Wine Bars Have Become the Rage in the US Capitol City

Written by admin on August 13, 2008 – 4:24 pm -

It’s not news in Paris. Residents or people passing through the City of Light usually visit (at the very least) one wine bar. They’re great places to taste selections of two or three wines without falling on your face. Knowledgeable bartenders will tell you a bit about what you’re drinking and if their English isn’t the best, your neighbor will fill in the linguistic gaps. And probably make a suggestion or two.

In addition, wine bars are ideal when it comes to meeting others. If nothing else, you have wine in common and that’s always worth discussing. If you speak zero French, Anglophones should head for Willie’s Wine Bar, Juveniles or Fish located in the 6th arrondissement at 69, Rue Seine (33 (0) 1 43 54 34 69. Expats own all three establishments and attract both English and French speakers.

But the trend has hit Washington big-time. Perhaps it’s because there are so many foreign tourists. Undoubtedly it’s “in” to appreciate wine and know something more about them and what you’re drinking. Long gone are the days when bottles of “plonk” (sp) are acceptable offerings. We can rejoice over no longer even being able to buy Ripple.

Wine bars (no matter where) always serve food. Some is basic cheese and meat platters. Other wine bars serve very very good food and frequently will offer food and wine “pairings.” Singles won’t feel alone bellying up to the bar. If they happen to meet someone with whom they want to spend the evening…. continuing their conversation about wine, all to the better.

In Paris, you’ll have a chance to improve your French. In DC, who knows, you might find yourself seated next to a high-powered lobbyist. No matter whether you’re a tourist or on business, you may find this an ideal way to spend some time while improving your palette.

A true wine bar should have a system for keeping wine fresh once the bottle is opened unless they’re doing a land-office business. There are many fancy systems that use gas now; several wine bars in Washington have them. Some don’t even require a bartender’s help since the client is issued a plastic card that records each wine pour. When you’re finished, you’ll be presented with a tab detailing each wine you’ve tasted.

This insures clients can sample fresh, light whites and expect the wines to taste as if they just came out of the cellar. At far too many wine bars, wines are simply re-corked. That isn’t a problem if the wine bars serve these open bottles very quickly. But too often, the bottles have not been poured quickly enough causing the wine to oxidize. Don’t hesitate to ask for another bottle to be opened. Remember, you’re the client.

Mark Kuller, a tax attorney who opened Proof, said he paid $50,000 for his Italian Enomatic system that dispenses 32 wines. These machines usually pay for themselves within months since they minimize wine spoilage.

There’s a new in-the-mode way to sample wine termed “flights” which generally are 2 ounce pours that cost less but give oeniphiles the opportunity to sample a group of wines that have something in common- maybe Sauvignon Blancs from around the world.

Please take note: Many tend to be noisy since even though the clients may worship wines (or want to know more about them) they are definitely not houses of prayer. All of below listed have dining rooms as well. Many offer bottles of wine at 50% on specific nights. It’s worth checking. Some of the establishments offer free tastings with a representative of the distributor presiding over the evening and being on hand to answer any or all questions.

3311 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC

Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar
1736 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Free WiFi

Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC

1720 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.

3238 Wisconsin Ave. NW,
Washington, DC
60 wine selections (predominantly American)

Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar
2917 M St. NW
Washington, DC

Proof Restaurant
“Wine is Proof that God Loves Us” by Benjamin Franklin
775 G Street NW
Washington, DC
(202) 737-4463

Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar
223 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Washington, DC
(202) 544-8088

Veritas Wine Bar.
2031 Florida Avenue NW
Washington, DC

1919 M. Street, NW
Washington, DC
202 659 1990

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