This week, guest Guru Andy Myers, the sommelier of the four-star CityZen, took a seat at GOG headquarters to answer readers’ wine questions during the Got Plans? chat.
He did not fail us. In fact, he surprised us. Great restaurant ideas? Myers is full of them. Looking for good wine at Giant? He can even dig up a couple of boxed wines he actually likes. (If you want to know more about this all-around good guy and Mastodon fan, check out Fritz Hahn’s interview with Myers here.)
Below check out some of the highlights of this epic, nearly two-hour chatfest. Want more? Read the whole transcript here. And be sure to join us Dec. 1 — we’re taking Thanksgiving off — to talk holiday plans and where to get in quality family time, all with our Holiday Happenings guru Kathy Orton.
Q. What are your suggestions for affordable bottles in the $10-$20 range?
Andy Myers: I get asked this question pretty frequently in my life. :) While there are some wines in that range I really love (Osel’s Ruche, Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner, Borsao Garnacha), I never know where folks shop and, as such, it’s tough to give you specific brands. My advice is always to find a shop that makes you comfortable and find someone there that you can connect with (most wine geeks LOVE to talk to anyone about wine).
If it’s feasible for you, ask your new wine-store friend to put together a mixed case of six white and six red for $120 or less. Keep a note or two about each wine and take the notes back to the shop with you. You’ll be amazed how much the shop will be able to help you if they have even a slight idea about your taste and budget.
Q. Hi, GOGs! We’ll be visiting this weekend for the first time since we moved away two years ago. Here are our dining plans. Is there anything I should change while I can? Saturday lunch: 2 Amys. Saturday dinner: The Majestic. Sunday brunch: Founding Farmers, and an early dinner at Cork after seeing Othello at the Folger. Monday lunch: The Source, Monday dinner: Central Michel Richard. Any advice? Changes? Anything going on that we absolutely should not miss? Thanks as usual for all your great work!
Alex Baldinger: That’s quite a gut-busting itinerary you have there. The only thing you might want to be aware of is that, in the past two years, 2 Amys has taken a bit of a dive in the estimation of some. Tom Sietsema loved him some 2 Amys in the 2009 Fall Dining Guide, but as of 2011 it had fallen out of favor. “The food is too inconsistent for me,” he wrote. If you want to fill a pizza-sized hole in your itinerary, I’d try Seventh Hill, which opened after you left.
Q. Gurus, crossing the river and taking my husband to Ray’s3 for his birthday Tuesday. What is there to do in the area afterward? Neither of us have to work the following day. We’re both low-key types and big sports fans — beers, a hockey game on TV and maybe something a little unexpected like skeeball or bubble hockey would pretty much make our night.
Fritz Hahn: Right by Rays3 is Continental, one of the gems of Arlington bars: Think skee-ball, darts, pool, shuffleboard and drinks all wrapped up in a retro ’60s jet-age decor. It doesn’t usually get the love it deserves because it’s in Rosslyn, but I try to stop in when I’m in the neighborhood.
Q. Hi, and thanks for the chats. My bachelorette party kind of snuck up me this weekend. I bought tickets for all of us to go to the Old Ebbitt Grill Oyster Riot on Saturday, and we’re getting our nails done beforehand . . . but we’ll probably want to do something afterwards. More drinking and dancing, but where? I live in the U Street area, but anywhere in D.C. could work. There are a million bars within blocks that I haven’t been to yet (Lost Society, U Street Music Hall) because I am about to be an old married lady and have gotten real boring lately. Good for my husband-to-be I guess, bad for party planning. I’m psyched about the oysters though. . . . Thanks for any advice!
Lavanya Ramanathan: Okay, I have a crazier, perhaps more “bachelorette” option, because you seem in need of some unwinding. And I say this realizing, too, that bachelorette parties are really for your married friends with kids, who need to let loose and party harder than anyone else in the room, if for no other reason than that they have a babysitter. Town. There’s an awesome drag show from 10-11:30 on Fridays and Saturdays, then get crazy somewhere that’s decorated like a Sweet 16. If you must keep it classy, I think your bachelorette party will fit right in, and you can definitely have that one last hurrah, at Lost Society. If you can get there a little early, perhaps by 10 p.m., you’ll be able to save yourself from any lines.
Q. What would be your favorite winery in the area?
Andy Myers: I love visiting Linden, Horton, Barboursville and RdV. All good people and good wines. If you’re planning on visiting them, Horton and Barboursville are pretty close together (near Charlottesville), and Linden and RdV are close enough to visit both on the same day. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to any of the wineries before you visit, btw.