“Natural” and “organic” are two commonly used adjectives that preface many gastronomic items. Just when I thought I’d heard them all, wine has now been added to that list. Natural wine seems like an abstract concept; however, thanks to Stacy Khoury-Diaz, Washington D.C. now has a hub for it: Dio Wine Bar. Located on the H Street corridor ((904 H St NE 20002), the woman-owned bar boasts an industrial finish and intimate space, while offering a short selection of wines, cocktails, and locally sourced bites and snacks.
While natural wine has no legal definition, Dio’s website describes it as “grapes farmed in a sustainable, organic, or biodynamic manner (as few pesticides and chemical sprays as possible). It also means that there are little additives and mechanized processes for removing components from wine, like alcohol and acid.” At a recent opening reception, I sampled 3 of the 30 wines served in the bar: Sparkling Rosé (France), Skin-Fermented (Italy), and Cabernet Franc (France). All three were delicious and savory, providing fresh flavor to delight the senses. The Skin-Fermented is unique with its orange-ish color (a result of fermentation with the grape skin attached) and bitter tang.
Small bites were provided to pair with the wines offered. A board of cheese, charcuterie, marinated olives, and spiced nuts were placed on various points of the bar to bolster the flavor notes in the wine. Attendees were also given samples of the menu including bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, gougères, and my personal favorite, toasties with mushrooms and micro-arugula.
I would give this bar 5 out of 5 cocktails (or, in this case, wine glasses). I loved the cozy atmosphere and the wines were divine. Stacy did a phenomenal job of constructing a space that is modern, welcoming, and not too “stuffy” where you feel out of place if you’re not an oenophile. If you’d like more information on Dio Wine Bar, be sure to check out their website diowinebar.com and tell them we sent you!
- Andrea Williams