Wine & Spirits: V-Day For All

by WL Author

Everyone from Sherry lovers to Valentine haters will find something that appeals to them on Feb 14.

By Kelly A. Magyarics

Head to Mockingbird Hill on February 14 for a Sherry pairing dinner. (Photo courtesy Mockingbird Hill)

Head to Mockingbird Hill on February 14 for a Sherry pairing dinner. (Photo courtesy Mockingbird Hill)

For the Sherry Fan

On February 14, Derek Brown’s Mockingbird Hill in Shaw is offering a five-course meal paired with world-class Sherries. Sous Chef Andy Clark, who used to work in the kitchens of DBGB and Fiola, will be whipping up Spanish- and American-inspired dishes. As head bartender, sommelier and Sherry expert, Chantal Tseng matches each with Spanish fortified wines from producers including Alexandro Sherry. Dine at Mockingbird’s intimate farm table while chatting up Tseng on the allure of this fascinating wine category. The cost is $65 per person, details here.

For the Homebody

Not up for fighting the crowds on February 14? Society Fair has it in the bag. Order a Valentine’s Day Dinner To Go, which includes the makings for an intimate cozy meal à deux. Start with a frisée and baby greens salad with pomegranate seeds and vinaigrette, and a heart-shaped wedge of Coeur de Bray cheese with house made preserves. Dip a crusty baguette into the rich sauce of your Coq au Vin, and save a little room for salted caramel brownies. The dinner also includes bubbly and red wine to toast your sweetie. $110 for two, order here.

Grab a cozy Valentine's Day dinner for two, including Coq au Viin and wine, at Society Fair. Photo courtesy of Society Fair.

Grab a cozy Valentine’s Day dinner for two, including Coq au Viin and wine, at Society Fair. (Photo courtesy Society Fair)

For the Sipper and Nosher

ENO Wine Bar in Georgetown offers up two specials for Hearts Day. Temptation for Two ($40 per couple) serves up a selection of cheese, charcuterie and chocolate, paired with a glass of sparkling, white or red wine. A “Zin”sational Pairing ($50 per couple) features a flight of three smoky, Columbian dark chocolates paired with a bottle of the bold and spicy 2012 Ministry of the Vinterior Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, California. In addition, throughout the month of February, ENO will feature chocolate fondue for two; dip fresh strawberries, bananas and pound cake into 70% cacao dark chocolate.

Sip on bubbly and nosh on charcuterie, cheese and chocolate at ENO Wine Bar. Photo courtesy of ENO Wine Bar.

Sip on bubbly and nosh on charcuterie, cheese and chocolate at ENO Wine Bar. (Photo courtesy ENO Wine Bar)

For the Valentine Hater

Republic in Takoma Park will celebrate the holiday of love on February 14 by taking reservations and serving its regular menu. But haters will want to arrive after 10 p.m. that night for an Anti-Valentine’s Day punk rock party. Punk bands Booze Riot, Eyelet and Caustic Casanova will perform, and bar manager Brett Robinson will mix up three anti-Cupid, punk-inspired sips. Booze Riot mixes Copper Fox Rye Whiskey, Amaro Averna and Sherry; Fascist Pig is made with Pig’s Nose Blended Scotch Whisky, Amaro Ramazzotti, Green Chartreuse, basil and a flamed orange peel garnish; and My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend is made with Hennessy, Soliterre Dessert Wine, Amaro Montenegro and lemon juice steeped in rosemary and citrus. All drinks will be $12 each.

Republic's Anti-Valentine's Day event features punk bands and drink specials. Photo courtesy of Scott Suchman.

Republic’s Anti-Valentine’s Day event features punk bands and drink specials. (Photo courtesy Scott Suchman)

For Those Who Like Their Pleasure With a Little Pain

Soi 38 has a tongue-tingling cocktail inspired by a classic Thai dish that’s perfect to add a little heat to your night. “This drink is inspired by the traditional Thai Som Tum or Green Papaya salad,” explains Menehune Group rep Chad Spangler. “We use Bombay Sapphire East, which is infused with Black Peppercorn & Lemongrass, because it’s bold flavor and over proof strength stand up to the citrus and spice notes in the drink.” He adds that the green papaya strips give added body and a light vegetal note. He shared the recipe with me, so you can mix it up and let the sparks fly.

The Som Tum Sling at Soi 38 is a tongue tingling tipple. Photo courtesy Soi 38.

The Som Tum Sling at Soi 38 is a tongue-tingling tipple. (Photo courtesy Soi 38)

Som Tum Sling
Recipe courtesy of Soi 38, Washington, D.C.

2 ounces Bombay Sapphire East Gin
¾ ounce lime juice
1 ounce Thai Chile & Black Pepper Syrup (see Recipe)
Pinch of shredded green papaya
Thai chile and green papaya strips, for garnish

Add all ingredients except the garnish to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake hard for 10 seconds. Strain the drink into a Collins glass and fill it with crushed ice. Garnish it with a Thai chile and green papaya strips.

For the Thai Chile & Black Pepper Syrup:
Add 2 ¼ teaspoons of freshly coarse ground black pepper, 2-3 red Thai chiles and 2-3 green Thai chiles to 2 cups of water in a large saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, and add 2 cups of sugar. Allow the mixture to boil for five minutes, then reduce the heat, cover it and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove it from the heat, strain out the solids and cool.

Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website,, or on Twitter or Instagram @kmagyarics.

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