grape juice

starbucks evening wines

starbucks evenings winesFor those of you travelling out of DC today, here’s a little silver lining: the Starbucks at Dulles now serves wine (and reportedly LAX is getting one next year). In non-airport land, these “Starbucks Evenings” places are now in LA, Atlanta, Portland, and Chicago. The variety is actually really good; they all have one sparkling, one sparkling rosé, a few whites and a few reds. Here’s a rundown of what they offer – consider it a little voyeurism for everyone else dealing with winter storm delays at other airports.

villa sandi proseccosparkling

They offer Villa Sandi Fresco which is good Prosecco. LA is the only one who has Mionetto instead – not as good but I do still like it. Both are fantastic values. I’ve never had the Brachetto sparkling rosé they offer at all of them, but it’s from Piedmont and apparently is semi-sweet. Hmmm, not sure how I feel about that one, plus I think it’s weird that they have only sparkling rosé instead of just still rosé. Missed opportunity there.

erath pinot griswhites

Good variety of acidic to full and creamy. All of them have Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling – really good and a great value. All have Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio (blech), except for Portland which has Erath Pinot Gris (LOVE). Ugh, again, get on the Pinot Gris bandwagon everybody. Their Chardonnays are either Ferrari-Carano – decent, though a bit oaky – or another one I’ve never heard of (Cambria Katherine’s Vineyard).

justin wine paso roblesreds

Let’s start with the bad news: all of them serve Apothic Red. I’ve had this once at an event and could barely even swallow it. It was one of those newfangled sweet reds – YUCK. I normally don’t get dramatic about bad wine, but even the non-wine people I was with hated it. That said, I see a ton of people drinking this on Instagram every night, so I get why Starbucks has it. I’m also not a Malbec fan, but they all have an Alamos Malbec from Argentina

But as for the rest of the reds – totally impressed! Standouts: a few have Sanford Pinot Noir (an amazing Pinot from Santa Barbara – Sideways country), LA has Justin’s Justification red blend (another fantastic red from Paso Robles) and a Louis Martini Cab (not the worst value Cab), and Portland has a Lange Pinot from Willamette.

Overall, a pretty smart job selecting good entry-level wines from great producers. Full menus here.

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