of 132

26  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2018 CAP TOL PHOTO COURTESY OF ESPITA MEZCALERIA I PAs took a welcome backseat to goses on June 1 and 2, when small and inde- pendent brewers from around the country took a break from out-hopping one another to show off their best suds at SAVOR: An American Craft Beer Food Experience. Held at the National Building Museum, the event paired more than 181 pours with creative small bites. Food-friendly mouthwatering sours were everywhere, proving bitter isn't always better. Representing the local market, DC Brau's bright and contemporary Rosé du Gosé was paired with fresh snow peas, stracciatella, and black olives, while Northern Virginia–based Beltway Brewing Company's Hansel Sour IPA met its match in acidity through the accompanying poached swordfish with lime, cabbage, and jalapeno. Other participants included the Choptank Oyster Company crew, who shucked bivalves all night, and the cured meat–slicing staff of Neighborhood Restaurant Group's Red Apron Butcher. Just days later on June 10, everyone who was anyone in D.C.'s restaurant and bar scene donned gowns and tuxes to convene at the Washington Convention Center for the annual RAMMY Awards, which celebrate top talent in local food and drink. After sipping spirits and beer from producers like MurLarkey Distilled Spirits and Port City Brewing Company during the reception, we headed into the theater for the awards ceremony, where Owen's Ordinary in North Bethesda, Maryland, took home the title of Beer Program of the Year. Overseen by brewing extraordinaire Greg Engert, who curates the rotation of 50 drafts and 150 bottles, Owen's Ordinary touts a focus on local and Mid- Atlantic options served in a wide selection of glassware. On the spirits side, the innovative mezcal libations of Espita Mezcaleria owner Josh Phillips and Beverage Director Megan Barnes earned the restau- rant a win for Cocktail Program of the Year (I can never get enough of the Mayahuel, its signature mezcal Margarita garnished with sal de gusano). Wine Program of the Year, meanwhile, went to sommelier Winn Roberton and company at Bourbon Steak. You might think it's easy for a high-end steak- house to stock its wine list with the usual suspects of pricey standout wines, but the team at Michael Mina's D.C. outpost doesn't take the easy way out. A "Secrets of the Sommelier" section lists some pretty exciting bottles, including Santorini Assyrtiko, Marche Verdicchio, Pfalz Pinot Noir, and a Bekaa Valley red blend. They're pretty affordable, relatively speaking, which means you can feel less guilty about splurging on that buttery, sous vide–prepared wagyu bone-in ribeye. Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits, and lifestyle writer and wine educator in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website,, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics. PHOTO: KELLY MAGYARICS PHOTO: KELLY MAGYARICS Tastes, Trends, and Top Honors The RAMMY Awards celebrate the best of the Washington, D.C. food and beverage scene. by Kelly Magyarics, DWS The SAVOR beer festival was held June 1–2 at the National Building Museum. The mezcal-based Mayahuel Margarita at Espita is rimmed with sal de gusano.

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