The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2018

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Page 28 of 124

28  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2018 CAP TOL I 'm a cherry-blossom Grinch. There, I said it. Fighting for parking and elbowing through crowds only to be underwhelmed by flowering trees is not my idea of springtime fun. Way better? Estadio's annual Sherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates Jerez's fortified wine with flights, cocktails, and a special four-course menu. During the preview, a flight of Fino, Amontillado, and Oloroso Sherries from El Maestro Sierra selected by Wine Director Max Kuller washed down shrimp croquetas with romesco and pintxos Gilda—the classic Basque pepper, anchovy, and olive skewers named for a femme fatale played by Rita Hayworth. Not to be outdone, Bar Director Adam Bernbach created a hand-drawn list of Sherry-based cocktails like the Tiki-Taka, which mixed Fino and PX Sherries with cocoa butter–infused rum, Campari, Angostura bitters, and housemade passion-fruit soda. Guests ended the evening by passing the porron and sipping a Cesar Florido Moscatel Sherry Float with vanilla gelato and a crunchy chocolate topping. Viva España! Proving that bottle service needn't translate to velvet rope–lined tables set with overpriced designer vodka, tonic, and soda water, MXDC Cocina Mexicana recently launched a three-course prix fixe for four that includes a bottle of Patrón Reposado Tequila from a barrel hand-selected by Chef Todd English at the distillery in Jalisco. At the inaugural dinner, we played bartender by mixing our own Margaritas with fresh juices; muddled blackberries and mango; and spicy, smoky, and pink salts. (If you aren't mixology-inclined, your server is more than happy to do the shaking for you.) The tang of a Mango Margarita made shrimp ceviche with smoked peppers and tomato pop, while the classic version, rimmed with smoked salt, was a match for carne a la parrilla with chipotle corn on the cob and grilled avocado. And if you don't (gasp!) finish the whole bottle of tequila? Staff will keep it safe and sound behind the bar for your next visit. Bourbon Steak's new Tour de Force, a quarterly series of themed wine dinners, kicked off as it should have: with Champagne. Wine Director Winn Roberton paired five courses from Executive Chef Drew Adams with five stellar bottles: Think tender escargot over potato mousseline with the elegant, nuanced, versatile Ruinart Blanc de Blancs; Shenandoah spring lamb with spring peas and buttermilk alongside the rich, textured, multilayered Krug Grande Cuvée; and thin petals of Tête de Moine cheese from Switzerland in strawberry-basil sauce with the delicate, berry-tinged 2006 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rosé. There was lots of 'pagne that evening, but definitely no pain. 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. Springtime Sips MARCH IN D.C. WAS ALL ABOUT SHERRY FLIGHTS, TABLESIDE TEQUILA, AND CHAMPAGNE by Kelly Magyarics, DWS Estadio's Sherry Blossom Festival includes specialty cocktails like the frozen Sherry Colada. MXDC Cocina Mexican now offers a tequila experience along with a three-course prix fixe menu on Wednesday evenings. Shenandoah spring lamb was paired with Krug Grande Cuvée at Bourbon Steak's "No 'Pagne No Gain" dinner. PHOTO COURTESY OF MXDC PHOTO COURTESY OF ESTADIO PHOTO: KELLY MAGYARICS

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