My Two Cents: Wine Challenge

My Two Cents is a weekly opinion column from Bethesda resident Joseph Hawkins. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Joseph HawkinsOK readers, I’m looking for recommendations. Please leave comments!

Here’s the challenge: You’re stuck on an isolated island for a month. The upside to this forced vacation is you’re allowed to take all the necessary provisions to stay alive and to remain fairly comfortable, including wine. But you can only take one kind of red wine and one kind of white wine, and each must cost less than $20 a bottle. And so what are you packing?  (Yes, you can take more than 2 bottles.)

Here are my picks. Both wines can be found at Cork 57 Beer and Wine (4910 Bethesda Ave.).

Red: Betsy’s Backacher (Spann Vineyards, California). This red is a blend of 68 percent Syrah, 8 percent Petit Verdot, 6 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 percent Primitivo, 6 percent Cabernet Franc, 3 percent Viognier and 3 percent Roussanne. That sounds like the kitchen sink, right? But this red still managed to charge ahead as a completely mellow Syrah with notes of dark berries and ripe black plums.

White: Rubeckia White Blend (Susan Fields, California). This white is a blend of 77 percent Chardonnay, 20 percent Muscat of Alexandria and 3 percent Pinot Gris. Wait a minute, isn’t muscat a sweet dessert wine? Yes, but this white blend still came comes across as a rather crisp chardonnay with hints of pear and vanilla.

If the island has wild boar, the red wine will pair with it. And the white wine should go nicely with just about any fish.

Joseph Hawkins is a longtime Bethesda resident who remembers when there was no Capital Crescent Trail. He works full-time for an employee-owned social science research firm located Montgomery County. He is a D.C. native and for nearly 10 years, he wrote a regular column for the Montgomery Journal. He also has essays and editorials published in Education Week, the Washington Post, and Teaching Tolerance Magazine. He is a serious live music fan and is committed to checking out some live act at least once a month.

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