Wish I’d Had My Camera

Last night we went out to celebrate Matt’s birthday.  We headed to the Lebanese Taverna, one of our favorite go to places for good food and great value.  We’ve probably been there about 100 times in the nearly 5 years we’ve been in the area…what can I say, our first apartment was only a few blocks away!

I’ve always thought the restaurant had a solid wine list–they have a variety of interesting selections from all over the world, including a large selection of Lebanese wines which I think is pretty cool.  They also change the list up regularly, so it stays fresh, and it’s pretty user friendly for folks who may not be wine geeks.  The wines are listed by type and then style, so crisp and light and lush and full are two white wine categories.

Last night, I noticed a new addition. Next to several of the selections, in red ink, so it sttod out, were designations: Organic, sustainable, and bio-dynamic.  Interesting. I’ve never seen that before and I wonder if most (if any) folks would really know what “bio-dynamic” meant if they saw it.  Hey, who knows, maybe bio-dynamic will enter the popular wine lexicon…

Back in New Zealand

I couldn’t abandon my New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs for too long, I love them too much. Wednesday evening found us having dinner with friends at the Lebanese Taverna. (I’m guessing that I sometimes sound like a broken record when I talk about where we go for dinner…..) We ordered the Table Mezza for the 4 of us, which is an absolutely fabulous deal. I never know when it will be offered, but I always get excited when I see the little slip of paper in the menu announcing it for the evening.

The Table Mezza comes with 5 appetizers, beef and lamb shwarma, chicken shwarma, rice pilaf, and of course, freshly baked pitas. All that food and only $25 a person. We always have enough left over for another meal each when we order this.

To go with our mish-mosh of food, I selected a Southbank Estate 2006 Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. It had a screw top, cost us $33 at the restaurant, and was 13% alcohol by volume. I can only seem to find it in UK shops online, where it’s going for about 8 pounds.

The wine smelled tart, with aromas of gooseberry, citrus, and grassy undertones. As soon as my taste was poured I could tell this was going to be my kind of wine. In the mouth there were tropical fruits, gooseberries, and grass. It was incredibly refreshing and crisp and went perfectly with our smorgasboard of food. I thought this was a great value for a wine in a restaurant.

At the Taverna Again

We found ourselves back at the Lebanese Taverna this week with our out of town guest. It’s one of our favorite “go to” restaurants as the food is always excellent, the wine list is surprisingly deep and interesting and it’s close to our current apartment. Many of the dishes contain lamb or beef, so I thought a Zinfandel would be a good choice, since restaurants seem to always want to know your drink order before you even have a minute to look at the menu. But I knew I was having the lamb and beef shwarma, so….. ;)

I chose a 2003 Kenwood Yulupa Zinfandel, which from visiting their website, I gather is a series that was created especially for restaurants. And really, that’s not terribly surprising, as it was a decent, easy to drink with your dinner wine. My notes say that nothing about it stood out, but it was food friendly and worked well with the meal.

Stats for this bottle: cost us $27, was 14.5% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure. On those nose I got raisins and figs. In the mouth is was smooth and fruity, with black currants, a little black pepper and some plum. I have to quibble with the restaurant though, which is my only fault for the Taverna, and something I have experienced each time I visit. The red wines are simply served too warm. We had a beautiful day, and room temperature was warm. Really warm. And I think it took away from the wine. Plus, our server filled our glasses to the brim, which always makes a wine harder to enjoy.

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