Mediterranean Lunch and Dinner with Greek Wine at Zaytinya 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