Level Up at Lyle’s

The by-the-glass menu is a cutting-edge example of the wine list of the future

By Stefanie Gans

In Chicago, Juice@1340, a wine bar and retail operation, highlights Black-owned vineyards. It was featured in the opening story of Bon Appetit’s February 2022 issue. 

It was a splashy spread, back-lit wine bottles over two pages brushed with a marbled golden hue. These selected bottles were given the full Conde Nast treatment. As they should. And it’s about time winemakers from all backgrounds and genders get recognition from the pages of a glossy magazine to the cozy corners of one of DC’s newest restaurants. 

Lyle’s, the stunning restaurant inside DuPont’s Lyle hotel by the Lore Group, is a study in contrasts. It’s a neighborhood spot decorated with such an elevated sensibility it’s nearly performance art. The menu is pure comfort, but with a chef’s touch. 

And the wine list. Well, it could easily rely on favorites, no-brainers, easy sips. Instead, it’s just as lovely and varied as any wine bar, but the by-the-glass menu features wine exclusively made by women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ producers. 

For far too long, wine lists have not reflected the growing diversity of makers from all different backgrounds. It’s a correction of the past and a nod to future hospitality professionals. And, it’s exactly what wine drinkers want to see on a menu. 

With nearly 20 by the glass options—from a cava by the descendants of the pioneering Catalonian winemaker of 19th century Spain Maria Casanovas, to Fantinel Vineyards’ Italian rose collaboration with Mary J. Blige—Lyle’s wine list reflects wine’s iconic heritage and its modern-day relevance. 

Stars on Lyle’s list include the Black-owned McBride Sisters Collection, nominated by Wine Enthusiast for American Winery of the Year; Albino Rocca, where the youngest daughter now leads the 60-plus year old operation; and Bergevin Lane Vineyards, by Annette Bergevin, a fifth generation Walla Walla native, who says, “People shouldn’t be judged by who they love—who I love does not affect how your glass of cabernet sauvignon is going to taste.”

We’ll all drink—a glass of wine—to that.

More Stories

Spring Awakening

Something about spring makes me feel alive! Perhaps it’s because I was born on the first day of the season. It always gives me the feeling of a new beginning.

  • Mar.2022

All Wrapped Up

Diane von Furstenberg may be part of the American cultural fabric thanks to her famous dress, but for the designer–who will accept the 2022 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Leadership Award on March 11–feminism comes before fashion.

  • Mar.2022

For The Culture

Teen Vogue Executive Editor Danielle Kwateng and artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe are part of a new generation of Ghanaian creatives bringing their vision to the American cultural landscape.

  • Mar.2022

On the Inside

As entrepreneur Sade Awe prepares to welcome her luxury industry friends from around the world to the Inner Circle Experience in March, she shares with Luxeicon what makes Florence the perfect pick for this year’s gathering.

  • Mar.2022

Blade Runner

As Balenciaga’s newest boutique opens its doors at Tysons Galleria, Luxeicon looks at the knife-sharp rise of luxury brand, then and now.

  • Mar.2022

In the News

From a food critic’s seal of approval for Wafu Pizza to an inside look at DC’s newest cultural hub, catch up on these clips from TAA’s clients.

  • Mar.2022

In Town

From Chef Nick Stefanelli’s latest international outing to a celebration of Dior’s fearless, feminist creative director to the return of the city’s serene blooms, here’s everything that should be on your radar this spring in DC.

  • Mar.2022