I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) As I have said before, AKA Bistro is one of my favorite suburban restaurants and they have a new culinary event which should be quite enticing. Chef-Owner Chris Chung introduces "No Boundaries," a five course dinner, for only $45, served on Mondays at 8:00 PM. Neither French nor Japanese, No Boundaries features whatever Chef Chung is inspired by that day. So you won't find a menu, it is all up to the chef's whim.
Here is an example of what such a creative meal might include:
* Cold Fennel-Cucumber Soup with Baby Squid “Salsa” and curry oil drizzle
* French-style Marinated Sardines on Toast with local farm greens
* Rhode Island Striped Bass Ceviche with spicy lychee puree, goji berry and shiso
* Braised Kobe Short Rib with Vidalia onion reduction, local morels, organic black rice
* Blue Heron Farm Organic Rhubarb Compote over Genoise with Strawberry Granita
2) Celebrate the start of the summer solstice from Sunday, June 19th, through Thursday, June 30th, at Tryst in Arlington. Tryst will be preparing a number of new summer cocktails all $12. From 5pm-7pm, guests that order one of Tryst’s new summer cocktails in the bar & lounge area can enjoy some of Executive Chef Paul Turano’s bar bites such as Korean Chicken tacos ($2), Popcorn shrimp with habanero & ranch ($2) and Oysters on the half shell ($1), all for under $2!
Summer Cocktail List:
Cranberry Blossom (Ketel One, Local Cranberries, Mint, Prosecco)
Blackberry Crash (Bombay Sapphire, House-made Dry Vermouth, Lemon, Blackberry)
Tryst Sangria (Red and White Wine, Limoncello, Citrus)
Rum Diary (Leblon, Gosling’s Black Seal, Port, Pineapple, Orange Bitters, Ginger Beer)
Mocha Espress (Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate, Tia Maria, Bailey’s, Espresso)
Raspberry-Lime Rickey (Stoli Razberi, Triple Sec, Sweetened Lime)
Old No. 11 (Bluecoat, Cointreau, Traditional Lemon Sour, House-made Grenadine)
Daly Dose (Black Tea Infused Famous Grouse, Aperol, Grapefruit Bitters, Charred Lemon)
Hot One (Nut ‘n’ Honey Frangelico, Amaretto, Tuaca, Honey, Hot Water, Whipped Cream)
3) Summer is a popular time for Rosé, though it is a pleasure year round. I have long been a fan of Rosé, finding that it pairs well with many different foods. Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks is once again initiating their annual Summer Rosé-By-the-Glass List, available until October 10. Highlights include rosé in both magnum and jeroboam format—a first for Eastern Standard. Wine Director Colleen Hein shares her picks and inspiration behind this summer’s list:
2010 Domaine Collotte Marsannay Rosé, Burgundy ($12 glass) - 100% Pinot Noir from the Cote d'Or in Burgundy offers an extracted strawberry hue, medium body and a soft, weighty mouth feel. Colleen finds this wine to be most versatile in terms of food. “While certainly quaffable on its own or with lighter "aperitif" offerings, this wine really sings when paired with steak tartare, charcuterie and other heartier offerings. A refined Burgundy rosé for a real food and (rosé!) wine lover.
2010 Chateau Commanderie de Peyrassol, Provence, ($11 glass) - The quintessential Provencal rosé! A blend of Cinseault, Syrah, and Grenache that results in a brilliant salmon pink hue with lively acidity, notes of stone fruit, minerality, and a "peaches and cream" quality that makes this wine a consistent winner from vintage to vintage. This is a wine that truly transports you to the place that it is from…think grilled fish, herbs de Provence, freshly shucked Island Creek oysters!
2010 Leiu-dit Cocagne Rosé, Coteaux du Vendemois, Loire Valley, ($8 glass) - This 100% Pineau d'Annis is a little known varietal that is high in acidity and citrus fruits, with notes of pink grapefruit and a briny salinity that sings from this coastal wine region. “It’s oh so discernibly Loire!”
2010 Domaine Magellan Cinseault Rosé “Le Fruit Défendu,” Languedoc, ($8 glass) - An expression of old vine Cinseault, the Le Fruit Défendu is a perfect expression of the varietal in its “other than red” form. The saturated cherry hue suggests a touch of depth, though the palate remains lively and lithe with a lift of wild strawberry as well as an herbaceous note of garrigue—a term used for a variety of herbs that sprout wild along the roadsides of Southern France. The passionate focus of Domaine Magellan has been to stay true to creating wine from the indigenous varieties and terroirs of Southern France’s Languedoc region.
2010 Domaine de la Petite Marie Bourgueil Rosé, Loire, ($12 glass) - Though this rosé boasts telltale hints of the Cabernet Franc varietal, the softly blushed hues of peach and pink embody its more delicate and effeminate form. The dedicated couple that produces this wine in the eastern Loire Valley comes from a distinguished history in winemaking; Corinne and James Petit tend to the vines with James’s Uncle, Jean Gambier, the master and recently retired President of the Syndicate Growers of Bourgueil.
2010 Margerum Rosé, Santa Barbara, ($12 glass) - Margerum is a small winery in Santa Barbara committed to producing handcrafted, natural wines. This is winemaker and proprietor Doug Margerum’s small parcel offering of a most unique rosé. Though it is made solely from the Grenache variety, a portion of the wine is made from extracted juice with a higher skin to juice ratio, producing a more complex, deeply flavored wine. This is a dry rosé that has tannin, complexity, and matches well with a diversity of foods.
2010 Chateau Peyrassol Rosé, Cotes de Provence (1.5L/3L) ($100/$225) - Eastern Standard’s first offering of large format rosé, the Chateau Peyrassol is available in both magnum and jeroboam format! Chateau Peyrassol, created 30 years ago, boasts the excellence of the domaine, using fruit from its oldest and low-yielding vines. A classic expression of Provencal rosé bound in large format Bordeaux style bottles, the wine exudes a classic salmon hue coupled with a crisp, herbaceous palate.