Caitlin and I met some friends at Ramparts in Alexandria on Saturday night. Much to our delight, Saturday is half price wine bottle night. Even more delightful is the fact that Ramparts has a very good wine list for a neighborhood bar
Ramparts does what it does well. Although its recent renovations give it a bit of a sterile atmosphere, it still has the feel of a very unpretentious, neighborhood hangout - a neighborhood hangout that has a good wine list. And good food, too. If you ask for a burger medium rare, it actually comes out medium rare.
Our burgers came out the way we wanted them to, and our friends ordered other standard bar food that was also well-prepared. For wine, we ordered a bottle of 2007 Hess Allomi Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, which usually runs $60. It was a great deal for only $30 – especially since it is currently going for only $26.99 on Shopper’s Vineyard.
I am a fan of Hess Vineyards – particularly their Mount Veeder selections. Their 2007 Allomi Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep, dark red color with the characteristically fragrant aromas of a Napa Valley Cabernet. You start smelling cherries and chocolate and plums almost as soon as you lift the glass off the table. The wine is full-bodied and loaded with flavors of dark cherries and spices with hints of oak and vanilla. It went very well with a medium rare burger, and since it was half price, I didn’t feel guilty drinking it with a burger rather than, say, a steak.
It wasn’t too long ago that I, like many other overworked and underpaid DC transplants, could rattle off which bars and restaurants has which food and drink specials on which nights. Being young and hungry and financially stretched meant that you could overlook the fact that your half-price burger would generally be small and overcooked compared to its full-priced brethren. And sure, paying $3.00 for a glass of Yellow Tail seemed like a great deal once upon a time. And while those deals will always serve a purpose, it is refreshing to spend a night at a place like Ramparts where you can get good food as well as a great deal on a great bottle of wine.