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Nov 19, 2007 07:30 AM

Wines by-the-glass in NoVa, Best places?

I know D.C. has some trendy, newer wine bars, with state-of-the-art preservation systems and interesting wine lists. I was wondering if this has spilled over into Northern Virginia? If so, what are they called? If not, who has the best selections of wines-by-the-glass in NoVa. I'm an wine lover moving to the area soon, and would love to find some good spots. Also, any names/locations of top wine stores would be appreciated.

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  1. I like Tallulah for a more casual place with great wine selection, or 2941 in Falls Church for a more special occasion place with an incredible wine list.

    For wine stores I really like Total Beverage because it is spectacularly huge with a fantastic selection. It is like a big warehouse of wine.

    1. You might want to check out the new Trademark Bar at the Westin Alexandria. It offers many wines by the glass and a sophisticated bar menu.

      1. How about Arrowine? 4508 Lee Hwy, Arlington? Great specialty wine shop.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodsmarts

          Arrowine: pretty nice cheese, specialty meats like serrano hams, neat cured products, good truffle mousse pate -- and firehook bakery baguettes (before they run out). have lots of wine tastings, wine pairing dinners. other little "gourmet" treats.... get on their email list for weekly specials and events. convenient to park.

        2. Tallula/Eat Bar in Arlington are the obvious recommendations.

          For wine stores, Arrowine is pretty good.

          1. I'll add a third vote to Tallula. For wine, I really enjoy Best Cellars in Clarendon for a great selection in the $10-15 range.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bylinemjf

              The best selection of wines by the glass in the entire D. C. area is not in a traditional restaurant or wine bar. Rather, it is on the second floor of the 76,000 square foot Whole Foods in Fair Lakes where they have a wine room with a system that allows them to pour 1+ ounce pours of approximately 80 different wines. While I haven't been in several months this is laid out with the wines lining walls on three sides of a large room with tables and chairs in the middle. Originally, snacks were also served but I am not certain if this is still true. I should also note that this is an incredibly social place which, on several visits, was mobbed with singles on Friday and Saturday night. The wines they offer are all also sold by them downstairs in their wine department. They range from $1 an ounce to literally $25 or more an ounce. I don't think the system they use for preservation is as successful as they would like to believe, however, in general my experience has been that if you pour from a bottle that has been open for several days or less the wine should be good.

              Arrowine is indeed excellent and, if you are on their e-mail list, offers some highly competitive prices on interesting wines. D. C. also has a number of outstanding stores including MacArthur, Calvert Woodley, Schneider's and others. Last, the highest volume internet wine store in America is the Wine Library in Springfield, NJ which is at least 25% off on everything they stock (and they stock as much as about anyone). If you order from them on Friday morning it will be delivered to you in Northern VA on Saturday before noon. I am not a fan of Total. Large, yes, but it lacks the character of an Arrowine, C/W or others.

              1. re: Joe H

                This is the link to the Wine Spectator's Top 100 for 2007: Both #16 and #18 were on Arrowine's weekly list of specials at substantial discounts. As noted above this is one of the best wine shops in America (along with New Jersey's Wine Library and possibly, Norwalk, CT's Grapes - ((I should also note that the owner of Grapes, like many wine shop owners, will negotiate if you are willing to buy by multiple cases. Simply, it is worth one's while to assemble a group of friends and buy quantity.)) ). It is well worth the time for anyone seriously into wine to be on Arrowine's mailing list. If you do receive the list please note that there are probably more than one thousand people who receive it. The weekly specials often sell out WITHIN HOURS from the time it is sent. You must be quick. Still, it is well worth it, especially if you are willing to buy by the case. Some of his prices are among the lowest offered by anyone in America, even on wines like #16 and #18 noted above.