Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.
In the cradle of our democracy and the Piedmont of Virginia, lies a winery that bears the name of the President-Elect. Trump Winery, formerly Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard, sits in the same area that Thomas Jefferson once made wine. A region that has long had its own American Viticultural Area (AVA) designation as Monticello.
Donald Trump bought the winery in 2011 for $6.2 million — a bargain compared the $28 million that was owed on it. As part of that deal, Trump gained the rights to purchase Patricia Kluge’s famous estate, Albemarle House. It is now a luxury hotel for visitors of the winery.
Regardless of the reputation of its current owner or its previous one — Kluge was the divorcee of one-time Forbes’ richest man in the U.S., John Kluge — the winery has racked up accolades from publications like Wine Enthusiast and awards in local and national competitions. Its sparkling wines are its bread and butter, but there’s plenty to like about many of their varieties.
It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump wines are a hot commodity right now with the inauguration of its namesake in a week. A quick search on eBay reveals that there is a market for these wines with the name of the next president on them — in one post a case goes for $295. In fact, the wines are in such demand that they are mostly allocated to restaurants.
We took a look at three of the wines for sale: the 2010 Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, 2015 Meritage and 2015 Viognier.
2010 Sparkling Blanc de Blanc
A classic example of a champagne-style chardonnay wine made in the U.S., the 2007-2009 vintages garnered 22 awards among them. Given that the winemaker has been with the winery since before the current owner took over, the 2010 vintage of this wine stands up well.
Named Virginia’s signature white grape in 2011, the Viognier grape is well suited to the climate of the Old Dominion. This wine is fruit-forward with distinct notes of banana and pear. It’s on the lighter side with a slight hit of sweetness.
Meritage is the name of blended wines that are made in the Bordeaux style, without having to be made in that region. The designation is controlled by the Meritage Association, which dictates the grapes to be used and suggests standards. This Meritage is a blend of merlot and cabernet franc grapes. The merlot grape dominates with big blackberry notes while the cabernet franc grape brings a hint of coffee grounds, which grows stronger as this wine warms in the glass. Bottled in 2015, this Trump Meritage is young and could use time to evolve.
Get ready to enjoy everyone’s favorite faux race with your best bud, BFF, partner or spouse at a steep discount with today’s ARLnow Daily Deal. For the next 24 hours, purchase two 1K Wine|Beer Walk tickets for the price of one!
Tickets are usually $25 at the door or $20 online. With this Daily Deal, you can purchase two tickets for only $20 (plus transaction fees).
Choose the beverage of your choice, select your heat, and get ready to make your way through the course stopping at “hydration stations” throughout the Crystal City Shops and the Art Underground where you will be able to sample from up to 20 different wine and beers. As always, the wine and beer selections are hand-picked by the experts at the Crystal City Wine Shop where all offerings are also available for purchase.
Celebrate your personal best (i.e., your favorite taste) at a fun-filled finish festival that includes additional tasting stations, great music and complimentary bites. Come dressed in your most creative or obnoxious race-wear and be ready for photos, social media, and prizes.
WHEN: Saturday, January 21st – Heats Available at 2, 3 and 4
WHERE: The Landing, Crystal City Shops @ 1750 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202
WHAT: Everyone’s favorite faux race, the 1K Wine|Beer Walk is right around the corner. Choose the beverage type of your choice, select your heat, and get ready to make your way through the course stopping at “hydration stations” throughout the Crystal City Shops and Art Underground where you will be able to sample from up to 20 different wine and beers.
Total Wine and More opened in Ballston this morning, a day later than first anticipated.
An “occupancy permit issue” prevented the store from opening on Thursday, as scheduled.
About 15-20 customers were already perusing the aisles of wine, beer, food and accessories shortly after Total Wine opened the doors Friday morning.
Located at 800 N. Glebe Road, the store includes special features like a cigar humidor, a growler fill station, a classroom and meeting space and free Wifi.
The store’s hours are 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.
ACPD Officer Played in NFL — Arlington County Police officer Dorian Brooks was formerly an offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers. At 6’3″ and 280 lbs, Brooks has lost some weight from his playing days — which included a 2011 Super Bowl appearance — but remains an imposing figure on the beat. [WUSA]
Write-in Candidate: Congressman Stole My Porn — Write-in congressional candidate Mike Webb continued his press release barrage early this morning with a curious one: an evidence-free accusation that Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) broke into his home and stole cell phone chargers, digital cameras and an external hard drive containing his porn stash. The subject line of the email: “VIP Beyer Steals External ‘Sex Drive’ and Impotent Webb Wants Good Porn Bac [sic].” Webb inadvertently made headlines earlier this year by releasing an image showing tabs for porn websites on his computer, later claiming that he was just testing said sites for viruses. [PDF]
Flights Canceled Due to Matthew — Hurricane Matthew’s jaunt up the Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina coast is leading to numerous flight cancellations at Reagan National Airport. [WJLA]
New Bishop Is an Eagles Fan — The Diocese of Arlington’s incoming bishop, Michael Burbidge, is a big fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins’ NFC East foe. He received the call telling him the pope had appointed him to replace Bishop Paul Loverde in Arlington during the recent Eagles-Steelers game — though he unknowingly let the call go to voicemail. [News & Observer]
Columbia Pike Fall Wine and Craft Beer Fest — Sponsored — Sample Columbia Pike’s unique wines and rare craft beers at this family-friendly, ticketed event. It’s taking place Saturday, Oct. 8 from 3-8 p.m. on Adams Street at Columbia Pike. Food and beverages from Pike restaurants will be available for purchase, and a children’s area and musical performances will keep all visitors entertained. [CPRO]
The event, held from 2-6 p.m. in the parking lot next to 220 20th Street S., features “delicious wines from Spain, Portugal, and Argentina together with food tastes from restaurants in Crystal City and the region.”
There’s also live Latin jazz, wine lessons from the Washington Wine Academy, and free salsa dancing lessons from Columbia Pike’s Salsa Room.
Crystal City says Sip and Salsa ” is the D.C. region’s only inside the Beltway, outdoor wine festival with the ease of safe and responsible transit access.”
Food and drink tickets are $20 online, while food-only tickets are $10.
The local professional football team, it should be noted, won’t be playing Sunday — the Redskins will face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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
(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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂
-Wendy Buckley, Owner
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.
AFAC 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.
Wine 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.
Feel 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.
PAL 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.
And 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.
(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.
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
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.