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(Credit: Chris Casella)

The Finish

Landon Proctor's ongoing guide through Columbus restaurant wine lists.

By Landon Proctor

Published June 1, 2013

WINE BISTRO CLINTONVILLE

4416 N. High St www.winebistrocolumbus.com

I, for one, welcome our new wine overlords. The Clintonville outpost is the latest addition to the ever-expanding delicious empire of Wine Bistros throughout Columbus. The selection is still firming up, but what’s on the shelves now seems to be 75 percent standards and 25 percent cult favorites or unpredictable gems. Keep in mind their usual $8 corkage fee is waived on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Tried and True

The Wine Bistro concept has at its heart the availability of anything off the surrounding shelves available for on-site consumption. So, if you don’t recognize your favorite wine on the glass-pour menu, there’s guaranteed to be dozens of things you know and love within arm’s reach to put in your face.

Under $30

Leitz ‘Eins-Zwei-Dry’ [Riesling]

It’s dry Riesling; just get over it already. I know that still blows some of your minds, the same way dry rosé did a few years ago, but honestly, I believe in you and your ability to learn new things. Like how completely awesome everything is that Leitz touches. Believe in yourself and try this. And then tell your friends how great dry Riesling can be.

Something New

Secateurs [Chenin Blanc] 2011

How much South African Chenin Blanc have you had? That was a rhetorical question since I know your answer should be “not enough.” Secateurs is phenomenal, people. From 40-year-old vines, this wine is versatile, balanced, and most importantly, delicious as hell.

Don’t Miss

Their current flight of white wines, “Baby Got Blends”

If only for the name. Since blends are still the default almost everywhere else but America, it’s probably a good idea to experience the fuller or richer flavors blends can provide and start thinking more outside the single-varietal box. I see you over there, Exclusive Chardonnay Drinker…

J. LIU RESTAURANT AND BAR

6880 N. High St., Worthington www.jliurestaurant.com

A stable of smart and competent wines fill the glass-pour and bottle lists; nothing outlandish, geeky, or outré to freak out the normals. Asian-inspired cuisine requires a delicate hand for wine pairing, and the selections here more than complement without detracting.

Tried and True

Palermo [Cabernet] 2011

The old Orin Swift strikes again with another mind-melting Cab designed to shock and awe your palate into submission. Not quite as big as his upper-tier Papillon or Mercury Head lines, but more than enough to obliterate the day’s troubles with ABV to spare.

Under $30

Selbach [Riesling]

Johannes Selbach makes laser-focused Mosel Riesling that possesses nerve, style, and poise. Winemakers in this region often have an inexhaustible drive to create and best express the land their vines come from, explaining the proliferation of styles, sites, and ripeness levels available from this producer. Near and dear to general manager Dave McMahon’s heart; inquire and I bet there might be a few bottles of Selbach available that aren’t listed on the menu.

Something New

Amavi [Syrah] 2010

If you haven’t had much Washington State Syrah before, give this undervalued bottle a whirl. I like any wine that over-delivers, whether it costs $5 and tastes like $10, or costs $50 and tastes like $100 – Amavi over-delivers. Better structured than many of its Californian counterparts without lacking up-front appeal, give this some air if you have a chance.

Don’t Miss

Robert Stemmler [Pinot Noir]

Dense. Concentrated. Involved. Smooth as a fresh shave. Cherries, strawberries, and more cherries are all up in your grill in a hurry. Burgundy this ain’t. Stemmler Pinot isn’t coy – it comes after you like a girl who knows what she wants. And trust me, you’re going to want this before, during, and after dinner.