By DANIELLE PETERS
Although Kybecca may sound like the name of a wine or a cool city, it is actually the hybridization of owners Kyle and Rebecca Snyder. In the years that they have been open, Rebecca Snyder’s brother Matt Thomas has joined them as a third owner.
“My brother Matt joined us as a partner last year, so it’s, like, all in the family,” Snyder said.
The first thing I noticed as I entered the Kybecca Wine Bar and store was the beautiful organization of hundreds of wine bottles, the friendly staff, and the relaxed yet upbeat jazz music playing throughout the store.
While waiting for a table, an employee provided a tour of Kybecca’s specialty store, offered assistance to any questions, then escorted my party and me to the wine bar inside to sample from its large selection of wines.
Served at the tables alone are three pages of wines, starting at $18 for a bottle of red Kybecca Malbec from Argentina and going as high as $170 per bottle of red Exile Colonial Estate 2002 from Australia.
They also offer a great selection of wines by the glass for as low as $7 each. The most popular wine is their red Uvaggio Barbera.
Although Kybecca is mainly a wine bar, the establishment serves many types of beer by the glass.
According to Snyder, their most popular draft is the Eggenberg Pilsiner, which she described as a crisp, light beer.
“I always like to say it tastes like Heineken, only fresher and better,” Snyder joked.
I chose to try their rose wine of the J. Mourot Collection from the Loire Valley in France ($7/glass). It is the perfect wine for those looking for a milder red. The J. Mourot is light and crisp, has a fruity aftertaste, and works well with most any course and flavor.
While the store itself has a relaxing atmosphere, the patio tables lining the store’s front windows let customers dine on Fredericksburg’s historic William St. and enjoy the hustle and bustle of downtown air.
Opening May 22, the patio, complete with a cool mist for summer and infrared heaters for chilly nights, is a new edition to Kybecca. What originally started as a wine store in March 2005 is in the process of becoming a true wine bar. In about a month, an actual restaurant will open in the space beside the shop, and the menu will house over 32 wines by the glass, as well as an expansive selection of foods.
With the plans for a full wine bar still in the making, the current kitchen is a small working area in the basement of the store, so the current menu’s selections are limited.
Still, there is something for everyone. Each menu item complements the wine bar’s main focus-its wines.
With such a small menu, I was surprised by the plentiful vegetarian options. I started with the Goat Cheese Salad ($8). With frisée lettuce and citrus vinaigrette, the goat cheese mixture wrapped in roasted red peppers made me want another bowl. The soft texture melted in the mouth, and the accompanying toasted bread on the edge was not only a pretty garnish but also brought out the salad’s flavors.
I accompanied my salad with the House Pincholine and Catalan Olives ($6). The small, light green pincholine olives had a distinct citrus taste from the orange juice marinade but were otherwise mild. The Catalans were large, bitter olives bursting with the taste of different spices. The strong kick of an after taste made them an unquestionable favorite.
The menu also includes plates of cheeses and meats meant to accompany specific types of wines. The plates range in price from $9 to $14. My table chose the White Wine Cheese plate, which included four types of cheese, baguette and crackers, and a quince paste ($12). The quince is a fruit paste that offsets many cheeses’ bitter flavors. The five-spoke tumbleweed grass-fed cheddar was delicious.
My dining partner, junior John Smith, enjoyed the Brie and quince paste.
“It made a good texture in your mouth and nothing was overpowering anything else,” Smith said.
Goat cheese and Everona Valley Camembert were the other two cheeses, both made locally in Virginia.
Smith chose the Lobster salad with Fresh Mint and Lime ($10). Served on a bed of greens with a house goat cheese, Snyder said this was Kybecca’s most popular dish.
Smith felt the truffled cheese “overshadowed everything else in the salad.”
“The lobster was delicious and surprisingly filling,” he said.
Kybecca’s “Sweets” was the night’s final course. The selections include many pastry and pound cake-type desserts, most of which suggest a suitable wine accompaniment. Although I found the Pound Cake Panino with Nutella and Fresh Strawberries ($5) a little bland, it was a very light dessert that fit perfectly with my final sips of wine.
A future addition to this Fredericksburg wine bar will be Enomatics, a new way for people, especially wine novices, to try many wines. These large dispensers are custom-made in Italy and keep wine fresh for more than a month.
Snyder is very excited with the upcoming equipment.
“It’s a fun interactive way to experience wine, and it also lets us put bottles in there we might not otherwise do by the glass because they might be pricier options or rarer options,” she said.
Especially at sunset, Kybecca’s wine bar and patio has a calm and relaxing environment that is a perfect atmosphere to enjoy with someone special or to relax with friends.
The store samples wines on Fridays from 4 p.m. to close and Saturday from noon to close. On Friday, they also have a beer sampling from noon to 2 p.m.