The Wine Rangers At Screwtop Wine Bar

[An entry for the MWWC#11 on the topic “Friend.”]

The Wine Rangers is a small group of friends who get together for the enjoyment of wine and each other’s company.  On this particular outing, I was joined by fellow WR founding member Heather and ex officio WR member Patrick.  He’s ex officio because he doesn’t drink wine, but he is one of the best conversationalists I know and adds immeasurably to any get-together.

Heather and I have been friends for many years now.  We met when we were both working for the same organization a long time ago.  Although we worked in different departments, we hit it off immediately.  I think what may have solidified our friendship was our mutual involvement in the redesign of that organization’s logo.  It was a process of many, many, many meetings and long hours of discussion.  Heather was included because of her marketing expertise.  I was there because ….  Well, I guess I was there because I am willing to share my opinions freely.  Anyway, we both managed to survive the redesign.  Since then, we have moved on in our careers but have remained in contact – probably more to Heather’s credit than to mine.  It doesn’t hurt, of course, that we both have a love for the fruit of the vine.  Until recently we pursued that passion in a more informal manner – i.e. imbibing without writing down tasting notes.  When I started this blog, Heather got very excited and was eager to help.  Thus, the Wine Rangers were born.  We still don’t have official T-shirts yet.  It may be awhile because that would require the design of yet another logo!  But enough about the Rangers.  What about the wine at Screwtop?

You may recall from my previous report that our wine tasting had begun while we were waiting for a table or spot at the bar.  Yes, it was that packed on a Thursday night!  Upon sitting at a cozy table by the windows with a full view of the bustling establishment, we considered our options in earnest.  The menu is quite extensive, so the folks at Screwtop have designed a number of tastings or flights for adventurous wine enthusiasts to choose from.  Heather and I both decided on samplings from a group they called “Grapes Off The Grid.”  I went with “Weird & Wacky Whites” while she chose “The Grape Unknown.”  Does that sound intriguing, or what?

Here are some very brief notes we managed to scribble while we enjoyed the wine, company, and tasty dishes at Screwtop Wine Bar.

a view of the bar at Screwtop

The Grape Unknown

A.  grape – Lancelotta;  winery – Taking Root;  vintage – 2012
from Moldova, this red was smooth and full-bodied

B.  grape – Moristel;  winery – Bodega Bal d’Isabena;  vintage – 2011
a mild, even mellow, wine with the scent and aftertaste of rubber

C.  grape – Blaufränkisch;  winery –  Shooting Star Blue Franc;  vintage – 2011
fruity and tart, medium-bodied, cotton candy finish; by Steele Wines

Weird & Wacky Whites

A.  grape – Pedro Jiminez;  winery – Frontera Specialties;  vintage – 2013
faint bouquet, lively acidity, plentiful citrus flavor with a zippy, bitter “seedy” finish

B.  grape – Tocai Friulano;  winery – Folk Machine;  vintage – 2013
good acidity, very light-bodied, pear on the tongue with warm spice notes

C.  grape – Rkatsiteli;  winery – Boneyard “Skins”;  vintage – 2012
notes of butterscotch and tropical fruit along with some grass on the finish

All tolled, it was a marvelous evening of good friends and interesting wines.  We’re all looking forward to a return visit to Screwtop Wine Bar.  In the meantime, though, we’re busy planning the next outing for the Wine Rangers.


#MWWC11 — “Friend” theme chosen by Dracaena Wines.



Screwtop Wine Bar: Worthwhile Waiting

The Wine Rangers headed out to another nearby watering hole to sample some vino.  I was the first to arrive at this very popular spot on a Thursday evening.  Not wanting to waste the time, I succumbed to the friendly staff’s offer to serve me a little something while I hovered – with quite a few other folks – waiting for a spot.

One thing I really like about this establishment is that their menu offers wines by the bottle, glass, and sip (half glass).  That provides almost an incentive (not that I need one – lol) to experiment.

After perusing the list, I ordered a half glass of the Early Mountain Viognier 2011 from Charlottesville, VA.  This Viognier was pale straw color.  On the nose I found spiced apple cider.  It was light-bodied with the characteristic touch of viscosity, and acidity was bright.  Flavors were a solid core of apple (no pun intended) with hints of spice and a touch of fig.  It was a pleasant sipper, and disappeared all too quickly.

As my fellow Wine Ranger, Heather, was running late, I had another look at the wine list.  Unable to resist the temptation, I ordered a half glass (aka sip) of the Villa Wolf Rosé 2012 from Pfalz, Germany.  The Villa Wolf was a pretty salmon color with a floral bouquet.  Although a light-bodied wine, it  had good acidity and a fun, almost flirty flavor profile of bing cherry and lemon/lime.  Flavors weren’t heavy but light and lively.

Eventually, the Wine Rangers were reunited, and the evening began in earnest.  But a report on that adventure will have to wait for another post.  In the meantime, I wish you worthwhile waiting, too.