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Best bar for wine flights?

I'm going out with friends on Friday who aren't familiar with a lot of wine varietals and regions and have asked me to "educate" them a bit. While I know my favorites and am always up for a bottle or two with a nice dinner, I'm hoping to take them somewhere we can be a bit more adventurous and let them try different tastes...which made me wonder if any of the bars have good wine flights? Does anyone know if some of the standards--Cork, Proof, Vinoteca--offer flights regularly? Approximate price? (basically, what level of wines are included in the flight?)

Thanks for the suggestions!

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  1. Check our Cinghiale--www.cinghiale-osteria.com. I just viewed their website and it appears as though it would be the perfect venue for you and your friends. Haven't been there myself, as yet, after being very disappointed in Cindy Wolf's Pazo (do love Charleston, though). But, other Chowhounds have presented very favorable comments regarding the food, wine, etc. at Cinghiale. If you do opt to try Cinghiale, I'd be curious to read your review. Let us know where you do eventually venture to. FoiGras

    1. I also just saw an ad in STYLE MAGAZINE for "Junior's Wine Bar." When I "Googled" the venue, there were comments that "it isn't a true wine bar." But, it may be worth looking into. I'm certain the "Hounds" will steer you in the right direction. FoiGras

      1. I think you want DC in which case Cinghiale or Juniors won't work since both are in Baltimore.

        There are lots of good places in DC for this -- Proof, Vinoteca, but the best for flights is Veritas in upper dupont (FL & CT aves). They have a large number of flights of all types & prices, as well as allowing you to make your own flight and pricing it accordingly. Veritas has only wine and cheese/charcuterie though, no dinner. There are a gazillion good places to eat in dupont though after you taste.
        If you want wine flights and food at the same place, Proof would be a good choice. I would have said Vinoteca but their food isn't all that great and the noise level and small table size don't make it a great dinner choice. But i'd still recommend Veritas and then going elsewhere around dupont for dinner.

        1. I would add my thumbs up for Veritas. The wine flights are $13 to $27, a fair price for most of the offerings with room to splurge or stay on the less expensive side. http://www.veritasdc.com/wines/flights/

          The cheese and churcuterie portions are generous and tasty. The problem is making sure you get a seat, as it is a small place.

          2 Replies
          1. re: arugulafilesdc

            Thanks DCDoll and Argula...Veritas sounds perfect. (And yes, I'm headed out in DC. Sorry to have left that out of my original posting.)

            Now, to get a table at Veritas, exactly HOW EARLY might we need to be there? Is 6:30 too late? It looks like they have a nice bar? Does that get too crowded to enjoy?


            1. re: ainara

              Well...we are usually there by 5:30. I think if you are there by 6:30 at the latest you might be ok. Can you have someone go earlier and save you a table? It never gets that loud even when full, i don't think. And it's so worth it... :)
              Please make sure to post and let us know how you liked it. BTW the owners just opened a new place up on Wisconsin in CP...haven't been yet but will be checking it out this sat!

          2. there is a new place to go for good wine flights in NoVa/Del Ray - Cheesetique moved a few doors down its block and expanded from cheese shop to cheese shop and wine bar. don't know how it compares to similar venues but everything we had was tasty, from the wine to the cheese board to the in-house-made blue cheese salad dressing to the hamncheese panino with pears. and the place is fun - one flight was called "Que Syrah, Syrah". Mrs D and I will be back

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jamie D

              I have been to cheestique-before the wine bar. It sounds cute. Do you know how late they are open. I just went to the website and it say's friday-saturday 9:00 pm, is that correct?

              1. re: Smiles2008

                not sure. that sounds early. best to call em and make sure.

            2. So here's my post-Veritas update....I Loved it!!! As DCDOLL correctly wrote, they have a great listing of pre-selected wine flights...as I recall a full page of white, a page of red, one bubbly (technically a white too, i suppose) and a rose (that includes one sparkling). The spot was perfect since my friends and i went with the purpose of giving them a chance to sample a lot of different wines in one evening. What I loved was that the owner sat down with us, discussed our various likes/dislikes and then adapted a couple of the flights to better suit our personal tastes. He also then recommended some follow-on glasses of other wines that fit our individual palates. Definitely a great wine experience!

              As promised, it is a tiny place, but we were lucky that the rain seemed to deter people and we had no problem getting a table. I also noticed that as the night wore on, there was a lot of turn-over around us, so it seems like people could come in later and still find a spot. The only down side I would say is indeed the noise. I applaud the bar for trying to dampen the din with fairly well-hidden styrofoam (under tables, chairs, etc) but it still got loud when the place filled up (though I noticed a handful of loud men seemed to be the primary cause) and I found myself straining to hear conversation from the person next to me.

              But overall, it was a blast and I'm now wishing that I had such a welcoming hang-out near my McLean home. (and YES, I've been to Evo Bistro but the attention, wine variety, and service at Vinoteca is WAY BETTER...at least in my opinion.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: ainara

                I'm so glad you liked Veritas! Try Proof sometime for comparison; you can actually get dinner there afterward. Also, if you want to be closer to home, try Eat Bar (next to Tallula in Clarendon). You go in, and swear you are in a 'blue-collar' type bar, til you sit down and look at their HUGE and really good wine list. They even have the special refrigeration system like Veritas. But the food is sort of 'burgers' & such. Interesting mix!
                Veritas has opened a new 'sister' wine bar in Cleveland Park (Wisconsin Ave side) that features all american snacks & wine. havent' checked that one out yet but plan to...
                happy sipping!

              2. Vinoteca definitely does, although I wish I remembered how much the flights cost. I remember them being quite good.

                3 Replies
                1. re: hungryhumboldt

                  Here's a question, while we're on the topic of wine bars. Has anyone been to Cork?

                  1. re: arugulafilesdc

                    I have been to Cork 2 times. I live about 2 blocks away. I will say I was underwhelmed. I ordered a flight of champagne and 2 of the 3 were totally flat. I relayed this to the bartender and I got to glasses of white. What was odd was I saw the bartender pull the champagne bottles out of the cooler and they do not cork them. I pointed out to him they need to have a champagne cork on them and he didn't see to know what that was. He didn't seem to care because I saw 2 ladies come in and order the flilght...2 flat and they told him the same thing. The white wines were OK but nothing special. 2 times was enough. I am sticking with Vinoteca

                    1. re: arugulafilesdc

                      One of the reasons i haven't been yet...and we are HUGE wine bar fans, been to all the others (except Enology being so new), is that Cork doen'st have any type of wine dispensing and preservation system like most of the others in town do. Despite what places like Applebee's and Red Lobster think, red wine is NOT meant to be served WARM. Room temperature was coined when the 'room' was a castle in the 15th century! I love the places that know that and put their reds in a storage compartment so they stay the way they should be...slightly cool. And the whites aren't so freezing cold they hurt your teeth.
                      Hey...hubby just emailed me we are going to Enology for happy hour today!! I'll post on it later!!