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by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 24, 2016 at 2:35 pm 0

Crystal City Sip & Salsa (courtesy photo)

Get ready to Sip, Salsa and Save with today’s Deal of the Day.

Snag a general admission ticket to the 10th annual Crystal City Sip & Salsa for only $10 (or get a food only tasting ticket for $5) and enjoy great Spanish and South American wines, delicious bites from area restaurants, live music, and, of course, salsa dancing!

That’s half off the usual price. You’ll have to hurry — only 100 discounted tickets are available and the deal ends at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Purchase Today’s Deal Now

Daily Discount Code: ARLnowSip

WHEN: Sunday, September 11 from 2-6 p.m.

WHERE: Parking lot at 220 20th Street S., Arlington, VA 22202

WHAT: The region’s largest inside the beltway, outdoor wine festival is celebrating its 10th year! Crystal City’s 10th Annual Sip and Salsa features delicious wines from Spain, Portugal, and Argentina, food tastes from restaurants in Crystal City and the region, great live music, and live dancing demonstrations and lessons from Columbia Pike’s Salsa Room. Part of Crystal City’s SIPtember series, enjoy a variety of sipping events with Sip & Salsa, Pups & Pilsners, Wine in the Water Park, and Crystal Screen: Sips and Sweets movie festival.

by Jackie Friedman — July 7, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

ArtJamz Underground Studio, a new “paint and sip” studio, will be opening next Friday, July 15, in Crystal City.

Located in the Crystal City Shops, at 2105-B Crystal Plaza Arcade, the 1,000 square foot public art studio and lounge will offer freestyle paint sessions, guided classes, and other private and public special events.

Studio time for customers includes art materials, an easel, a smock, two complimentary glasses of wine or one beer and local artists that are on hand to give tips and guidance.

“We really encourage original art, for people to create something unique,” said founder and CEO Michael Clements. “Our tagline is unleash your inner artist because we want our studios to be as close to what an artist would experience in their studio.”

Customers can choose from six different canvas sizes — and they’re also allowed to paint on the walls. Just for fun, fake artist mustaches and berets are offered at an additional charge.

This will be the first permanent ArtJamz location in Virginia (it also hosts popup locations). The business has two other physical locations in D.C.

“Our mission is make the world a more creative place,” said Clements.

Customers can book sessions online. Until opening night, ArtJamz is offering a special where patrons can book sessions using the promo code “opening16” to receive 20 percent off a reservation.

by ARLnow.com — June 28, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

Anna and David Sculpture in Rosslyn

View from Central Place — An ABC 7 reporter visited one of the top floors of the still under-construction Central Place residential tower in Rosslyn. The residential building is slated to open in 2017 while a twin office tower next door is set for 2018. [Twitter]

Wine in the Waterpark Extended — Crystal City is extending its popular Friday night Wine in the Waterpark events through July. The event offers beer, wine and music in an outdoor setting. [Crystal City]

‘Women in Secularism’ Conference — A Crystal City hotel will be hosting the fourth “Women in Secularism” conference in September. The conference “brings together a diverse lineup of speakers to address what it means to be a ‘woman in secularism’ — not just in theory, but in practice.” [Women in Secularism]

Photo by Jackie Friedman

by Jackie Friedman — June 24, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Outdoor movie in Crystal City

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Candy and booze are set to star in Crystal City’s al fresco film series later this year.

The Crystal City Business Improvement District’s “Sweets and Sips” flicks for Crystal Screen in September are slated to include four movies that feature chocolate and wine. Initially, the organization planned to screen Star Wars movies this summer, but were unable to show them.

“Despite earlier confirmations with the movie licensing company, rights to publicly show the Star Wars movies for the Crystal Screen outdoor movie festival were lost due to an unexpected move from the DARK SIDE!” a Crystal City BID email says. “So, we’re celebrating by drowning our sorrows in the comfort of sweets and sips.”

The email adds: “Bring a picnic or take-out from area restaurants and enjoy sips from the pop-up wine bar (cash) with hand-selected offerings from the Crystal City Wine Shop and tasty sweet samples from Crystal City‘s Schakolad.”

The movies are:

  • “Willy Wonka” (1971) on Sept. 6.
  • “Bottle Shock” (2008) on Sept. 13.
  • “Chocolat” (2000) on Sept. 20.
  • “Sideways” (2004) on Sept. 27.

Movies are scheduled to start about 30 minutes after sunset outside 1901 S. Bell Street.

by Jackie Friedman — June 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

Local wine and cheese retailer and restaurant Cheesetique opened its third location today in Ballston, at 800 N. Glebe Road.

“This is our biggest physical location, so I am very hopeful the model will work for us,” said store owner Jill Erber. The original location opened 12 years ago in Del Ray and the second location opened in Shirlington, at 4056 Campbell Avenue, five years ago.

The Ballston menu is identical to the other two locations. The cheese shop carries cheeses and charcuteries from all over the world, for retail sale or for dining in. Dine-in menu items include mac and cheese, grilled cheese, salads and hearty sandwiches.

“Everything on the menu is intended to feature the cheeses,” said Erber.

The wine and beer list is selected to pair with the cheeses. One unique feature about the new location is that there will be a full bar, which will be opening later this year.

For this week only, Cheesetique will only be serving lunch from 11-3 p.m. Next week, the restaurant will start its normal hours, serving lunch and dinner from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — March 11, 2016 at 11:35 am 0

Grateful Red, a quirky local wine shop in Clarendon, has closed its doors after almost four years in business.

The store opened in 2012, with a wine selection focused on independent and local wine producers, along beer, gifts and gourmet items. It was located at 2727 Wilson Blvd, next to Revolution Cycles — and across the street from Whole Foods and its large beer and wine selection.

A sign in the window says the space is for lease. So far, there’s no word on why the store closed. The storefront next to Grateful Red — formerly B&C Jewelry — also remains available for lease.

Grateful Red’s Facebook page has not been updated since February. A Twitter post from Feb. 26 announced a storewide sale of up to 50 percent off.

The owners of Grateful Red also own nearby Screwtop Wine Bar, which remains open at 1025 N. Fillmore Street.

Update at 2:15 p.m. — Owner Wendy Buckley has shared an email she sent to customers last month.

Dear Wine & Craft Beer Lovers,

Grateful Red Wine and Gift Shop (brick and mortar) will be closing Sunday March 13th. We will continue to successfully operate a gift basket delivery and online business at GratefulRedWine.com.

This comes after a lot of soul searching within myself over the holidays on whether or not to renew our lease, and in the end I decided that the online and gift basket side of the business was the strongest and most worthwhile for us at the moment.

Current store employees will be absorbed into screwtop or website staff. Our last Beer & Wine Club pick up for Grateful Red will be held on Saturday March 5th. If you are a wine club member you may continue on with screwtop’s wine club, which is a wonderful club that features wines from all over the world. We will, however discontinue the beer club after March 5th.
If you have purchased or received a Grateful Red gift card, please try and use it before March 13th. Any gift card not used by the 13th, will of course be honored at screwtop. Please see the website on the back of your gift card to periodically check the balance, as these gift cards slowly lose value after long periods of time not used.

Thank you so much for all the love & support these last few years, and your continued support of screwtop.

If you have any questions you may reach me via email – [email protected]

If you know a business that might be a perfect fit for the space at 2727 Wilson, the broker in charge of re-leasing can be reached at [email protected]

I will also be looking for homes for some of the wine shelving and other fixtures, so shoot me an email if you have any interest. FREE to good home! :-)

Warmest Regards,
-Wendy Buckley, Owner

by ARLnow.com — February 23, 2016 at 12:30 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Wednesday

AFAC-Bar-Olympiucs-FlyerAFAC Bar Olympics
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Join AFAC for a night of fun and fundraising. Two-person teams compete in six bar games in a tournament-style competition. Entry fee is $10 per person ($20 per team). Top five teams qualify for cash prizes or gift cards.

Thursday

Osteria da NinoWine Pairing Dinner*
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-11 p.m.

Join Nino for a Campania wine pairing dinner at Osteria da Nino in Shirlington. The event will feature five courses and five wines for only $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.

Saturday

Feel the Heritage posterFeel the Heritage Festival
Drew Community Center (3500 23rd Street S.)
Time: 1-6 p.m.

Celebrate Black History Month at the 24th annual Feel the Heritage Festival. This FREE event features live music and dance, a “Hall of History,” free children’s activities, delicious soul food and a great selection of vendors.

Sunday

Duck Donuts in the Lee-Harrison Shopping CenterPAL Block Party
Duck Donuts (2511 N. Harrison Street)
Time: 3 p.m.

A bike-centric event in a car-heavy spot. Take a couple seconds from a stressful day and chat with ambassadors from Arlington’s PAL (Predictable, Alert, Lawful) program. There will be chairs, hot cocoa and incense.

oscarsparty-2016-300And the Winner Is… Oscars Party
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7 p.m.

Watch the Oscars broadcast live on the big screen at the D.C. Film Society’s 24th annual party. There will be a predict the winners contest, trivia contests, giveaways and a silent auction. Tickets are $20.

by ARLnow.com — January 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Ladies of the Vine logo

(UPDATED: This event is cancelled due to the impending snowstorm.)

Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway) and Ladies of the Vine, a group of female wine importers, will be hosting a free tasting event next Sunday, Jan. 24.

From 1-4 p.m., there will be four separate tasting tables, with wines from all over the world including Portugal, South Africa, Germany, and California.

Ladies of the Vine are a group of importers, representing portfolios from around the world, who enjoy each other’s wines as much as each other’s company. They formed Ladies of the Vine to showcase all of their wines together, hosting events to give the attendees a greater experience and an around the world venture with their individual expertise.

Attendees will be able to purchase or order some of their favorites from the tasting at discounted prices.

RSVP for the event via Facebook.

The preceding was a sponsored article written by ARLnow.com for Arrowine.

by Jennifer Currier — January 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

A Total Wine store is coming to Ballston.

The chain booze outlet, to be located at 800 N. Glebe Road near Mussel Bar, has applied for a Virginia ABC license to offer wine and beer for sale along with beer keg sales and delivery.

Though the Bethesda-based national retailer has locations in surrounding Alexandria, McLean, Fairfax and Springfield, this will be the first Total Wine location to open in Arlington.

A representative from the company — known as “America’s Wine Superstore” — confirmed the Glebe storefront is in the early stages of opening.

There appears to be no activity yet inside the space, and the representative could not provide an approximate date of when they hope to open the store.

Hat tip to ARLnow commenter Dean

WWBG: Wine Purchasing Guide

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — October 16, 2015 at 3:30 pm 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.

With the holiday season right around the corner wine consumption will definitely be on the rise.

For some people, buying a bottle of wine from a store with a large selection can be a daunting task. With so many different wines with different labels from various regions throughout the world, it’s difficult to know what wine to choose. Without going into grape specificities, I’m going to give you some tips on how to buy a perfect bottle of wine for any occasion.

What are you willing to spend?

This is always the first question we ask when assisting a customer buy a bottle of wine. These days you can find a nice bottle of wine in any price range depending on what kind of complexity of flavors you are looking for. We typically recommend three price ranges to our customers, under 10 dollars, 10-15 dollars or over 20 dollars.

As a consumer, you should be aware of your wine allowance before you walk into a store and stick to your budget. You do not want to go into a wine shop with a budget of 20 dollars and leave with a bottle that is 30-40 dollars. Even if the wine is great, you won’t be walking out happy and will not find the same enjoyment in the wine. You can find a fantastic wine under any budget for any occasion.

What are your tastes and preferences?

Next question we simply ask is, what kind of wine do you like? First time wine buyers usually reply with “Wine’s that tastes good.” This true for all us wine drinkers but figuring out the exact type you enjoy, paired with certain foods, will go a long way in creating a wonderful wine-drinking experience.

Simple questions to ask yourself in regards to your wine preferences include:

  • Do you prefer white wine or red wine?
  • Do you like dry or sweet?
  • Light, medium or full-bodied?

It is important to know your tastes and likes rather than a wine publications or wine merchant selling you wine. They may recommend a perfectly good wine that most people like, but that is not exactly your preference or taste.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — October 9, 2015 at 11:25 am 0

Starbucks at 2690 Clarendon BlvdStarbucks applied this week for a liquor license at its Clarendon cafe.

The license, if approved, would allow the Starbucks at 2690 Clarendon Blvd to serve beer and wine.

The company had earlier applied for Virginia ABC permits at two South Arlington locations, as part of the “Starbucks Evenings” program it’s rolling out. All three permit applications are still pending.

Starbucks Evenings stores will serve beer, wine and a selection of small plates at night, in addition to the usual coffee, tea, pastries and breakfast foods.

by Heather Mongilio — October 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm 1,388 0

New Starbucks on Columbia Pike

Starbucks customers may be able to order a glass of wine with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes at two Arlington locations in the next few months.

Starbucks has filed liquor license applications for its new Penrose Square (2413 Columbia Pike) and Arlington Ridge Shopping Center (2925 S. Glebe Road) locations. If approved, the stores will be able to serve beer and wine, in addition to the coffee and tea drinks the company sells.

Starbucks is offering beer and wine at select stores as part of its new “Starbucks Evenings” service, which also includes small plates.

According to a sample menu, the coffee chain will sell various red, white and sparkling wines by the bottle and glass, as well as craft beers. Small plates include truffle mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, chicken skewers and truffle popcorn. Menus vary by region.

License applications for the two stores are currently pending, according to the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.

Wine and beer will come to the Long Branch Creek location in “probably a few months,” said a supervisor at the store but she could not provide any additional information. USA Today reported in August that Starbucks is launching Starbucks Evenings at more than 2,000 of its 12,000+ U.S. stores, with many opening by the end of the year.

A Starbucks spokesman stopped short of confirming that the two South Arlington stores will in fact be serving beer and wine in the near future.

“Just as each customer is unique, so are our stores and we consider a broad range of products and experiences for each neighborhood,” said the spokeswoman. “And, as you’ve probably seen, we’re in the very early stages of considering our stores at 2413 Columbia Pike and 2925 S. Glebe Road for the Evenings menu. It’s a long and thoughtful process and the permit filing is just one of many steps we take.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — June 26, 2015 at 3:35 pm 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.

In part one of our red wine blend write up I wrote about the history of the red wine blend market in the United States. Even though winemakers have been making red wine blends for centuries, a new trend of wines that market themselves as just red blends has emerged.

Old World (France, Spain, Italy, Germany) wines such as Bordeaux, Cotes Du Rhone and Rioja are blends, but are under strict regulation as to which grapes winemakers may blend with. New World (United States, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand) wines do not have such strict regulation and allow winemakers to use any grape they please. This allows New World winemakers to make delicious red wine blends at a great value. Here are some outstanding red wine blends available at Dominion Wine and Beer.

ApolloOrin Swift Cellars Papillon 2012 Napa, California

Napa Valley’s 2012 growing season saw near perfect conditions. This incredible growing season made it easy for talented winemakers like David Swift Phinney, who founded Orin Swift Cellars, to make outstanding blends. Orin Swift Cellars is best known for the wine “The Prisoner” (which is no longer made by Orin Swift) a high-end blend you can find anywhere. Now Orin Swift Cellars makes a variety of blends sourced from all over the world.  The 2012 Papillon is definitely a step up from the original Prisoner.  A Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, the 2012 Papillon delivers a delicious full-bodied blend.  Scoring 93 points from Robert Parker, you should grab this bottle while it lasts.

Coup de GraceCoup de Grâce Red Blend 2012 Lodi, California

Coup de Grâce has been a winner for us ever since we introduced it to our customers. A Zinfandel dominated blend, Coup de Grâce is made in a truly original California Red Blend style (Zinfandel driven). Other grapes used for Coup de Grâce blend are Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Coup de Grâce is rich and full of character with blackberry, licorice, spice and earth notes intertwined with soft oak flavors.*

 

Wrangler redShannon Ridge Wrangler Red 2012 Lake County, California

Wrangler Red is perfect for wine lovers who enjoy wines such as Apothic Red and Ménage à Trois.
This value blend is silky smooth and tastes like a wine twice the price. A blend of mostly Zinfandel and Syrah, Wrangler Red is deep in color and consists of flavors of blackberry, cinnamon spice and sweet vanilla. A rich wine that finishes with soft silky tannins. Grapes used to produce Wrangler Red came from higher elevation vineyards of the up and coming appellation of Lake County California.

*winemaker’s notes

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

WWBG: Red Wine Blends, Part 1

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — June 12, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.

A new market of red wine has emerged the past few years. Almost out of nowhere, California Red wine blends became one of the hottest wine categories. With brands like Apotic Red and Ménage A Trios’, wine consumers love the smooth easy drinking, slightly sweet taste of these red wines. Almost all big wineries have come out with a red blend the past few years as well. St. Francis, Bogle, Fetzer, Cupcake and Barefoot just to name a few.

But before these inexpensive red wine blends hit the market, red wine blends have been around for decades. France’s famed Bordeaux and Cote du Rhone regions are all blends. Wine makers in Bordeaux can use up to seven different grapes for the blend. Rhone wines can use numerous grapes in the blend with certain percentages of each grape.

The Prisoner red wine blendHigh end California wine such as Opus One and Verite are top-notch red blends. Most recently a small group of California wine makers started the Meritage Association in 1988. The group’s goal was to make a Bordeaux style blend with guidelines and laws as in France. Meritage was the entire craze in the 90’s but soon took a big decline. The group charges a licensing fee to winemakers that want to use the Meritage label and have strict guidelines on other winemaking procedures.

These laws and guidelines created by the Meritage Association made it easy for wine makers to simply make their own red blend using whatever grape they desire. In the United States the governing body of wine making and guidelines is The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. As you may assume, the ATF doesn’t have as strict wine making guidelines as, say, France.

These loose regulations in the United States winemaking industry give winemakers complete freedom to use any grape they can get their hands on. Though most inexpensive California blends are Zinfandel based, new red blends come out everyday with grapes you have never seen in a California wine. With good winemaking techniques, wine makers have catered perfectly to the American palate and made this category of wine here to stay.

Be sure to check out Part 2 next time. I will list some of my favorite non-French and non-Meritage blends from all over the world with price ranges that should fit any budget.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by Heather Mongilio — June 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

Wine in the Water Park posterCrystal City will be combining wine with art tonight for the kickoff of its 2015 Wine in the Water Park events.

The events, which are free to attend, feature live music and, for paying customers, sips of various wine varietals.

“Expert noses from [Washington Wine Academy] help guests select and enjoy the perfect wine for an after work beverage to kick-off the weekend right amidst the calming sounds of falling water mixed with live music,” according to the Crystal City website.

This year, the event is being combined with ArtJamz, which offers aspiring artists paint and canvas so they can create their own paintings in a social setting.

Wine in the Waterpark and ArtJamz will run from 6:00-10:00 p.m. tonight and will take place every Friday in June at the Crystal City water park (1750 Crystal Drive).

On Wednesdays in June, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Crystal City will hold Blues, Brews and Barks, featuring beer and live music in a dog-friendly setting. The event will take place at the 2121 Crystal Drive courtyard.

Attendees are encouraged to pick up food from local eateries before going to the park. Beverages will be available in the beer garden. Attendees can get two drink tickets for $5 if bought in advance.

Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser

 

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