Washington, D.C., oenophiles rejoiced on Jan. 18 when Flight Wine Bar opened. Located just down the street from popular Penn Quarter restaurants Graffiato and Daikaya, Flight is a destination for well-seasoned wine experts and novices alike. The venue is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Swati Bose and Kabir Amir, who have carefully curated a selection of more than 70 wines, including 30 available by the glass. A knowledgeable staff mans the bar, poised to guide customers through the wine list and make suggestions based on personal preferences. Tasting notes also accompany each wine, along with information about the winemaker, region and varietal or varietal blend. One highlight here is Flight’s wine list that showcases rare selections from small-production winemakers and wines from lesser-known regions. To encourage customers to try something from a region they may not be as familiar with, the wine list is organized by body and style rather than by geographical origin. Expect classic Beaujolais from France and Rieslings from Germany, the list also includes the less common Jeune Rosé from Chateau Musar in Lebanon and Királyudvar Furmint from the Tokaj region of Hungary.
Each week a featured flight of three wines, priced at $18, will allow guests to learn about a specific style, varietal or region. Taste chardonnays from Australia, Argentina and South Africa, for example, to see how terroir affects a varietal enough to make three wines wildly different. Tried a Crémant sparkling wine from the Jura region of France recently and loved it? Try a red and white still wine from Jura to learn more about what the region has to offer.
For guests looking for pre- or post-dinner snacks to nosh on, Executive Chef Bradley Curtis, formerly of DGS Delicatessen, Zaytinya, and Graffiato, has prepared a wide selection of light bites, slightly heartier entrees, and sweet treats for dessert. The list of easy-to-share dishes includes vegetarian options, such as the stuffed acorn squash entrée with hearty white beans, Swiss chard and cherry tomatoes. The menu represents a fusion of light, wine-friendly Mediterranean cuisine with the chef’s New England roots. Curtis tops a slightly sweet New England brown bread with baked beans and linguica sausage in his Boston baked dinner. Maine Lobster and Moxie-Braised Short Ribs accompany Greek Squash Dolmades and Sumac Bronzino. And for dessert? A dynamic dish based on a 100-year old recipe from Curtis’s grandmother: tomato soup cake with rum raisin compote and toasted pecans topped off with a healthy smear of tangy cream cheese frosting.
Flight Wine Bar is an ideal venue for meeting up for a drink with friends before hitting the town or for grabbing a nightcap after a date. Drawn in by the soft light and natural wine-centric materials (cork, wood and clay), guests are encouraged to relax and unwind in a comfortable and intimate setting. A curved wooden bar forming the centerpiece of the venue reminds visitors of the inside of a wine barrel, while low-hanging clay lights put patrons in the belly a European wine cellar.
Educational, well-curated, and yet still accessible to the amateur wine connoisseur, Flight will undoubtedly become a Penn Quarter hotspot in the weeks to come.
Lili Kocsis is a self-proclaimed gastronome. She graduated from Harvard University in 2011 with a BA in linguistics. She dedicates her spare time to purposeful travel, food photography, and writing about regional cuisine under the penname MyAmusedBouche.