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Arrowine - the best spot for wines and cheeses in Arlington?

New to the area...been here for a little over a year...and haven't been able to find too many places with similar selection and as good a customer service. Prices can be pretty steep though.

Can anyone recommend other options in the area? Just want to see what else is out there.

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  1. For Italian wines only, you might want to look at The Italian Store located at the intersection of Lee Hwy and Spout Run. Tasty food is a bonus to your wine search.

    1. I am a semi-frequent visitor to the Italian Store for their subs and selections of meats. I'll have to take a closer look at their wines the next time I am there.

      1. I've been going to Arrowine for years and have never been disappointed with either the service or products. They have one of the nicest and knowledgeable staff I've had the pleasure to befriend. For another good cheese place, you ought to give Cheesetique (www.cheesetique.com) a try. It's an independent place as well, located in Del Ray, Alexandria. The proprietress, Jill, is also a very warm person. It's a small shop, but the staff is very attentive.

        Enjoy.

        Cocinero Cubano

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cocinero Cubano

          know that Cheesetique is always very generous with samples, a great place to shop and nibble

        2. Make sure you get on the e-mail list for Arrowine. Thet offer weekly e-mail specials. Over the course of a month or two they will hit every price range, with some sub $10 per bottle if you buy by the case. We buy almost all of our wine from Arrowine, and generally buy it by the case from the e-mail specials. Doug Rosen has never steered us wrong yet.

          http://www.arrowine.com/

          The e-mail also lets you know the weekly cheese specials. Although the cheese offerings are not as extensive as you might find at Whole Foods, I find it to be a more select and interesting grouping.

          I do not think you are going to find anything better in Arlington. Have you tried MacArthur Beverages over in DC? It is just about 5 minutes or so over the Chain Bridge. They have a very good wine selection and also offer specials. They are also your closest best bet for spirits as an alternative to the larcenous Virginia ABC stores.

          http://www.bassins.com/

          1. I've shopped for wine in DC for 25 years, and now do virtually 100% of my business at Arrowine. In my opinion, they offer the broadest and most thoughtful selection of affordable wines in the area. Doug Rosen, the owner, is a treat to work with, as is most of his staff including Michael and _____(I forgot the other guys name). I encourage you to introduce yourself and let them get to know you.

            There are some caveats here. Doug completely rejects the Parker/Wine Advocate/Etc point system, arguing that they cater only to a particular fruit-forward taste. Secondly, he tends to be a little franco-centric, particularly Loire and Languedoc (sp?). Both of those traits are fine with me, but may disappoint the Cali Merlot buyer.

            The cheese counter is grand, and about 2/3 the price of Balducci's. There are rumors that he plans to remodel the entire store and add more food offerings, including an old-fashioned butcher.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pappy

              <Doug completely rejects the Parker/Wine Advocate/Etc point system > - that is very encouraging. I've noticed more and more wines Paker likes are tasting like cough medicine, esp California bottles. Too much alchohol, too much fruit and no nuance. I have wanted to check this place out for years and still have not made it . Now it's a mission.

            2. Wow, all the replies seem to confirm my belief that Arrowine is the top spot in the area. Thanks for the head's up on their email list, I'll be sure to join it sometime today.

              I have not had a chance to meet or talk with the owner (at least that I know of), but the other clerks in the store have been very good about listening to my particular tastes and desired price point, and then recommending a couple wines for me. The guys behind the cheese counter are great as well. It was unusual and refreshing for me to find a group of people so enthusiastic about cheese.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dbound

                The emails from Arrowine are a plus and the specials always have something worth picking up.

                Behind the counter you'll find Aldo, master cheesemonger and manager of the cheese case. Excellent knowledge, friendly, and will let you taste anything. I usually tell him how many people I'm having to dinner, what is to be served, and let him pick for me. Not a dud yet.

                Perry Soulos is the deli/beer manager. Another winner on the staff and will do special orders no problem. He also works with Billy (tall, slender, long hair) and Neil (shorter, stocky, close cropped hair), who are likewise great.

                Another place you ought to consider, if it's convenient, is the Cowgirl Creamery in DC. I think it's on F or G near 12/13; check the website. They're out of California, but one of the owners I believe is a native Marylander. This East coast location opened not too long ago and is getting good reviews. I've been a few times, and they have a good selection.

                Cocinero Cubano

              2. I am not the most knowledgeable wine person, but Total Wine in Mclean is not too far from Arrowwine (used to live in the condos across the street from the place) and seems to have everything under the sun. Just my amateur opinion.

                1. I looked on the website but didn't see an address - could someone tell me where Arrowwine is? I'm in Arlington and am always glad to hear about good wine shops - I can't believe I didn't know of this one before.

                  Thanks

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Bo H

                    http://www.arrowine.com/aboutus.html

                    Lee Heights Shopping Center
                    4508 Lee Highway
                    Arlington, VA
                    703-525-0990

                    1. re: Bo H

                      As the other poster stated, the Arrowwine store is in the Lee Heights shops at Lee Hwy and Lorcom Lane. If you know where the Lebanese Taverna market is, right around the corner. Pastries by Randolph and Crisp and Juicy are in that same shopping center.

                      1. re: am_gourmet

                        am_gourmet (or anyone, anyone?)

                        I posted about the seafood place out back a few days ago (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/369413) - any hope of getting feedback from posting from this thread?

                    2. Just to clarify: there is about a half-mile stretch (including Arrowine and the Lee Heights shops) where Lee Hwy is not what you think it is. Lee Hwy and Old Dominion swap places. The big, four-lane street is Old Dominion (it also assumes the Rte, 29 designation for this short distance); the smaller, residential street is Lee Hwy. The Eastern end of this madness is marked by Quincy St. and Military Rd.; the western end is where Old Dominion makes an abrupt turn and heads for McLean.

                      Arrowine is on Lee Hwy, but if you don't know the area you might stay on what actually is Old Dominion wondering where the hell Arrowine is.

                      Ah, Arlington street design.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Gonzocook

                        But you can find La Union in that forgotten stretch (took me a year at least to find it!).

                        As far as cheese shops, it's not in Arlington, but on the weekends, if willing, take a trip to Eastern Market as well and see the cheese people. The mention of generous samples at Cheesetique caused me to remember this.

                        1. re: Gonzocook

                          Actually, I think the smaller street is Old Lee Hwy rather than Old Dominion. Basically, if you're heading west on Lee Hwy and Lebanese Taverna Market is on your left, you're on the wrong street. You need to be one street over.

                          The little cluster of stores on Lee and Old Lee Hwy is a treasure trove of good eating. It begins with Crisp and Juicy and ends with Pastries by Randolph with Arrowine and Lebanese Taverna Market thrown in for good measure.

                          1. re: Indy 67

                            Right - La Union is on Old Lee Hwy, what I was saying.

                            Got that about the cluster of stores - anything on the seafood place in the back parking lot?

                            1. re: Dennis S

                              I've been in there. "American Seafood." Beautiful fish, more reasonable prices than Whole Foods. They also make sandwiches to order--the counterman always says his favorite is the grouper sandwich, so that is the only one I've had, and its very good. There is a case of prepared stuff--crabcakes, bivalve salads, smoked things.

                        2. I second TOTAL WINE - why not?

                          1. I think there are a couple of reasons that people are not raving about TotalWine:

                            1. It is a national chain. Now this is not always a bad thing but it does mean that the inventory is dictated by some larger corporation that has no vested interest in the specific needs of the community. (Which is why people rave about local deli's and produce markets as opposed to Harris Teeter / Giant).

                            2. The Staff. I mean no offense, but there really is no comparison between Arrowine and TotalWine in terms of knowledge and enthusiasm.

                            3. Interaction with ownership. This goes back to point #1, but many people have posted about their experiences with the Arrowine ownership. By interacting with patrons, ownership can continue to adjust inventories to track local tastes.

                            In complete fairness to TotalWine (a place I shop at often), the sheer quantity of wine and beer that they stock is unmatched. Additionally, their prices seems to be competitive with or better than almost anywhere in the area.

                            I guess, like anything, there are tradeoffs for each store. Shop at both!