Bloomingdale's Big Bear Café has recently launched a small, thoughtful wine list assembled with the same care and attention that it has always lavished on its concise, locally sourced sandwich menu and coffee program.
The indie hangout quietly debuted the list as part of dinner service earlier this year, pouring wine and beer, expanding its weeknight hours to 9 p.m., and screening campy movies on Monday nights.
Order a bowl of the smoky chipotle chili ($6) and a glass ($8) of Sula Vineyard Shiraz. The fire of the chili is well tempered by the deep cherry and plum flavors of this wine, produced in India by a Sonoma-trained winemaker.
Crisp apple and melon notes chill the Tegernseerhof Grüner Veltliner ($8), its clean mineral finish offsetting the garlic of cannellini beans and spicy kale on ciabatta ($7.50).
Domaine D'Aupilhac Languedoc ($9), which comes from a longtime wine-producing family, has earthy dryness and deep berry flavors, which make it a good stand-alone sip.
Along with the wine program, the shop now also offers a selection of bottled beers. Not surprisingly, the shop offers two different varieties of what taste like the coffee of beers: Stone Smoked Porter ($9) and the Smuttynose Robust Porter ($5).
They're a way to carry the buzz on into evening.
Big Bear Café, 1700 1st St. NW (at R St.); bigbearcafe-dc.com
Please check your inbox to verify your email address.