As a wine-lover, I have tried to never miss an opportunity to discover new places to explore the vast array of wine offerings available to oenophiles like myself before I lay out any sum of money on an unknown.
So, I jumped at the chance to try a new wine bar that my husband suggested on our way back from BWI airport. And what a surprise!
In an unpretentious 1950s-‘60s-era setting, 13.5% Wine Bar in Hampden creates exactly the right spot to order a flight of select wines, according to your palate preferences, or share a bottle picked from the wide assortment of choices from regions in France, Spain, South Africa, California, and of course, a row of Maryland wines.
My choice was the Club Med flight, which consisted of a Rubbia a Colle, ‘Drumo’ 2004 , (Sangiovese, Toscana, Italy); a Ca’ Bona 2005 9Bonarda, Lombardia, Italy); and a Tempranillo – Flying Winemaker 2007 (Campo de Borja, Spain).
Now, I don’t pretend to be a Robert Parker, but that’s not the point. You can’t become a wine expert without trying a lot of wine, right?
So, to my taste, the Ca; Bona was a bolder, more full-bodied experience, and thus my favorite of the three. The Flying Winemaker tasted as rich as any Tempranillo, and I tend to like full-bodied wines that can stand alone or compliment a meal of steak or lamb. The ‘Drumo’ I found disappointing for a Sangiovese, since I generally like these wines.
Having opened in July of last year, the place has already acquired a reputation as a ‘hip in Hampden’ hotspot. Not only does it boast ‘over 40 wines by the glass and over 200 by the bottle,’ the venue also offers tempting dishes to enhance the wines. From salads to an impressive assortment of cheeses presented tableside, to Paninis, vegetarian dishes, lamb chops and more, this new arrival on The Avenue is a delightful discovery.
Seating on the chrome-legged, tangerine-colored stools offers an informal invitation to savor the flavors of the wines as they glide along the surface and sides of the tongue. Black leather club-style dining chairs provide comfortable seating tableside.
For more details about 13.5% Wine Bar, check out the website, www.13.5winebar.com. An website fostering wine education, try www.frugal-wine.com.For other reviews of 13.5% Wine Bar, visit, www.chowhound.chow.com.
Hampden is a great place to walk around and explore the many shops featuring local artisans displaying their creations.
What better way to spend an afternoon or evening with friends than tasting wine and eating great food.
Please let me know if you have any new places you have discovered in your neighborhood, or while out-and-about. I would love to feature them in an upcoming article.
Come back for my next article, Wine tasting in a most unlikely place.
Until then, here’s your ‘Neighborhood Examiner’ toasting you! Please subscribe to me so you don’t miss any of my stories. Go to www.aerochug.com and look for me in the Neighborhoods category. Subscribing is free.
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