With the holidays quickly approaching, Borderstanis (Borderstanites? Borderstaners? anyway…) are sure to be busy hosting friends and family, preparing large dinners and of course, drinking.
I’m typically a beer drinker, but there is just something about the holidays that calls for a good bottle of wine. It can be shared around the table, pairs well with the heavy, rustic meals of fall and makes for a nice time staying in on a cold winter night (after all, no one gets romantic with a bottle of IPA or a Jack and Coke).
That’s why I’ve put together a list of my six go-to wine shops in the Borderstan area. Not only do we have an awesome selection of wine stores in our area, but they all have much more than just great wine, including sandwiches, bar bites and even some wine tasting/cooking classes. I am by no means a wine expert, so I won’t embarrass myself by trying to list out specific bottles below (although I’ve been told that you can get bang for your buck trying out wines from lesser known regions and more obscure vineyards). Rather, I suggest you go into one these spots and spark up a conversation with the staff, letting them choose the perfect bottle for you.
The top six you should be visiting this holiday season are:
- De Vinos – Located in between Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, De Vinos is known for its awesome beer selection, but don’t miss out on the store’s array of wines from across the globe. Separated by country, De Vinos has wines of every type, and a staff that is knowledgeable enough to help you with any questions. Be sure to check out its two for $20 deals on specially selected wines.
- AM Wine Shoppe – First and foremost, I need to mention the amazing sandwiches this place has. They are incredible (perhaps because it’s owned by the same people as neighborhood favorite, Cashion’s Eat Place). Next time you go, grab an AdMorghese (get it?). It’s like a hopped-up Italian. AM’s wine selection consists of old world wines (mostly European) that often fall within the $10 to $20 range. For those of you looking to impress your guests, AM hosts wine tastings, cooking classes and a monthly wine subscription club. Find out more about the schedule on its site.
- Cork Market – Cork Market is the marketplace storefront for the popular Cork Wine Bar in Logan Circle. Cork’s wine selection includes all of the bottles that are sold across the street at its popular restaurant, but also expands on that list to include some new-world varieties. Cork Market’s non-wine selection is also a hidden gem, with sandwiches, charcuterie, cheeses, and Stumptown coffee. Make sure to try their award-winning fried chicken (seriously, Bon Appetit called it one of the top 10 fried chicken’s in the country) and check out the website for information on wine tastings and classes.
- Batch 13 – New to the neighborhood Batch 13 is another spot that is as rich in abbey ales as it is in big, pleasing red wines. Batch 13 is a two-floor wine, beer and spirits emporium on 14th Street in Logan Circle. With plans for a rooftop bar, expect great tastings and events form this spot in the future.
- Dupont Market – My local go-to for everything and anything that I need, including a quick bottle of wine, a sandwich or a pint of ice cream (we all have those nights). Dupont Market has a good selection of reasonably priced wines. But most importantly, they have the Humberto. On my all-star team of sandwiches, the Humberto is the wiry, old veteran who may not have the brains or the brawn of the others, but always comes through in the clutch.
- Cork and Fork – At 1522 14th Street NW, Cork and Fork has an impressive offering of wines, organized by region. Dominque offered us a few obscure finds and was full of information and descriptions for each, a far cry from the usual intimidating wine connoisseur. Cork and Fork is getting ready to offer free tastings and wine classes.