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Alan7147

Best Wine Store in the greater D.C. Area

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Even a formerly reliebale wine guy from another shop seems to have gotten a little full of himself since he's moved uptown. 

I was at CW yesterday and thought I saw the guy from Chevy Chase wines working there. Is this who you are referring to?

Nah, he was from Schneider's.

Isn't C-W downtown from C-C? :raz:


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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My experiences:

Total Wine (McLean): This is my go-to spot. Vast selection. Knowledgeable, non-snotty staff. Good prices, as has been mentioned before. Look for their coupons in Monday's Post A Section(if you're a GS-rated schlep like me). Occasionally they'll run a 4$ off per btl of Bordeaux (over 16$) - no limits.

Bell (M Street): It does smell funny in there (are those old corks I smell?). Great staff. I was in there every other day when I worked nearby. Nice California selections.

Adega (Next to Whole Foods in Silver Spring). Small but good selection. Not bad if you're in the area and need a bottle to go with dinner. Their stock was pretty low the last time I was in there, however. I hope that's not a bad sign.

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Does Wide World of Wines advertise on Monday? I don't recall ever seeing ads from them. How are there prices relative to the other usual suspects?

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Does Wide World of Wines advertise on Monday? I don't recall ever seeing ads from them. How are there prices relative to the other usual suspects?

No, they do not advertise. There prices are fair, somethings are better priced than others. The best bargins are found on Saturday's, when they taste wines, they always offer them at a sale price, and sometimes include some similar wines on sale as well. The strength of the store is in Rhone, Australia, Spain, Bordeaux (actually one of the largest sellers of 1st growth in the country) and Armanac. If there is something from any of these regions that you are looking for, they most likely have it. The Australian selection is one of the largest you will find outside of that country and includes some highly allocated wines.

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Wide World's real distinction is their champagne selection (at least most of the year--they blow out a lot in December/January and the stock lags for a couple of months). Boutique negociants and lots of growers, at reasonable prices.


Jake Parrott

Ledroit Brands, LLC

Bringing new and rare spirits to Washington DC.

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Wide World's real distinction is their champagne selection (at least most of the year--they blow out a lot in December/January and the stock lags for a couple of months).  Boutique negociants and lots of growers, at reasonable prices.

Completely agree, I went in around New Years Eve and they were having a sale....I cleaned house. Great stuff.

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Not that Total Wine is on the list of Best Wine Stores (it's the Crown Books of wine stores), but one will soon be opening in Annandale, in Pickett Shopping Center where the Zany Brainy used to be, saving local residents the odious schlep up Little River Turnpike to the Landmark store.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Not that Total Wine is on the list of Best Wine Stores (it's the Crown Books of wine stores), but one will soon be opening in Annandale, in Pickett Shopping Center where the Zany Brainy used to be, saving local residents the odious schlep up Little River Turnpike to the Landmark store.

Cheers,

Rocks.

C'mon Don, I'd at least give it the "Barnes and Noble" of wine stores. :rolleyes:


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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The reason it is the "Crown Books" of wine is because it was started by the Haft family, which owned Crown Books. Happily, they are no longer owned by the Hafts.

That Landmark location is a real pain in the ass to get into and out of. Actually, since it is across the freeway from Landmark, technically, it might already be in Annandale.

But I do most of my Totalling at the Sterling location.

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I'd like to chime in with Rodman's on upper Wisconsin Avenue. I know it's called a drug store but, they have a large, interesting wine selection, good prices, and knowledgeable and opinionated staff. Easy parking behind the store. This is the DC Rodman's, not Maryland.

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Adega (Next to Whole Foods in Silver Spring).  Small but good selection.  Not bad if you're in the area and need a bottle to go with dinner. Their stock was pretty low the last time I was in there, however.  I hope that's not a bad sign.

I like Adega too, but mainly because I LOVE their Turkey Reuben! :wub:

I think the selection has been low every time I'm in there; I've gotten some tasty stuff but usually it's kindof a crapshoot as to what they'll actually have on the shelf.


"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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(Note: When I lived in DC, I gave up on CW because no matter what I spent there, they were rude always; they were not at all nice to women, very chauvinistic in their attitude. Otherwise, I pretty much spread my purchasing around to the stores already mentioned, each good for different things.)

I fear telling you all my great secret...It is a hike for most of you all, but I HIGHLY recommend my new and only favorite wine store now, here in Anne Arundel County. Wine Cellars of Annapolis was opened about 3 years ago by Patrick Bouculat, formerly the best Mills Wine had working for them. Patrick is a Frenchman, with an exceptional palate. He has built a beautiful store with Preben Ostberg's financial help, creating a gorgeous store lined with barrels and racks. He regularly travels and also has quite a who's who visiting winemakers attending his tastings.

They have regular wine tastings, usually with 5 -7 wines, (used to be every Thurs and Sat, but those tastings turned into parties!) so now they have something everyday, with special theme tastings about once or twice a week. People mill around and chat, all very civilized and educational. At their tastings, for instance, they use Reidel stemware. They provide listings of their offerings to take notes on, along with cheeses, bread, sausages and other goodies at the tastings. (Nowyou can understand why it was a party late every Thur afternoon!)

Their strength, of course, is French, but they seek out all good wines, particularly the lesser known, but high quality wines. They last year had a special champagne cuvee (Ariston) developed and bottled for them, it is excellent.

As a matter of fact, this Saturday is a Bobby Kacher tasting. They regularly schedule wine dinners at restaurants and inns, like the Inn at Perry Cabin. They also hold private parties right there in the store (I have done one!).

The staff is helpful and experienced, and the shopping there a pleasure (no carts! just tell them what you want and they pick it up, carry, get cases etc.). It is a store you will love to linger in, and talk shop. Their prices are competitive, and they give discounts on everything. I regularly will walk in and buy a case of odds and ends to try, and they always give the case discount.

They also keep track of your purchases for you, and their checkout counter is wireless. It truly is a wonderful experience. Check out their website, all the different pages, and get on their email list. (Tell them Lee sent you!) I recommend an outing in your future.


Edited by simdelish (log)

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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This is the exact same formula which The Wine Cabinet uses in Reston and, my guess, that Arrowine, Cecile's and others may also use. Following is the e-mail which I received from The Wine Cabinet today, announcing much of the very same type of events that your store offers. (I am jealous! After almost 25 years of heavy travel I am ready to settle down and open my own wine shop. Someone beat me to it in Reston.) I should also add that I remember Mills from when my office was in Millersville and I would stop off in Annapolis on Friday evenings in the '80's.

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The Word on the Grapevine is that we are as excited as we can be that we DIDN'T get a foot of snow or more last week!! To say that we were puzzled about the outrage voiced toward the local weathercasters is an understatement. They only bat .200 anyway. Why would we expect 100% accuracy? And besides, you couldn't have gotten to the shop with all that snow and we would have been sooooo lonely without you!

Speaking of lonely... it's been 34 years that we've been lonely in the spring and summer without a major league ball club. Congrats to the Nats on winning their first Grapefruit League game. It ain't the World Series, but it sure does feel good!! If this continues, we may have a great reason to pop some Champagne come October!! (not to say that we couldn't now... or soon... or whenever!!!)

Speaking of spring, you should see the giftware!! We've been overrun with bunnies, dragonflies and frogs (this one frog is dying for you to scratch his belly!) The girls got carried away, but you can bail us out; there is someone in your circle of life who needs one of these animals.

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Contents

March 8 - Tuedays with Ted : Syrah, Shiraz...Sirrah!!

This Weekend's Tasting Table

March 13 - Fiore di Luna: Austrian Wine Dinner

March 12 - Art Uncorked

Saturday March 12 - Forgive the French!!

March 8 - Tuedays with Ted : Syrah, Shiraz...Sirrah!!

March 8 7PM Tuesday with Ted: at The Wine Cabinet Que Sera...Syrah…Shiraz... what ever! You get the idea, regardless of how you say it, spell it or sing it they’re packed full of flavor and is one of the world’s fastest growing varietals in popularity. This blind tasting will have you singing too!

March 29 7PM Tuesday with Ted: Big, Bad and Blind at The Wine Cabinet - That’s right, Cabernet Sauvignon will be on the docket without any information to influence your view. This blind tasting will put your palate first (as it should be!) and expensive marketing out the door.

Reservations are important. Each class is usually full. Call or Sign up at the shop; Classes begin at $30.

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This Weekend's Tasting Table

Come spend 15 minutes or an hour with us on friday evening or saturday afternoon. Relax, sip some vino, talk wine with friends and neighbors... maybe even buy some to take home (it's always 10% off on the Tasting Table!)

FRIDAY 5:00 - 8:00 pm

Hughes Beaulieu, Kysela Wines

Kysela has been bringing great wines to the Northern Virginia region for years. Does anyone know for just how long? This weekend will be no different. A wonderfully tasty Pinot Gris from Australia is just one of half a dozen we'll be sampling tomorrow evening.

SATURDAY 12:30 - 5:00

Bill McKenney, Michael Downey Wines

Michael Downey's palate was famous for his unerring selections. You can try six of the family's latest selections on Saturday and enjoy the knowledge and experiences of Bill McKenney at the same time. It's a relaxed saturday afternoon. We'll be looking forward to seeing you!

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March 13 - Fiore di Luna: Austrian Wine Dinner

Cocktail Hour from 6:00pm to 7:00pm: The Vintners will present a selection of their top wines (includes some amazing reds) as you enjoy passed appetizers Menu

Steininger Young Sekt 2003 (Sparkling Wine)

TERRIANA ALLA ORTELANA Grilled vegetable terrine, with marinated anchovies

Strauss Sauvignon Blanc Classic 2003

I PANZOTTI Panzotti filled with Burrata cheese, marinated eggplant Garnished with baby Arugula and black truffles

Tegernseerhof Riesling Terrassen 2003

LA ORATA Filet of Royal Dorade wrapped in pasta dough and chestnut zabaglione

Anton Bauer Grüner Veltliner Grande Reserve 2002

L’ANATRA DUE VOLTE Moulard Duck breast served over Duck confit bitter and sweet Chocolate

Leo Hillinger St. Laurent 2002

MASCARPONE GALBANI Mascarpone cheese, berries and rhubarb sauce

Steindorfer Eiswein Cuvee Klaus 2002

$85.00/guest (plus tax and gratuity) Please make your reservations by calling 703-668-9463

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March 12 - Art Uncorked

Art Uncorked" Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Wolf Trap Foundation and Broadway Gallery present "Art Uncorked," our second annual Art Auction and Wine Tasting event. The evening begins with a silent art auction at the Center for Education, with featured artists including Michael Godfrey, Sam Dixon, and Ken Strong.

Guests will have the opportunity to sample and purchase wines at discounted prices from Oasis Winery, E&J Gallo Winery, the Wine Cabinet, and others. A delicious buffet of food, prepared by Executive Chef Chris Faessen, will complement the evening's wine selection.

There will be an exciting raffle featuring artwork, fine wines, and travel for two on United Airlines. Raffle tickets may be purchased that evening at the door.

The evening continues with a lavish Dessert and Champagne Dance in the beautifully rustic Barns at Wolf Trap.

The proceeds from this event will benefit Wolf Trap's highly acclaimed Education Programs.

For more information about this event, please call Wolf Trap Special Events at (703) 255-4030, or send e-mail to rsvp@wolftrap.org.

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Saturday March 12 - Forgive the French!!

William- Harrison will be conducting a very special portfolio tasting from all of the most prominent regions of France. Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhone Valley. they have hand selected the finest in their cellars and brought them out to Reston for all of Northern Virginia to sample and evaluate.

In the past, this exceptional event was only held in DC. We are privledged to be able to host the principals and their staff as they offer some of the best French wines available in Northern Virginia.

From Noon until 6:00 pm. there will be no charge for your participation in this unique opportunity.

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Edited by Joe H (log)

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i'll never stray from schneider's on capitol hill.  knowledgeable staff (especially ron) and great deals.

I've always had good luck at Schneiders', well chosen selection, lack of pretense, a good time. Incidentally, Ron Brenner a great guy was also my baseball coach for little league


If he is thin, I will probably dine poorly. If he is both thin and sad, the only hope is in flight.”

Fernand Point

Cirrcle Bistro, Potato Peeler

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The Wine Seller in Herndon is a nice little shop.


"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

—George W. Bush in Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

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There are many, MANY nice little shops in our area. It is just a very real shame that municipalities such as Montgomery and Fairfax county have ordinances that mandate 50-50 food to liquor ratios which prevent the opening of the kinds of wine bars that you would typically find in Europe. There is an archaic belief that wine/liquor leads to ruination and anyone found in a wine bar is a lesser example of human life. Anyone operating a less distinguished establishment such as this is worthy of slurs and verbal assualt.

Yet, two weeks ago in Vienna, I found a rather therapeutic, welcoming back street invitation to a comfortable wine bar where I was seated next to two couples from Munich and a single female from Prague. All of them spoke English and over the next two hours, along with a host/owner who occasionally stirred the bolognese sauce for the hand made pasta he offered, we who sipped his wine and became friends. They were in town along with 2,000 others for the Waltz, I was in town for a tradeshow. The winebar brought us together.

This would not have happened in Reston.

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I agree with simdelish - it's a great place and the staff is very helpful. If you come in looking for a specific wine, they also suggest others that are similar for comparison. You can also get a taste of the wines that are reduced.


Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---

Brillat-Savarin

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While I stick with my recommendations earlier in the thread, it occurs to me that I haven't mentioned a couple of stores that I enjoy going to in addition. The first is The Curious Grape in Shirlington. Small selection but friendly, knowledgeable staff and most of the selections are not the mass market stuff you see in a lot of places. They seem to put a good deal of thought into their inventory and the prices are good as well. The other store is a store that may be more for wine novices but I still like to check it out. It is a chain called Best Cellars - I usually go to the one in Clarendon but there is one in Dupont as well - friendly staff, usually good knowledge, great prices and definitely interesting selections.


"See these? American donuts. Glazed, powered, and raspberry-filled. Now, how's that for freedom of choice."

-Homer Simpson

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I'll second Best Cellars :smile:

They have a nice little bottle of Vinho Verde there that we often stock up on (nice, light, and $7 a bottle...how can you go wrong?), and their champagne selection's enjoyable, too. The staff, as mentioned, is always friendly and helpful, and the prices are nice!

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Best Cellars is to proper wine shops as Benigan's is to a proper Irish pub. I walk past one three times a week to buy wine from a small shop where the buying decisions are made by someone who loves wine rather than the Head Office, and who, when asked, will tell you that something sucks, rather than accessing the corporate cue card in his cerebellum to tell you that it "goes with roast and game."


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I am not a big wine drinker/buyer. Usually only a bottle/week between my husband and me. However, I have to say that I have always received good service from CW. I live on the eastern shore and order a case of Bordeaux futures every year. I like to do this b/c CW allowed you to purchase half bottles for only $30 more per case (24 bottles instead of 12). Last year I got full bottles b/c we split 2 cases with another couple so I hope that it's still true that you can order 1/2 bottles. Anyway, one year CW messed up and said my wine was in, when in fact, they only had the full bottles. I drove in only to be told they weren't in. Tom (can't remember his last name) called the next time and when I went to pick them up, he gave me 3 full bottles of wines that he liked to make up for my wasted trip the previous time.

I also have never had a problem w/parking. Someone always helps me carry the wine out to my car too. (Not that I need it.)

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Not that Total Wine is on the list of Best Wine Stores (it's the Crown Books of wine stores), but one will soon be opening in Annandale, in Pickett Shopping Center where the Zany Brainy used to be, saving local residents the odious schlep up Little River Turnpike to the Landmark store.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Interestingly, Total Wine has some incredible prices on wines in New Jersey. From time to time when I drive up to visit my folks in NY, I'll stop off at one of the stores outside NYC and load up on several cases, often for 20% - 25% less than I'd pay around here. That can't all be taxes, can it?

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Best Cellars is to proper wine shops as Benigan's is to a proper Irish pub.  I walk past one three times a week to buy wine from a small shop where the buying decisions are made by someone who loves wine rather than the Head Office, and who, when asked, will tell you that something sucks, rather than accessing the corporate cue card in his cerebellum to tell you that it "goes with roast and game."

True, yet I'd argue that Best Cellars -- and even Bennigan's -- has a place. I would never trade my time at Arrowine for that at BC, but when I know what I want, and I know how much it should cost, and where I can find it for that price, I see no point in avoiding such a source. In addition, in my experiences with BC, I've been able to get reasonable advice from the staff -- certainly I've not had anyone who appeared to be regurgitating the corporate line.

In my opinion, BC is a clean, friendly place that offers decent wines at a nice price.

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State Line Wines, 1/2 mile off of I 95 in Elkton is the highest volume and largest liquor store in Maryland. In the past Philadelphia Magazine has awarded it the title of best wine store in the greater Philadelphia area, affectionately calling it "Smuggler's Wines." It's worth a stop. It's large, the overall building is the size of a large Total including their warehouse. The floor area where wines are shown is about half the size of Total's but my guess is that this place competes with Calvert Woodley for volume since it has been called one of America's 10 highest volume stores in years past. Prices vary but overall are very competitive. Selection is awesome. This is also the store that ends up with severely allocated wine when no one else in the state of Maryland gets it.

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State Line Wines, 1/2 mile off of I 95 in Elkton is the highest volume and largest liquor store in Maryland.  In the past Philadelphia Magazine has awarded it the title of best wine store in the greater Philadelphia area, affectionately calling it "Smuggler's Wines." It's worth a stop.

Wow, talk about a blast from the past! I grew up in Newark DE and this is where my family would get all their booze. It's called "State Line" because it sits just this side of the state border with Delaware -- I'm not sure if Delaware's liquor laws are more restrictive than Maryland, but this is definitely the most popular place in the area to go.

It is a VERY easy stop off I-95; get off at the Newark/Elkton exit (I think it's exit 109?) & follow the ramp for Newark. This will put you on Elkton Rd heading north, State Line is a couple stoplights up on the right. On a good day you can be there 90 minutes after leaving DC.

I guess I will have to stop by on my next visit to my parents :cool: I didn't realize it was so "prestigious" (best in Philly and all that, whaddya know)


Edited by EllenH (log)

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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