Earlier this week I was in Washington, D.C. for business and was lucky to have some time to visit some great restaurants. All had very good wine lists, but one in particular, Agora, had the added benefit of an excellent sommelier. As much as I love to dig into a wine list and find old favorites, I like it even more when the person who designed the list can take me through it and recommend new favorites.
Agora is a Meditteranean restaurant and my friends and I planned to order a variety of dishes ranging from seafood to red meat. We were looking for a medium bodied red that could accommodate a lot of different flavors and I've found that Pinor Noir and Gamay both fit the bill.
Rather than pick a Pinot Noir or Gamay, the sommelier steered me to Blaufrankisch, a light to medium bodied red wine out of Austria. I'd had one Blaufrankisch years ago and found it to be far too acidic and unbalanced for my taste, but the sommelier seemed to be really passionate about the wine so we ordered it. Good call. The 2008 Judith Beck Blaufrankisch was a smooth, medium bodied red with bright cherry notes and good acidic structure. It paired perfectly with almost everything we ordered - from the creamy hummus to the lamb flatbread to the filet.
In true wine-o-crat fashion, the Judith Beck Blaufrankisch retails for about $20 per bottle. Unfortunately, Beck only produces 500 cases of this wine each year and it can be very hard to find so if you see it, buy it or order it. It is a crowd pleaser as my friends Jenny, Jill, Chris and Matt can attest.
Until the next sniff, sip or quaff,