Last weekend Gabriele took me to Brabo’s Tasting Room in Old Town to celebrate my birthday. The Brabo restaurant next door didn’t have any tables available, and my friend and fellow wine lover Anglea told me she had a good time at the Tasting room.
The room had a great vibe when we walked in — bright, lively but not crazy loud or frantic. The only seats available right away were at the bar, and we took them. Sometimes we hesitate to sit at the bar, because at many places the level of service can take a dive. Here our bartender was a pro and delivered consistently excellent service throughout the meal.
True to it’s name Brabo offers “tastes” as well as full glasses of wine. So you can try lots of different wines without too much damage to your wallet, though there are no steals on the list.
So that’s just what we did. Here’s what we had:
- Wild Hog Vineyard 2006 Barbera – very weird bouquet but tasted more typically Barbera, with earth, currant fruit, some tobacco and spice on the finish
- Icario Rubi 2006 Super Tuscan – more interesting bouquet than taste, very mild and light
- St. Siffrien 2009 Rhone — Grenache dominates, light bodies, smooth, some vanilla lingers on palate
- Cellars Cecilio 2004 — Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet blend from Spain, tart, peppery, tasted a bit off balance
- Summers Andriana’s Cuvee Cabernet 2007 — Smooth, mellow for a Napa Cab, some creaminess and vanilla on the finish — got a glass of this one
- Ridge Zinfandel Blend 2006 – 70% Zin with a bunch of other varietals, light body with a thicker feel on palate, dark fruit and nice tannins, I tasted cranberry on the long finish
The fare at the Tasting room is on the lighter side, and we enjoyed everything we ordered. The mussels were fantastic — large with just the right texture and flavor. Something called a “napatizer” is a mix of savory spreads with excellent flatbread, delicious and a little different. And Gabriele had french onion soup which she declared some of the best she’s ever had anywhere.
Of the wines we tried, I can only give the Summers an unqualified recommendation. Yet the food, the service and the ambiance carried the evening for us. So check out Brabo next time you’re in Old Town.
Other stories you might like:
- Another Viognier Taste Test Last year I wrote about the white varietal Viognier, spurred by my Mom drinking a...
- Putting the Band Back Together One of the tenets of running a professional services company is to follow good executives....
- Vacation Wine Finds Last week Gabriele and I enjoyed a get away from the daily hustle and bustle....