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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. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/...

      www.houndstoothgourmet.com

      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. www.winelibrary.com 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: http://www.winespectator.com/Wine/Ima... 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 - www.grapeswine.com ((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.

            2. I would check out Evo Bistro at Route 123 and Chain Bridge Road in McLean. They've got a wine automat that lets you sample as many glasses as you'd like with a swipeable card and then pay at the end. The ambiance is nice as well, though it's a tiny place and can be crowded.

              I unfortunately didn't get to sample any wine when I went as I am pregnant, but it's one of the first places I'm going to try when I can get out of the house after the birth.

              4 Replies
              1. re: men7d

                The Washington Post actually just ran a review of Evo Bistro this morning: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                1. re: men7d

                  Just got home from Evo Bistro. It is spectacular, and spectacularly crowded. The tasting room can be expensive but the wines at the bar are not and the food, prepared by a French/Moroccan chef, is outstanding. Also enjoyed the conversation and friendly neighborhood atmosphere more like a real European place than Northern Virginia. Go there and go soon!

                  1. re: jkosnett

                    Truly a case of your mileage may vary. We also went there last night and we doubt we'll return. Definitely not on a Saturday night!

                    With one exception, the food was delicious. We enjoyed white anchovies, beef empanada, fried calamari, and pistachio-crusted lamb chops. The problem dish was the shrimp with white wine and garlic. Garlic and hot pepper so overwhelmed the taste that the restaurant could have served the sauce and a large plate of bread and the shrimp would not have been missed.

                    The wine wasn't the cause of our dissatisfaction. We drank glasses of a lovely Malbec. When we asked our waiter to choose between the $8 and $11 Malbec he selected the cheaper one.

                    The reason for our "never-again" verdict? The noise. Our ears were ringing when we left the restaurant. We arrived close to 7:00 p.m., somewhat earlier than we usually eat. When we arrived, the room had a lively hum. Many of the tables were filled with multi-generational families who, I'll guess, were together for Thanksgiving and had eaten all the leftovers Friday night. Lots of couples their 50s and 60s were seated at the bar.

                    As the evening wore on, the diners got younger, the room got more crowded, and the noise level went up dramatically. Other than the clothes everyone wore, there were no soft surfaces in the decor. The noise went beyond the lively-hum level to plain old loud. I've never left a restaurant with my ears ringing.

                    Incidentally, if you eat at the tables but want to drink the wines in the automated dispenser, you'll serve yourself. The wait staff can serve the wines on the by-the-glass or bottle list but not from the dispenser.

                    1. re: Indy 67

                      We were one of the 50-ish couples at the bar and had tagine and calamari; also I enjoyed the $8 Malbec. It was noisy and crowded, but that's because the space is small. I'd be upset if the food was lousy; obviously the kitchen overspiced your shrimp, maybe you should have said so.
                      To me, the joint was just right...

              2. I've noticed Tallulah's has gone downhill since their first several months of operation.

                I love all the wines by glass available at Fleming's Steakhouse in Tyson's Corner. You can get flights of a couple ounces each of anything they have open -- there are usually 100 bottles or more available to try by the taste or by the glass. They have even more by just the bottle.

                Fleming's is under-rated or forgotten somehow -- don't know why. I've never had a bad meal there and have found the wait staff to be intelligent and helpful. The fact that they're in the same building as a Marriott hotel may be against them.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Transplanted Texan

                  that, and it looks slightly inaccessible. (tho' isn't really)