Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

DC Wine Week: DC Wine Bars

Sometimes you want a glass of wine and your own lAzEbOi chair, and sometimes you want to put on some red lipstick and have someone else wash your wineglass.   In honor of DC Wine Week, here are my favorite places to go out and get a glass of vino around the area:

Photo taken from washingtonian.com/ Photo taken by Brian Liu/ToolboxDC

Cork (1720 14th Street, NW)- A true wine bar.  Exposed brick and little outside two-toppers, a knowledgeable and pleasant wait staff.  This would make for an intimate date spot or a perch from which to people-watch with your sister over a bottle of dry rose.  (Guess which situation I’m still waiting on.)*


Photo taken from Estadio website

Estadio (1520 14th Street, NW)—a tapas restaurant with fantastic food and all Spanish wines.  They serve their vino in stemless whiskey glasses which makes it feel homey.


Photo taken from Bodega Website

Bodega (3116 M Street, NW)— This tapas restaurant is smack in the middle of M Street, a place near and dear to my heart and my work.  This is one of only a handful of restaurants I’d recommend right in the heart of Georgetown, because it is neither mediocre or a chain, like many M Street eateries.  It has a great happy hour and I come here for the sangria because it is chock-full of fruit and not syrupy sweet.


Photos taken from Cheesetique website. Photography courtesy of John Herring.

Cheesetique (2411 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, VA) — this place needs to get a better name, as it sounds like a spin-off of Cracker Barrel.  It is actually a super cute little shop that sells things like slate cheeseboards and spiced quince preserves and has a restaurant in the back.  I once went here with a wine-and-cheese-loving friend and it was so fun to have the opportunity to actually test out lauded “wine-and-cheese” pairings.



Photo taken from 1905 website

1905 (1905 9th Street, NW) You might feel as though you are trespassing into someone’s apartment, but once you emerge from the staircase you’ll understand why 1905 is so special. The brick walls and draped ceilings makes this secret spot incredibly intimate (and dare I say, even sexy). Plus the wine list is extensive and the bartender puts a lot of thought into making sure you like what he’s pouring for you.**


Photo taken from DC Wine Week's Facebook Page. Photo by Justin Gutwein.

Vinoteca (1940 11th Street, NW) A wine bar with bocce. Do I really have to say more? With indoor and outdoor seating, the servers are knowledgable and friendly. Plus for a really special time, bring an unsuspecting friend on a Sunday night when you’ll be treated to a flamenco show as well. Plus all Spanish and South America wines are half price! Olé!

Happy wine-ing!

~c & a

*Going here tonight to celebrate Allie’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLIE!!!
**Shout out to our friends Liz and Tim for bringing us to one of their favorite spots.


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Speaking of Malbecs…

This is my go to cheap one. At my local wine store it is approximately $10, at Trader Joes it is about $9 and (drum roll please….) I bought it yesterday at Whole Foods  for $7.99!

~ c

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DC Wine Week: Malbec


Malbec after a bike ride? Don't mind if I do...

Malbec: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”

I studied abroad in Argentina and became (too) well-acquainted with Malbec, the predominant wine export from the country.  I can’t say much about many types of wine, but I love the flavor and versatility Malbec.  It is robust without the heaviness of some other reds.  It tastes like plums and blackberries exploding in your mouth and works well with both steak and lighter meals.  Like South American wines tend to be, it is relatively inexpensive, great for a girl with lofty aspirations of sophistication and a thin little wallet.





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Do you consider yourself an oenophile? Do you often have stained lips or teeth at the end of a cocktail party? Do you buy Two Buck Chuck because it is all you can afford? However deep your love of wine goes, I have something for you that you won’t want to miss.  
DC Wine Week is DC’s first ever week long celebration of one of my favorite things in the world… wine. From local wineries, to wine bars, shops and restaurants with the best wine lists, this week DC will host a myriad of themed events, tastings, menu pairings and special offers.
Along with the great events of the week, we’ll be focusing on wine ourselves. Where are the cheapest places to buy wine? Best happy hours? Plus we’ll disclose some of DC’s hidden gems…

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I’m headed back to NYC this weekend for some wedding dress shopping (!!!!) and I am SO excited to be back in my old stomping grounds. Friday night it will be just me and my mom, so I wanted to take her out someplace cool to show off how awesome, hip and New Yorky I can be. We’ll be staying in Chelsea (I was more of an East Side New Yorker), so I’m not as familiar with the neighborhood restaurants. Then I remembered this great Spanish wine bar that an old coworker took me to, El Quinto Pino ,(the sister restaurant to Tia Pol) right before I moved to DC.

While we were there we split a fantastic bottle of wine. So great in fact, that I took a photo of it with my cell phone so that I would remember it for future wine purchasing purposes.

Lo and behold, a few weeks later I saw it for about $10 at my local wine shop! $10!?!?!? We paid more than $40 at the restaurant! I mean yeah, I understand mark ups, but that is kind of absurd. The silver lining though is that I can now enjoy this spicy, light, dry Tempranillo/ Syrah blend any day of the week!

P.S. The wine may have been over priced, but the food, ambiance and company more than made up for that.

P.P.S. I also snapped this photo of the decor. I want antler lamps in my house pronto.

~ c

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Cupcake is a frou-frou word. Cupcake wine sounds like something you’d serve at a bridal shower, or give to a friend who just broke up with her boyfriend. But Cupcake Wine is legit.

Wine-Down Wednesday: Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc

DC has been unbearably hot this summer, but this past week the weather has been quite beautiful. Tonight we went up to our unfinished roof and watched the sunset with a glass of wine. This wine is particularly good with an appetizer of cheese, crackers and grapes or with a seafood dinner. Especially a rich seafood dish like lobster risotto. However it is equally as delicious sipped alone on a tar roof catching up with your fiance.

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Wednesday is a good day to talk about wine.

#1. You are more than 1/2 way through the week. You deserve a glass!
#2. You still have 2 days left of work. You need a glass.
#3. Thinking about good wine prepares for to make weekend decisions quickly. What kind of wine should I bring to my friend’s housewarming party? What kind of wine should I serve at my dinner tonight? What kind of wine will taste best with Father of the Bride and my couch on Friday night? (note wine is always the a given, what KIND is the question)

So to start off this blog we will begin with the first Wine-Down Wednesday where each week we will show you all a great, cheap bottle of wine that has been thoroughly, scientifically taste tested by yours truly and friends.

Wine-Down Wednesday: Red Diamond Merlot

Normally I am not a fan of Merlot. I’m not sure why, but something about it just doesn’t grab my tastebuds. However this juicy, warm, deep flavor is perfect with food or on its own. PLUS at Trader Joes (and the Korean market down the street) it is always less than $10! I tend to always have a bottle of this on hand and whenever people try it they say “Wow, this is Merlot? It doesn’t taste like Merlot.. It’s super juicy!”.

Now some oenophiles might say that a juicy Merlot is just fermented Juicy-Juice, but I say hell to the nay-sayers. If it tastes good, it tastes good.

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