WASH April 2012 : Page 114

114 | food drink | spirits Raising the Bar Despite our scrape with a “he-cession,” it’s still a man’s world in DC’s quicker liquor scene. | By Kelly A. Magyarics | Portrait by Brad Wolf | Crates and barrels CraCked wide open! Gin It Up It’s been a hundred years since anyone in the District tossed juniper into a booze-filled still and called it gin, but John Uselton is about to change all that. The former beer director of Schneider’s is teaming up with his father-in-law, Michael Lowe, for Ivy City’s New Columbia Distillers (newcolumbiadistillers. com). The duo’s first batch of gin releases this spring at area bars, restaurants and liquor stores. They’ll delve into dark spirits this fall with a rye-based whiskey; but the hooch needs to age three to five years in new, charred white oak barrels before it ever sees a rocks glass. “We both really love DC,” says Uselton, “and the opportunity to bring the first distillery here was too good to pass up.” Port City Brewery’s Revival Stout elevates oysters in more ways than one. Soak It In The mineral-driven, flinty aromas and flavors found in Chablis and Sancerre make the French wines synergistic partners for shellfish, but Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company (portcitybrewing. com) Head Brewer Jonathan Reeves is actually crafting a new beer with bivalves. Shells from Virginia’s War Shore Oyster Company ramp up Revival Stout’s mineral content, while oyster meat and liquor add subtle brininess, salinity and a smooth mouth feel. Sipped alongside a plate of half shells, the brew’s notes of dried fruits, roasted coffee, chocolate and smoky spice contrast with the mollusk’s sweetness, says owner Bill Butcher. And the pearl in this oyster? Five percent of the brew’s sales go toward the Oyster Recovery Partnership, protecting the Chesapeake Bay. in the Still of the night John Uselton and Michael lowe launch their first spirits from their new gin distillery this spring. are you blushing? Man Up and Drink Pink Misconceptions and generalizations abound—it’s too floral, fruity, feminine . But guys who eschew rosy-hued wines need to rethink pink. “Drinking an amazing rosé can be a little bit of happiness in your mouth,” muses Michael Scaffidi, wine director of Plume at The Jefferson Hotel. He points out that the best examples are dry, with racy, food-friendly acidity—miles away from treacly sweet pink Zin. 2941 Wine and Beverage Director Jonathan Schuyler also urges dubious oenophiles to add rosé to their repertoire. “Think of wine like clothing. We wouldn’t drink only ‘bold’ red wines all the time, any more than we would wear a tuxedo while golfing.” When you embrace a newfound propensity for pink, Schuyler recommends heading to a reputable wine store for recommendations, as quality can be inconsistent. He gravitates towards French labels like Yves Cuilleron syrah rosé Sybel from the Rhône Valley. Add bubbles, and pink’s effeminate stigma quickly dissipates. Sommelier Sebastian Zutant of Proof and Estadio cites the big and yeasty NV Agrapart et Fils Les Demoiselles Premier Cru brut rosé, with a strong strawberry nose, as “not girly at all.” In the end, it’s all about confidence. “If people are going to judge you on the color of wine you drink,” says Zutant, “you don’t want their company anyway.” Sommelier Sebastian Zutant keeps Proof in the pink. | April 2012

Food Drink Spirits

Kelly A. Magyarics

Raising the Bar <br /> <br /> Despite our scrape with a “he-cession,” it’s still a man’s world in DC’s quicker liquor scene.<br /> <br /> Crates and barrels <br /> <br /> Gin It Up <br /> <br /> It’s been a hundred years since anyone in the District tossed juniper into a booze-filled still and called it gin, but John Uselton is about to change all that. The former beer director of Schneider’s is teaming up with his father-in-law, Michael Lowe, for Ivy City’s New Columbia Distillers (newcolumbiadistillers.Com). The duo’s first batch of gin releases this spring at area bars, restaurants and liquor stores. They’ll delve into dark spirits this fall with a rye-based whiskey; but the hooch needs to age three to five years in new, charred white oak barrels before it ever sees a rocks glass. “We both really love DC,” says Uselton, “and the opportunity to bring the first distillery here was too good to pass up.”<br /> <br /> Are you blushing?<br /> <br /> Man Up and Drink Pink<br /> <br /> Misconceptions and generalizations abound—it’s too floral, fruity, feminine. But guys who eschew rosy-hued wines need to rethink pink. “Drinking an amazing rosé can be a little bit of happiness in your mouth,” muses Michael Scaffidi, wine director of Plume at The Jefferson Hotel. He points out that the best examples are dry, with racy, food-friendly acidity—miles away from treacly sweet pink Zin. 2941 Wine and Beverage Director Jonathan Schuyler also urges dubious oenophiles to add rosé to their repertoire. “Think of wine like clothing. We wouldn’t drink only ‘bold’ red wines all the time, any more than we would wear a tuxedo while golfing.” <br /> <br /> When you embrace a newfound propensity for pink, Schuyler recommends heading to a reputable wine store for recommendations, as quality can be inconsistent. He gravitates towards French labels like Yves Cuilleron syrah rosé Sybel from the Rhône Valley. Add bubbles, and pink’s effeminate stigma quickly dissipates. Sommelier Sebastian Zutant of Proof and Estadio cites the big and yeasty NV Agrapart et Fils Les Demoiselles Premier Cru brut rosé, with a strong strawberry nose, as “not girly at all.” In the end, it’s all about confidence. “If people are going to judge you on the color of wine you drink,” says Zutant, “you don’t want their company anyway.”<br /> <br /> Soak It In <br /> <br /> The mineral-driven, flinty aromas and flavors found in Chablis and Sancerre make the French wines synergistic partners for shellfish, but Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company (portcitybrewing. Com) Head Brewer Jonathan Reeves is actually crafting a new beer with bivalves. Shells from Virginia’s War Shore Oyster Company ramp up Revival Stout’s mineral content, while oyster meat and liquor add subtle brininess, salinity and a smooth mouth feel. Sipped alongside a plate of half shells, the brew’s notes of dried fruits, roasted coffee, chocolate and smoky spice contrast with the mollusk’s sweetness, says owner Bill Butcher. And the pearl in this oyster? Five percent of the brew’s sales go toward the Oyster Recovery Partnership, protecting the Chesapeake Bay.

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