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Sep 11, 2008 06:05 PM

Buying Wine in Bethesda

Significant other is moving to downtown Bethesda. Where do most of the locals pick up their wine/beer? Have been looking around, and it didn't seem like there were many places available. Wondering about picking up everything from a standard cold 6 pack, a cheap bottle for dinner, 30 packs/cases for parties, and the occasional nice bottle for gifting (I understand this is not all done at the same place. Just wondering where you go for all of the above).

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  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of Montgomery county, where the county is the wholesaler for beer and wine, as well as the liquor. As you might have noticed, there's a county-owned liquor store tucked away in downtown Bethesda, which sells the hard alcohol, as well as beer and wine, but they're not allowed to sell cold beer (or wine) or mixers. In terms of quantity, they probably have the widest selection of wine.

    Personally, I like Dunmor's which is the little house on Woodmont near Cordell (across from Sala Thai). They have a great selection of beer and wine, and I've filled most or all of your categories there (although I often find myself thinking I'm paying a couple $ for the convenience of buying in downtown Bethesda). World Market (nearby on Wisconsin) and Lilit Cafe (on Old G'town) are small, primarily food stores that have surprisingly good wine selections, so if you're near one of them (esp. World Market) it's probably worth a stop by,

    If I'm really stocking up for a party, I'll often try to make a trip down to the Magruders near Chevy Chase circle (but that's obviously not in Bethesda).

    1. D.C. has so many good wine shops you should invest in a metro ride or drive into town. At Chevy Chase Circle you have Circle and Magruders, and at Van Ness Metro there is Calvert Woodley.

      The best wine shop in MoCo is Finewine.com in the Washingtonian Center in Rockburg... that's sorta Rockville and sorta G'burg... off 270. They have a wine bar and tastings, also really nice beer selection...

      1 Reply
      1. re: jkosnett

        Agreed on the Finewine. They aren't huge, but they know their selection really well, and for the most part listen when you tell them what you're looking for.

      2. if you're going to friendship heights, check out Rodmans. Great beer selection. World Market is pretty good, too, and often has great values

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jeserf

          Cakebread Chard. at World Market is $5.00 more than at the Cork&Fork in downtown B-da.

        2. If you're looking just for a place to grab something workable quickly in that neighborhood, the two places I go are Bradley Food & Beverage (in the little shopping center on Arlington where Bruce Variety is) and the tiny wine store (I think it's called "Bethesda Chevy Chase Wine") that's next to Vace the Italian deli (on a tiny street just off Wisconsin, between Eastham's Exxon and the Starbucks). BF&B has a bigger beer selection.

          4 Replies
          1. re: rarotonga

            The prices are Bradley Food & Beverage are above retail. A bottle of wine there typically costs at least 30% more than the same bottle just up the road at Magruders, Chevy Chase Wine & Liquor, Rodman's, or Paul's. The county liquor stores have better prices than Bradley, too.

            1. re: potrzebie

              Yeah, Bradley is kind of pricey. But it's still good to know about because it's quite convenient. If I'm just grabbing a single bottle to drink with dinner I'd rather walk over to Bradley at lunch than have to go out of my way to these cheaper places.

            2. re: rarotonga

              I always wonder how that Bethesda Chevy Chase Wine place next to Vace stays in business. Talk about a hidden location-- I lived in Bethesda for 3 years before I knew those two stores were there! Miller Avenue I believe that road/alley is called.

              1. re: Spade

                Me too! But the place is really nice with a unique wine selection and low prices. I've been going there for the past 3 years.

            3. I do not have too much knowledge of the wine shop scene in Bethesda, but I do know that a boutique shop called Cork & Fork just opened in the Bethesda Walk shopping area. I've been in their Gainsville, VA shop many times and have been impressed by their selection and the staff. They have a good range of prices and carry wines from all over the world. I think the owner used to be a winemaker in Australia. Anyway, if that shop is anything like other location it would be worth checking out.

              3 Replies
              1. re: gp61

                I also really like the Gainesville Cork & Fork, and would recommend checking out the Bethesda shop. They have good weekly specials, tastings every Saturday, and some interesting seminars. They also sell some beers, but I think more the unusual sorts, and probably not cold. (I'm not a beer drinker so haven't paid too much attention to that.)

                1. re: gp61

                  That's good to know. I admit I have a prejudice that anything in that new development is horribly over-priced.

                  1. re: gp61

                    I REALLY love the cork 'n fork bethesda location. Upscale but a very knowledgeable proprietor and the selection (especially France and Austrailia) is tremendous. Its right in the cute new bethesda row area so you can shop and get dinner around there as well