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5 Best Wine Bars in DC

by Lauren Sloat on Oct 26, 2011 in Wine
5 Best Wine Bars in DC

 D.C. Wine Week may be over, but it’s always a good time for a little Pinot in the district. Though impressive wine lists abound in a town known for its power lunches and happy hours, the trifecta of Dupont, U Street and Logan Circle offers a walkable array of Washington’s most intimate and best curated wine bars.

Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar: This hidden gem at Dupont’s Hotel Palomar boasts a well-edited selection of bottles from at home and abroad, 100 of which rotate seasonally to complement the locally sourced western Mediterranean cuisine. The dimly lit basement spot also features one of the best undercover happy hours in the area; sidle up to the ebony bar between 4–7 PM, Monday–Friday and choose something from the daily selection of still and sparkling varietals for just $5 a glass (2121 P St. NW; 202-956-6650).

Veritas: With its dark hardwood floors and exposed brick walls, this cozy wine spot in upper Dupont is a modern shrine to viticulture. Carefully calibrated, temperature-controlled dispensers dole out nearly 70 wines by the glass, all available as sample sips for the discerning lush. Take a date and ask for a pairing with absinthe and chipotle-infused truffles (2031 Florida Ave. NW; 202-265-6270).

Cork: A forerunner of 14th Street’s thriving bar and restaurant scene, this Logan Circle hot spot is the creation of locals Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts, who pair bottles from small producers worldwide with local fare. Up the street, sister establishment Cork Market & Tasting Room offers free tastings with favored winemakers on Fridays from 6–7 PM and Saturdays from 3 –6 PM (1720 14th St. NW; 202-265-2675).

Vinoteca: If commitment’s not your thing, then this U Street favorite is the wine bar for you. With more than 80 wines available by the glass, you can swirl, sniff and sip your way around the world in one night. Think you know your vino? Take the Wine Taster Challenger and win a free flight if you can correctly identify the varietal, region and country of a mystery trio (1940 11th St. NW; 202-332-9463).

Dickson Wine Bar: The brothers Hilton (of Marvin, Patty Boom Boom and Blackbyrd Warehouse) reign supreme on U Street, so it should be no surprise that the nightlife impresarios have a hand in this three-story establishment that opened in March 2010. Wine director Jared Slipp oversees an impressive lineup of organic and biodynamic wine here, all served in an equally earth-friendly setting furnished in reclaimed wood and wine bottles (903 U St. NW; 202-332-1779).

Photo by Lauren Sloat

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