Monthly Wine Tasting at Le Grenier

pic courtesy of District Cuisine
pic courtesy of District Cuisine

New local favorite Le Grenier, at 5th and H Streets NE, knows how to keep the local crowd happy.  Every month the French restaurant will feature new wines by the glass, introduced at a free [read: FREE] tasting the first Tuesday of every month.  I sat down at the beautiful and dimly lit bar to try six new wines for myself.  Verdict?  I’m sold.

Le Grenier means “attic” in French, and has been decorated completely by the wife of the husband-and-wife team who owns the new spot, in addition to long-standing favorite Le Chat Noir in Georgetown.  The small upstairs (available for private parties) is decorated with antique skis, headboards, and my favorite, a marching band drum with stuffed animals inside. The effect is charming.

Back to the tasting!  Six wines were being poured, in addition to gorgeous crostini on offer, of cured meats, paté, and lemon and herb mousse.  The following are some of my notes and thoughts, in case you wish to stop in for a happy hour (wine half off every day from 5-7, even weekends).

Whites

  • 2011 Francois Chidaine Sauvignon D’Alsace Touraine:
    From the Loire valley, mellow and light, very easy to drink.
  • 2010 Castle Rock Chardonnay, California:
    To make the list in a French restaurant, this California wine must be pretty great, and it is.   Softer, with an apple and pear profile, rounder bodied.
  • 2010 Jean Baptiste Adam Pinot Gris D’Alsace Reserve:
    This one was my personal favorite.  Brighter, sweeter, lively, fun to drink.

Reds

  • 2009 Chateau Pavillon Boyrein Graves Rouge, Bordeaux
    Poor Merlot, left out in the cold after Sideways.  But really, the only reason people (myself included) generally don’t care for Merlot is we’ve been drinking bad/cheap Merlot.  This wine was dry yet fruity, with a tang on the palette after a sip.  Flavors of berries.
  • 2009 Chateau Lascaux Rouge, from the Languedoc
    Full-bodied, fruity, dry and tangy.
  • 2010 Kermit Lynch Cotes du Rhone, Rhone Valley
    I really love this maker’s name, but the wine was excellent too.  My notes read “full, full, full.”  Acidic once tasted, this was in energetic, the perfect companion to a steak.  The acidity in this wine stands up to food, as opposed to some of the others, which are just fun to drink alone.

If you miss the monthly wine tasting, which is planned for the first Tuesday of every month, you can still catch an amazing deal every Tuesday: half-price wine, cheese, and charcuterie at the bar.  Sitting at the bar tasting wine lets all the hurry of the world outside melt away.  Treat yourself next month.

Written by Haley Fults

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