The following story was contributed by Jameson Fink.
Can you get a good glass of wine at a coffee shop? It's probably not the first thought that occurs in your caffeine-fixated brain as you approach Capitol Hill's Joe Bar, but it's worth staring up at the chalkboard and contemplating the tiny (less than ten total) selection.
I spent part of a leisurely afternoon enjoying a glass of the 2011 Domaine de Maubet Blanc Sec. It's a white wine from Gascony in Southwestern France, a region most famous (alcohol-wise) for distilling grapes to produce Armagnac. But some of those grapes used for crafting spirits, like Ugni Blanc and Colombard, can also be put to work to make delightful dry white wines. (The Domaine de Maubet also add Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng to the mix.)
For $7, you get quite a generous pour of a fresh, floral, citrus-tinged white wine. And though I am a fan of wines with a lot of zip and zest, the Domaine de Maubet is not shrill with too much acidity. It even offers a touch of richness. Easy-drinking almost to the point of being dangerously so, you might want to order one of Joe Bar's crepes to help pace yourself. (The ham, egg, and cheese or tomato, basil, and mozzarella would be a fine match.) And to fight off the urge for a late-afternoon nap, grab a coffee on your way out.