Just the Bottle

One woman's adventure in beer, food, wine and spirits

Tasty Tastings

It’s that time of year where there are more tastings than hours in the day. Last week, I visited Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits for a media preview beer tasting.

The staff at Cordial are very knowledgeable and have put together an amazing selection of affordable (mostly under $20) wine and beer. We sampled-

21st Amendment brews:
    Brew Free or Die IPA 6 pack cans ABV 7.0%
    Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer 6 packs cans ABV 4.9%

Elysian brews:
    Avatar Jasmine IPA 22oz ABV 6.3%
    Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale 6 pack ABV 5.4%

No-Li Brewhouse brews:
    Crystal Bitter ESB 22oz ABV 5.75%
    Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout 22oz ABV 9.5%

My favorite beer was the Crystal Bitter. I am a malty mama. It was slightly toasty, biscuit notes and caramel.

I missed the Washington State tasting on Monday, but I hope to attend another one of their DC events. Washington State produces many great wines including Syrah. Syrah continues to grow in popularity from the Washington region.

On an aside, I had a multimedia training with one of our self advocates who is Co-President of Project Action! They advocate for themselves and others with disabilities to live their fullest life possible.


That’s Thelma recording her Public Service Announcement spot.

My nonprofit also won the Non-Profit of the Year at the DC Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards & Expo! I stopped by to see an amazing mixologist his last day at BLT Steak. I informed him that the award was thirsty and wanted something fancy.

Back to our regularly scheduled tasting summary, there was an amazing gin tasting last week at Birch & Barley. We sampled and learned more about Sacred Gin. The team (which is a husband and wife dynamic duo) produces these artisanal, small batch spirits in their home. What’s that? Yes, they have pictures of it and yes it looks like Breaking Bad. He even uses liquid nitrogen in his kitchen. I mean…his wife must really love him.


My favorite gin was the Orris Gin. It was very aromatic with lilac notes. I could drink it straight.

I decided to have way too much fun that night after the tasting and work where we started at BLT Steak, moved on to Mari Vanna and finished at GBD (I love GBD way too much). I am really digging Mari Vanna, but I think it helps I tend to hit the spot when it’s not busy. When we visited the staff was knowledgeable and polite as always. We tried the horseradish infused vodka martinis and sipped on Basil Hayden’s. There was a gentleman playing the accordion!


I attended with some other awesome people like Organic Mixologist, Girl Meets Glass, French Twist D.C. and representatives from Adventure Wine and Washington Wine Academy the New Wines of Greece tasting at Zaytinya. Zaytinya never fails to deliver delicious food and top notch service. I have organized private events with the amazing staff and could not be more impressed with their professionalism.

I attended the lunch portion only and missed the Greek sparkling wine - I did hear it was delicious. The wine and food were paired perfectly. The first flight contained new varietals I had not seen. We also learned more about the history of Greek wine, flavor profile, winemaker techniques and more.

Unlike the Romans, the Greek wines were not spread around the world. A surprising amount of wine is produced by pre-phylloxera vines.

We tried three wines with the Assyrtiko varietal that each tasted very different. My favorite was the Pavlidis Emphasis 2011 - citrus, floral (but not smacking me in the face like way too many a Torrontes), with a lingering finish.


Look at that nomtastic cheese - none of which was feta. Greece has way too many delicious cheese to try.

The reds included Xinomavro and Agiorgitiko were all interesting examples of their terroir.

We finished with a Muscat and Sigalas Vinsanto 2004 made from Assyrtiko and Aidani. The Sigalas Vinsanto was spectacular. The grapes are sun dried on mats. It was a somewhat rusty, golden color. It had this great acidity with these caramelized fruit notes. I really wish they would have served it with a strong cheese instead of dessert though.

Other than that, I opened the latest vintage of Domaine de La Mordoree Rose, which was a full rose with a round finish. I also drank my Gundlach Bundschu Gewürztraminer 2011 that is incredibly dry and aromatic with lychee notes. Besides the great wine, I have had sooooo many cocktails from the amazing mixologists at Range (Go to Range. Trust me.) including cocktails made with Cynar. There’s been a good amount of beer especially from Granville Moore’s.

I would say I need to take a week or two off, but I don’t see that happening. So…maybe I just need to hydrate, drink less and work out more?

In the immortal words of Pinky and the Brain -