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Feb 12, 2008 11:06 AM

Good wine buys in Silver Spring or NW?

We need to stock up on some wine for a party we are throwing at a BYOB restaurant. Does anyone have any recs for a good wine shop with reasonable prices? Anywhere in or near SS is fine... DC, Rockville, etc.

And if anyone has any specific wine recs, that would be appreciated too. It's a casual Italian restaurant, and we'll need both whites and reds.


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  1. Montgomery County controls all alcohol sales in the County. IMHO, you are better off looking in the District or PG County, although occasionally you can get a good buy in the County stores.

    2 Replies
    1. re: skipper

      No, actually, that's not the case (no pun intended!?). Wine and beer ARE definitely sold privately throughout MoCo. We have many, many wine and beer shops as well as grocery stores that sell wine and beer. You are right about hard alcohol, though.

      Anyway, I'd love to hear about any specific stores, in MoCo or DC, where people have found good bargains for nice wines.

      1. re: atarah

        Actually, "controls" is the right word, even when the wine and beer are sold privately. MoCo government is the exclusive wholesaler for every drop of alcohol sold in the county.

        If Morris Miller is still in business (I haven't been by there in a few years), give them a look. 7804 Alaska Ave. NW, just off of Georgia Ave., across the border from Silver Spring.

    2. Two stores I like in Northwest DC are Calvert Woodley and Macarthur Beverages. (You can find both via google.) Both have a very large selection and knowledgeable staff.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chriscatva

        Macarthur Beverages is my go-to store for Italian wine in DC.

        The Italian Store in Arlington has a large selection of wines, but I'm bothered by the way they display some of the pricier wines standing up rather than sloping. I know you're not in the market for pricier wine for this specific event, but I'm still throwing out this factoid. Maybe The Italian Store's turnover is large enough to make vertical storage a reasonable practice, but I'm not rushing to buy important Italian wine there.

      2. Besides Calvert Woodley I really like Best Cellars in Dupont Circle. They specialize in reasonably priced wines and are very helpful.

        1. I go to finewine in the Rio center in Gaithersburg a lot. They have a small but well picked selection, a friendly and knowledgeable staff and a bar.

          What they don't have is good deals, unfortunately. But, it's a nice change from the county wine stores!

          1 Reply
          1. re: reiflame

            I've only been to Finewine twice but I don't think I'll be going back. The first time a supposed sale wine was actually full price. The second time I bought 2 half bottles and a full bottle, and they just scanned the same half bottle twice -- the one that was $2 more. One was a red and one was a white and they are different heights, so they didn't look that similar... just kind of ticked me off.

          2. I think the Bethsda County Liquor store has an unusally good selection for MoCo. I have not been anywhere else with a comparable Napa and Sonoma county selection. For bargin prices, there is a beer and wine store on University Blvd in Wheaton, that is a little sketchy, but has a good selection of good wines under $15. Its in the same shopping center as Full Key and Max's Kosher. I am warning you though, it is a weird place. They do alot of beting on keno and horses. But, I agree with the other posts, your best selections are going to be found in the district.