Zaytinya Wines - Mediterranean Restaurant

Zaytinya evolves its wine list

Lucas Paya spent five years pairing some of the world's most exciting food with wine as a sommelier at Spain's now-shuttered El Bulli.

Now he's bringing that creative skill to the Aegean flavors at Zaytinya, sourcing bottles from lesser-known parts of Greece and throughout the Mediterranean. He shared some of his most exciting bottles.

Assyrtiko, Sigalas, 2010 ($67 for 750ml): The grapes for this concentrated, mineral-based wine grow in the volcanic soil of Santorini. The gnarled vines produce steely notes of sea salt and white pepper, which Paya recommends pairing with lemony baba ghannouge ($7).

Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault, Chateau Musar, 2001 ($67 for 375ml): Smoky and leathery, this red blend comes from one of Lebanon's top vineyards, located north of Beirut. The smooth tannins complement a plate of mint-topped kibbeh nayeh ($7.50).

Superiore Riserva 10 Anni, Marco De Bartoli ($91 for 750ml): Caramel, apricot and orange marmalade drape this not-too-sweet Sicilian Marsala. Paya pairs the dessert wine with the orange-caramel sauce that tops Zaytinya's Turkish Delight ($8).

Zaytinya, 701 9th St. NW (at H St.); 202-638-0800 or