by Tim Regan April 14, 2016 at 10:45 am 0

DC Wine Fest photo via DC Wine FestWe’ve had a “CannaShow” and a chocolate festival, and now, we’re set to have a wine festival.

Reds and whites from the “best wineries” will flow in near-unlimited quantities at an art gallery in Shaw this Saturday during the spring installment of the DC Wine Fest.

Guests at the Long View Gallery (1234 9th St. NW) can sample varietals from producers such as Constellation, Muse Vineyards and Santa Margherita while nibbling on lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound, oysters from Proshuckers and rice bowls, burritos and tacos from South Meets East.

Though the $29 general admission tickets have already sold out, some $60 VIP tickets are still available.

Photo via DC Wine Fest

by Tim Regan December 17, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Adams Morgan Starbucks

The Starbucks at 1801 Columbia Rd. NW in Adams Morgan is on track to serve beer and wine by January, said employees at the store this afternoon.

Regulators with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board approved the Adams Morgan coffee shop’s liquor license application yesterday.

Filed in October, the liquor license application was part of a push to serve beer and wine at 10 Starbucks locations across the District.


by Tim Regan December 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

Wydown Window, photo via Facebook / TheWydownCustomers who frequent The Wydown (1924 14th St. NW) may soon be able to get a different kind of buzz there.

According to a new filing with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), the coffee bar’s owners have applied for a restaurant liquor license. If the license is approved, co-owner Alex McCracken said he’d like to assemble a small drink menu.

“One or two reds, one or two whites, a couple beers. … probably one or two house cocktails and maybe a punch,” McCracken said. “It’s not going to be a full bar. We don’t have room for that.”

McCracken added that the goal isn’t to compete with other 14th Street bars. Instead, he said he’d like to make the coffee shop a quiet place where customers can chat while enjoying a beer or a glass of wine.

“Most of the places on 14th are great and fun but they’re not really sit-with-a-friend-and-chat [places],” he said. “It gets a little crazy.”

Though The Wydown currently closes at 9 p.m., McCracken said he’d like to start closing at 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on the weekends.

The coffee bar will likely not begin serving alcohol until at least next spring, McCracken said.

Photo via Facebook / TheWydown

by Tim Regan November 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm 0

A Mediterranean market in Dupont now carries something its customers have long thirsted for: beer and wine from Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

Customers can now purchase bottles of Keo beer from Cyprus, Turkish brew Efes and Greek Naoussa Xinomavro from Mediterranean Way Gourmet Market, located at 1717 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Husband and wife owners Niko and Oana Adamopoulos assembled the beer and wine list with help from Niko’s experience as a wine consultant in Greece, the according to a press release.

Mediterranean Way first opened its doors in 2013. In addition to beer and wine sourced from its namesake, the market also sells olive oil, balsamic vinegar and refrigerated deli products.

by Sean Meehan October 14, 2015 at 1:15 pm 0

Starbucks on Connecticut AveThe number of D.C. Starbucks seeking to sell alcohol is growing.

Starbucks has submitted liquor license applications to serve beer and wine at five additional D.C. locations this week, including locations in Shaw and Adams Morgan.

This week’s applications brings the total number of District Starbucks looking to serve alcohol to 10. Last week, the company applied to serve beer and wine at locations in Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Chevy Chase and downtown.

The locations that were added to the list of applicants this week are:

  • 815 O St. NW (Shaw)
  • 3416 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Cleveland Park)
  • 1000 H St. NW (downtown)
  • 237 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (Capitol Hill)
  • 1801 Columbia Rd. NW (Adams Morgan)

A Starbucks spokesperson told us via e-mail last week that the push for alcoholic drinks is part of the company’s new “Starbucks Evening” service, which also includes a small plate menu.

Though the spokesperson did not say what might be on tap, a sample menu shows the coffee chain may serve red, white and sparkling wines by the bottle and glass and “craft beer.” Menus vary by region, meaning it’s possible the stores could serve local beer and wine

Small plate possibilities include truffle mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, chicken skewers and truffle popcorn.

by Tim Regan October 6, 2015 at 10:10 am 0

Starbucks on Connecticut AveIt may soon be possible to order something more potent than coffee at five D.C. Starbucks locations.

A recent public hearing notice for new liquor license applications shows that Starbucks seeks to serve beer and wine at five locations in Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Chevy Chase and downtown. The company also applied for liquor licenses in Arlington and Reston.

If the applications are approved, the following locations would serve alcohol:

  • 443 7th St. NW
  • 1700 Connecticut Ave. NW
  • 5500 Connecticut Ave. NW
  • 1810 Wisconsin Ave. NW
  • 1301 Connecticut Ave. NW

A Starbucks spokesperson said via e-mail that the push for alcoholic drinks is part of the company’s new “Starbucks Evenings” service, which also includes a small plate menu.

Though the spokesperson did not say what might be on tap, a sample menu shows the coffee chain may serve red, white and sparkling wines by the bottle and glass and “craft beer.” Menus vary by region, meaning it’s possible the stores could serve local beer and wine. Small plate possibilities include truffle mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, chicken skewers and truffle popcorn.

by Tim Regan August 28, 2015 at 11:10 am 0

Italian restaurant Odeon Cafe (1714 Connecticut Ave. NW) is changing its name and its menu.

Odeon’s general manager, Ben Triano, says the restaurant will become Madrid, a Spanish eatery with tapas, paella and a sangria bar, after the Labor Day holiday.

Last night, the eatery unveiled a portion of its new menu during a tasting party. The menu — which Triano stresses is just a taste of things to come — included fried calamari and paprika aioli, puff pastries stuffed with pepper marmalade and chorizo and a smattering of Spanish wines.

Triano says that the restaurant will be closed during the second week of September to train staffers, switch up the menu and finalize the interior renovations.

“We’re going to close for one week and reveal the final touch-ups,” Triano says. “We’re very excited.”

by February 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0


Wine and dine in February at two local wine shops. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT] 

February is the month that seems to drag on longer than Sunday’s Super Bowl. But keeping busy with activities and happy hours is one way to make the middle of winter fly by. Two local wine spots are organizing wine education classes to broaden your grape knowledge and keep you warm, from the inside out.

So whether you’re looking to impress at the next cocktail party or just want to know why you like two-buck-chuck so much, Cork & Fork and Cork Market & Tasting Room have the answers.

Cork & Fork

  • Throughout the month of February, Cork & Fork (1522 14th Street NW) is offering a series of wine education classes, such as its French Wines Seen by a Parisian class on February 7, a Valentine’s Day Wines class on February 14, a Blind Tasting class on February 21 and a Shiraz versus Zinfandel class on February 28.
  • All events are from 7 until 9 pm and include food pairings. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information call 202-588-5766.
  • Cork & Fork also offers free wine tastings on Fridays from 5 until 7 pm and on Saturdays from 2 until 7 pm.

Cork Market & Tasting Room

  • Cork Market & Tasting Room will also offer classes in February to teach participants the fundamentals of wine, such as the differences in types of grapes, styles and regions.
  • The next class takes place on Saturday, February 9 at the 14th Street location (1805 14th Street NW). At this class, participants will learn about the different styles regions of wine, as well as how to pair wine with food.
  • Each class is approximately 90 minutes and is $50. Below is more information on the details of each class.

Wine Fundamentals: Compare Old and New World
In this class, tasters will: 

  • Learn to compare different wine styles by grape, region, wine making process.
  • Explore how to use your senses to detect more subtle notes in a wine and be able to describe them.
  • Delve into the philosophy behind food and wine pairing. Learn more about grape varietals and their differences.
  • Saturday, February 9: 2 until 3:30 pm; Contact [email protected] to sign up!

Wine Fundamentals: Food and Wine Pairing
In this class, tasters will: 

  • Discern subtle differences between the wines tasted throughout the series.
  • Analyze a wine’s components and how these relate to food.
  • Taste wine with food to discover how different flavors work together.
  • Put all the knowledge from this series together to confidently pair wine with food and plan a dinner with wine pairings.
  • Saturday, February 16: 2 until 3:30 pm; Contact [email protected] to sign up!

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by November 19, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,684 0


Some of the wine options for Thanksgiving. (Melanie Hudson)

From Melanie Hudson. Email her at melanie[AT] 

Thanksgiving seems to have come a little early this year. Suddenly we shifted into high gear, running all over Borderstan buying cinnamon scented pine cone decorations, counting how many place settings we actually have and asking strangers on the street how big of a turkey to buy for eight people (12 to 14 pounds). What is likely still on most of our to-do lists, however, is shopping for wine for the big meal. Whether you are the host or the guest, don’t show up empty handed and leave the wine choices to your neighbor’s friend’s boyfriend’s cousin. This year, get it right.

We asked Borderstan wine guy Bobby Kim, owner of Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor (1529 Connecticut Avenue NW) for his recommendations on the perfect Thanksgiving pairings. Situated on the north side of the Dupont Circle metro stop, the convenience factor and his extensive selection of affordable wines (and craft beers) make it unnecessary to look any further than local. Plus, he is open late.

Here are seven perfectly-paired bottles of wine for Thanksgiving that will ensure thanks from your guests and accolades from your hosts. Happy Thanksgiving, Borderstan!

  • 2012 Las Perdices Viognier (Mendoza, Argentina) $13.99Viognier is a must. Unlike French Viogniers, American and South American varieties are not overly dry. This wine is full of character and fruit and complements a traditional Thanksgiving menu – and probably even a tofurkey one, too. Plus, the price is right.
  • 2011 Domaine Pichot Coteau de la Biche Vouvray Sec (Loire Valley, France) $17.99. This wine is a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Vouvray is traditionally creamy, but Vouvray Sec is dryer and great with food. This is an option for those tempted to buy Sauvignon Blanc, which does not pair well with a Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing.
  • 2011 Frog’s Leap La Grenouille Rouganté Rosé (Napa Valley, California) $21.99. Just because summer is over does not mean you need to put away the rosé. In fact, this wine, described as gravelly with a crisp acidity, goes particularly well with heartier food. Made from Zinfindel and Valdiguie (aka Napa Gamay), it is a more complex wine and your palette will be rewarded.
  • 2009 Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir (Coteaux du Verdon, France) $14.99. The well-known French Burgundy producer Louis Latour makes this Pinot Noir in southwestern France but in the mold of new-world style Sonoma and Russian River Valley Pinots – meaning, fuller-bodied, lush and fruit forward compared to the traditional lighter French Pinots. This Pinot is a good choice for Thanksgiving as it pairs well with the food but is not heavy, and it is imminently drinkable.
  • 2010 Domaine de Chateaumar Cuvée Bastien Cotes du Rhone (Southern Rhone Valley, France) $19.99. This wine is a clean, full-bodied red that is the opposite of Pinot Noir. It is 100% Grenache, which is unique, and opens up as it breathes. This wine pairs well with rich flavors and will provide a good complement to the heaviness of the mashed potatoes and gravy.
  • 2010 Sass Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon) $23.99. For many, Oregon Pinot Noir is a love-it-or-hate-it proposition, but this particular choice is elegant, not as fruity, and slightly dry – a complete balance. Sass is a boutique winery with smaller productions, which means you will get a little more character than name recognition, and at a slightly higher price.  But, with its earthy and silky qualities, this versatile wine may be the all-around perfect match for Thanksgiving.

Tell us your picks for Thanksgiving wines in the comments below!

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by November 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,084 0

From Laetitia Brock. Email her at laetitia[AT] You can follow her at @FrenchTwistDC and on her own blog, French twist DC.


Domaine Manoir Du Carra. (Laetitia Brock)

The French have a love-hate relationship with Beaujolais Nouveau because, well, let’s face it, it’s not really good. Also, it gives you a very bad hangover if you drink too much of it. And drinking too much of it is very easy since it has very little depth and goes down a little too quickly.

I’ve learned that the hard way over many Beaujolais release parties at Bistrot du Coin on Connecticut Avenue. But it’s still fun to celebrate. I mean, it is after all the first French wine to be released for each vintage year.

Part of the fun is the regulation. In a very successful example of Gallic lobbying (yes, the French lobby, too… but only for really important things, like wine) by a group of winemakers in the 50’s, you can only uncork a bottle of this vin primeur on the third Thursday of November. Or at the stroke of midnight on that Wednesday.

The Beaujolais Region

So every year, at this time, drinkers’ attention turns to the otherwise little-known wine producing region of Beaujolais and to its most celebrated wine. And really, it’s a pity, because there’s so much more to Beaujolais than Nouveau. Beaujolais is gamay country, a grape known for its soft and fruity wines, with less acidity than those of its neighbors. You may have heard of those: Rhone and Burgundy.

Living in the shadow of these famous wine regions was probably hard for little Beaujolais, but vintners Louis Jadot and Georges Duboeuf did a lot to increase its notoriety outside of France using Beaujolais Nouveau, pimping out Beaujolais Day and promoting the wine as the perfectly-timed pairing to Americans’ Thanksgiving dinners. But they didn’t do Beaujolais any justice, giving the gamay-based wine the reputation of being cheap, simple and light bodied. Kind of like a one night stand you regret the next day.

For those looking for a gamay wine they can commit to, there are several cru appellations like Brouilly, Fleurie or Moulin-a-vent, that make very well respected wines. Unlike Beaujolais Nouveau, which is meant to be drank within a few months of its release, these vintages can develop with age and become more pinot-like when they do. The downside is that you have to drop more money on them. Like a lot more…

I dropped by Cork and Fork earlier this week to chat about Beaujolais with owner Dominique. Other than the fact that he asked me if I was Canadian (has my French gotten this bad? le sigh) we had a lovely conversation about “quality” Beaujolais. The barely fermented fruity stuff sold in the millions of bottles by Georges Duboeuf is mass produced and made from grapes of dubious quality.

Look for a Small Producer Bottle

If you want to indulge in the Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations, look for a small producer bottle (i.e. not Georges Duboeuf or Louis Jadot) and make sure the label says that it is “mis en bouteille au chateau” or “mis en bouteille a la propriete.” You should really look for that label on every bottle of wine that you purchase though.

Even better, go for a bottle of Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau instead. Beaujolais Villages in general, is the kind of wine you can take out for at least a few dates… it’s the intermediate between the cru and the nouveau. And this year, Cork and Fork is selling two different Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau: Domaine Descroix Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Domaine Manoir du Carra Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau.

Confession: I was drinking one of those as I wrote this post, which means I totally broke some kind of French wine law and can now feel like a wine rebel! And you know what? It was better than a bottle of Duboeuf, so if you want to drink Beaujolais on Turkey Day, it’s a great option and it will only set you back a few extra dollars. If you want to completely change your opinion of Beaujolais wines, however, go and have Dominique pick out a bottle of cru for you. These are truly the best of Beaujolais wines and are well worth exploring having a long term relationship with.

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by October 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,012 0

From Jane Alonso. Her passion for food and spirits leads her on frequent excursions into Borderstan’s land of bars and restaurants. Email her at jane[AT]


DC’s Wine Week. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Had one too many pints at the latest Octoberfest? Take a break from all those lagers and ales during DC Wine Week from October 13-20. It’s the perfect season to visit a local vineyard while the leaves are changing or explore a cabernet you have never tried before at a neighborhood restaurant.

Co-founded by Vanessa French and Lisa Byrne (founder of DCeventjunkie), DC Wine Week is dedicated to enjoying wine and supporting the area’s growing local wineries, wine shops, wine bars, restaurants and merchants.

Participating Venues

Participating bars and restaurants – including Borderstan favorites such as Veritas, Hanks Oyster Bar, Policy, and One Lounge — will feature paired menus and special offers, as well as a chance to network with local wine experts, attend tastings and learn more about what our area has to offer when it comes to wine (there are over 245 wineries in Maryland and Virginia). The schedule can be found here .

Who knew, but DC apparently leads the nation almost every year in per capita sales and consumption of wine, according to Alex Evans, the director of education for Arlington’s Washington Wine Academy. The District consumes 6.6 gallons of vino per capita — With almost two full gallons more of the grape than the second most oenophile-centric state in the nation, New Hampshire.

Why?  Some might say it’s due to DC’s abundance of foreign embassies, special events and receptions (political and otherwise), and culinary-minded individuals with disposable income.

Do your part to keep DC leading the pack!

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by July 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,205 0


Wondering what to do with your wine corks? (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Laetitia Brock. Email her at laetitia[AT] You can follow her at @FrenchTwistDC and on her own blog, French twist DC.

If you’re like me and you enjoy the odd (or not so odd) bottle of wine at the end of a long workday, you probably end up with a lot of corks. And I hope you’re like me and you drop your empty bottles of Bordeaux and Malbec in the recycling bin. But did you know you can also recycle the corks?

Cork comes from trees and while it cannot actually be reused as a wine cork (something about bacterial concerns…), it can be recycled into lots of useful products from floors to shoes. It can also be used in lots of DIY projects. Here are a few fun ones I found on Pinterest:

Wine Cork Herb Markers
Whip out some fun herb markers for your garden using Shine your light crafty guide. – Pinned by Bridget Olsen

Cork Tile Placement
Creme de la Craft made a really cute placement using her extra corks. Seems pretty simple too! – pinned by Samantha Kate

Cabinet Door Knobs
Do you really love wine? Let your house show that! Use champagne or wine cork stoppers as cabinet knobs. Photo: Tria Giovan, Article: Jennifer Kopf. From Southern Living, pinned by Erika Lena

Cork Backsplash
If you are more ambitious and have a lot of corks to use, try a cork backsplash! – Pinned by Becca Horn

Wine Cork Journaling
I think personally I will settle for something a little less ambitious…like keeping corks as mementos. Write down when you had that bottle of wine or have the person you enjoyed it with sign it for prosperity. These would actually make a cute alternative to a guest book for a wedding too. – From Belle Maison, pinned by Joanna Linn Staley


If you’re not feeling crafty, however, there’s another option for you: let ReCORK recycle your bottle stoppers for you! The natural wine cork recycling program has a drop off location at Topaz Hotel at 1733 N Street NW.


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