Tuesday, April 29, 2008


This is a reminder that tomorrow night Modern Liquors at 1200 9th Street NW (Mount Vernon Square Metro stop) will be hosting its weekly wine and cheese tasting. As an added bonus, fresh-baked bread from Divine Cravings will also be served. Boutique Vineyards wines uncorked tomorrow will be:

  • Raoul’s Willow Tree White
  • Raoul’s Old Basket Red
  • DeMeye Steel Chard
  • DeMeye Little River Cab/Shiraz
  • Hillcrest Sauvignon Blanc
Many local businesses now feature regular wine tastings. If the fruit of the vine is your thing, try these free events:
  • Tastings at Bell's Wine & Spirits (2000 1800 block of M Street, NW, Farragut North Metro stop). Join the mailing list at their website to stay on top of the myriad monthly tastings, lectures, and dinners. This month they are featuring Spanish wines.
  • Cork at 1720 14th Street (U Street/Cardozo Metro stop), NW hosts periodic tastings. Sign up for the newsletter on their website or view their events web page here.
  • Best Cellars at 1643 Connecticut Avenue, NW (Dupont Metro stop, north exit) holds tastings periodically. I would give you the schedule if they would post it on their website. Walk by on a warm evening on your way to/from Dupont and, if you're lucky, they'll be pouring.
There are a number of wine bars where you can get flights (several small pours of wines to taste). A few to try:
  • Bardeo (3311 Connecticut Avenue, NW at the Cleveland Park Metro stop)
  • Veritas (2031 Florida Avenue, NW on the northwest corner of Connecticut and Florida, Dupont Metro stop, north exit)
  • Vinoteca (1940 11th Street, NW at the corner of 11th and U Streets, U Street/Cardozo Metro stop)
For a very fun wine tasing experience, try a country's native varietals at their embassy. The International Club of DC holds wine-related events several times during the year. Wine-themed evenings this past winter included a wine and food tasting at the Austrian Embassy as well as a Valentine's Day party with open bar at the French Embassy. Get on the mailing list to be alerted to the next events.

If you will be drinking — even a little bit — please consider using the Metro stops above to travel to your destination. While you're at it, encourage your friends to do the same, especially if they would otherwise be getting on the road to Maryland or Virginia.


Brian said...

Just want to chime in on Vinoteca. My girlfriend and I went there two weeks ago on a Friday. Pretty uncrowded (which was nice) for about 7 pm. But have to say that the food and wine were both unimpressive.

I'm not a wine snob by any stretch, but I know a good one vs. a bad one. We had to send one back, it was well on its way to vinegar; and the others were nothing to write home about.

The charcuterie and cheese first course was ridiculously small, I can go to Jaleo and get larger meat and cheese plates for cheaper.

The main courses were uninspired as well.

The place has got an interesting ambiance, give it a try if you are in the neighborhood. But I'd like to hear what other people think.

14th & You said...

Truthfully, I don't go to Vinoteca for the food. I'm just a picky eater, and most of the menu items don't appeal to my tastes. I will, however, highly endorse the sliders.

The restaurant is a little pricier. Then again, many of the wine focussed establishments in DC are close in price for both food and wine. Maybe the portion sizes are smaller at Vinoteca. I'm not sure.

To be fair, wine can be "corked" at any restaurant. About 10% of bottles go bad before they are even opened. This is why you are usually given a chance to taste the wine before the server pours a full glass. On the other hand, sometimes a bottle goes to vinegar while sitting open over days before your glass is poured -- not acceptable.

I've liked the wines I've had there, but it could just be because my preferences are similar to the tastes of the person who makes the menu selections.