Top Pairs Vol. 14: Food and Wine Pairings from DC
- 923 16th Street Northwest
- Washington, DC 20006
- (202) 638-2626
- Sommelier Ramon Narvaez
- Sommelier Ramon Narvaez maintains a list of about 500 bottles at Adour. Even in the elegant setting of the restaurant, Narvaez has learned over his two-year tenure to balance some of the priceless bottles at his disposal with a more economically-friendly array of wines. He does this by picking and choosing less expensive gems from the less well known wine sub-regions throughout the world—he makes the shrewd observation that customers are more open to purchasing wine freely in large quantities if the per-bottle ticket is smaller. In 2007 Narvaez earned his certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. He has an impressive history in DC sommelier circles, spending time at both the Park Hyatt Hotel and Osteria Goldoni restaurant before spending six years running the wine program at Marcel's.
- 775 G Street Northwest
- Washington, DC 20001
- (202) 737-7663
- Sommelier Sebastian Zutant
- Wine Director Sebastian Zutant carefully built the list of over 1,000 selections for Proof. He is consistently active in educating the staff about wine, conducting tastings with them daily. Zutant graduated from the College of Charleston in South Carolina with a BA in Photography in 2000. He then moved to DC, working as a server at first at Chef Geoff’s. He would soon discover his passion for wine while working at Nectar, which is known for their quirky list. He even helped Chef Johnny Monis open Komi in 2003, after which Zutant was entrusted with choosing the international wines. After two years he became the sommelier at Rasika, where he was faced with the challenge of pairing with both sweet and spicy elements of Indian cuisine.
- Plume at The Jefferson Hotel
- 1200 16th Street Northwest
- Washington, DC 20036
- (202) 448-2300
- Sommelier Michael Scaffidi
Scaffidi’s passion for Madeira ignited during his time at French Laundry, where he became fascinated with older wines that still tasted amazing. He calls Madeira the “Incredible Hulk” of wine, because it can’t be destroyed. “You can open a bottle now, and in 50 years it will taste the same,” he says. Due to the nature of the wine (during the winemaking process, the wine is “cooked”), its shelf life after opening is almost infinite compared to other fortified wines. Hence the tastiness of a 300-year old wine.
When he started the Madeira program, Scaffidi sought out the legendary Mannie Berk, of The Rare Wine Co. Once he had proved his dedication to a successful Madeira program, they worked to build the stellar Madeira collection that still shines at The Jefferson today.
And don’t worry about remembering what you drank from visit to visit. Scaffidi’s dedication to excellent service includes registering the wines you try during your visit into their reservation system. So you can sip something different on your next visit, or they’ll remember the wine for you, if you want it again. The host or maître d’ also gives the guest a printout of their selection(s) to take home.
- The Oval Room
- 800 Connecticut Avenue Northwest #110
- Washington, DC 20006
- (202) 463-8700
- Sommelier Brent Kroll
- Brent Kroll combines the roles of sommelier and mixologist at 2006 DC Rising Star Tony Conte's The Oval Room with grace and aplomb. Before that, his first taste of the DC area was when he came to develop the wine and bar programs at Ardeo and Bardeo. Kroll honed his bar skills under the tutelage of the legendary Madeline Triffon M.S. in his home state of Michigan, while with the Matt Prentice Group from 2003 to 2007. He also spent time with two Michael Mina properties (in the MGM Grand in Detroit, and Fairmont Turnberry Country Club Isle and Resort in Aventura, Florida) that helped shape his approachable and unpretentious tableside manner. Although relatively new to The Oval Room, and a youthful addition at that, Kroll has tailored his wine selections loosely on varietal recognition, and still included some impressively esoteric labels in The Oval Room's collection that compliment Chef Conte's artful and elegant dishes.
- 1099 New York Avenue Northwest
- Washington, DC 20001
- (202) 639-9830
- Sommelier Caterina Abbruzzetti
- Beverage Director Caterina Abbruzzetti of British Isles-inspired bistro Againn updated the restaurant's international selections and plumped up the organic and sustainable wine cache to pair with Chef Wes Morton’s charcuterie-heavy cuisine. Abbruzzetti was born in London, and worked as a bartender at The Davy’s Gastro Pub and Wine Merchants in London’s Crown Passage before becoming Sommelier at Michelin Two-Star restaurant, Le Gavroche. In the States, she spent time as Corporate Beverage Director Consultant for Fireman Hospitality Group and worked as Hotel Wine Director for the Willard InterContinental Hotel and their properties Café du Parc and The Willard Room restaurants, as well as RAMMY Award-winning 2941 in Falls Church, VA. Morton and Abbruzzetti worked together at both The French Laundry and Citronelle. Among her many certifications is The Wine and Spirit Education Trust of England's Master of Wine Advanced Level in 2006. Abbruzzetti works now to foster an appreciation of British cuisine with her beverage program. The impressive rare Scotch program and selection of American and international beers are just a few of the elements that set her beverage list apart.