WASHINGTON – In recent years, diners and industry professionals have lavished praise on D.C. restaurants for their artisan charcuterie plates, locally-raise meats, farm-to-table produce programs and bowls of spicy ramen.
Now the District’s burgeoning dining scene is being recognized for what’s in the glass as well.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine recently released its annual list of 100 best wine restaurants in the U.S., and six restaurants from D.C. made the cut. They include doi moi, Estadio, Fiola, minibar by Jose Andres, Ripple and The Red Hen.
Max Kuller, wine director at Estadio and doi moi, says restaurant-goers have always been interested in drinking wine, but as D.C.’s restaurant concepts evolve, so do the city’s wine programs.
More than 60 new restaurants opened in the District in 2013. Themes range from international street food, to Thai-inspired shared plates, handmade pastas and nose-to-tail butcheries. And the new wine programs are just as adventurous and diverse.
Kuller says more beverage directors and sommeliers are ditching the conventional wine menu — a uniform list that contains a certain number of chardonnays, cabernets and pinots — and instead, are experimenting with more unique varieties.
“I think, at a point, there was maybe more this fear of,