Wines for the Dog Days of Summer: Beat the DC Heat with These Cool Finds

August is here and DC is sweltering. But no matter how high the mercury rises, there is plenty of cool wine to help you make it through the summer heat. Check out these spots around the District featuring delicious wines to satisfy every oenophile’s appetite.

A Glass at La Jambe
This quaint new spot in Shaw combines the style of a Parisian bistro with a touch of eclectic charm. Owned by husband-and-wife team Anastasia Mori and Dave Bloom, La Jambe specializes in vin, fromage and charcuterie. What else does one need?

The wine list is all French, but it doesn’t just stick to the classic regions. To get through these muggy days, try a glass of the staff favorite – the Faustine Rosé Abbatucci Ajaccio ($12/glass). It’s a Corsican rosé made from sciaccarellu and barbarossa  varietals that’s crisp, dry and brimming with strawberry, citrus and mineral flavors. La Jambe just opened its doors about a month ago, but you wouldn’t guess that from the smooth service, thoughtful menu and packed seats.

La Jambe: 1550 7th St. NW, DC;

A Flight at Slate Wine Bar
Chef and sommelier Danny Lledó organizes a recurring wine series at his Glover Park mainstay each month, and since May, these tasting events have been dedicated to summertime wines. The featured flights have included rosés, unique whites and bubbles, and smooth reds from all over the globe.

Attend the next tasting on Tuesday, August 23 – Summer Wines from Around the World ($20/flight). You’ll be able to sip your way through a lineup of five wines that are perfect for the dog days of summer. Wines will include prosecco, Vinho Verde, Oregon pinot gris, Spanish garnacha and a French syrah/grenache blend. The tasting runs from 5-8 p.m., and reservations can be made online.

Slate Wine Bar: 2404 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC;

A Bottle at Grand Cata
New retail spot Grand Cata opened mid-March in Shaw (located right next door to La Jambe), and has brought the wide world of Latin American wines (and beers, spirits and gourmet snacks) to DC. Owners Julio Robledo and Pedro Rodríguez worked on the concept for five years before opening, and it shows. The architecture and design are breathtaking, and the selection of wines is equally impressive.

Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you have to write off all red wines. Grab a bottle of the 2015 Aupa Pipeño ($19/bottle), a blend of país and carignan from Chile. The wine is light and fruity with lively acidity and soft tannins. It’s best served slightly chilled, and is perfect for patio sipping or BBQ get-togethers. Grand Cata offers free tastings every day and classes a few times a month, so you can always expect to experience something new at the shop.

Grand Cata: 1550 7th St. NW, DC;

A Jug at Jug & Table
Go big! Jug & Table is sister to upstairs restaurant Roofers Union, and is a welcome addition to the Adams Morgan neighborhood. The space is small and intimate, and the vibe is unpretentious. The wine list is organized by music types, ranging from Classic Rock Whites (crisp, light and fresh) up to Heavy Metal Reds (bold, luscious and intense), and the music theme carries through with tunes playing from a turntable behind the bar.

Jug & Table offers eight rotating wines on tap. Currently, there are three whites, one rosé and four reds. All these wines are available by the “jug,” equivalent to about 2.5 bottles. Order a jug of the Roli & Ryan Gavi di Gavi ($60/jug), a white from Italy’s Piedmont region that’s crisp, fruity, floral and perfect for a lazy summer afternoon. Grab some friends and check out Jug & Table on a Wednesday night when all jugs are half off.

Jug & Table: 2446 18th St. NW, DC;


Tess Ankeny

Tess has been writing wine-related features for On Tap since 2014. She is a Certified Sommelier (CS), Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and a Certified Wine Educator (CWE).