A Wine Lover’s Guide to DC

by MacKenzie Reagan

posted on January 17, 2019

DC is home to many notable wine bars, each with their own specialty. Some feature hard-to-find bottles, foie gras, and cheese boards, while others boast great happy hour deals, comfort food, and even, in one case, bocce courts. Whatever your vibe is, you’ll find it at one of these six wine-centric haunts.


Located in the hip U Street Corridor, Vinoteca boasts a killer happy hour every day where wines by the glass are offered for a mere five dollars. Feeling more like a cocktail? Try a rosé gin and tonic or an Aperol Betty, then challenge your friends to a game of bocce on the plaza’s courts.

Checkout: Cave aged cheddar, shrimp and grits, hibiscus mimosa, sparkling sangria, weekend brunch

Room 11

A wine bar and craft cocktail haunt, Room 11 has everything from charcuterie boards to comfort food like mac ‘n’ cheese and burgers. Come Sunday brunch, pair these tasty bites with a bloody mary; in the evening, taste your way through the eclectic wine list. For something a bit more unusual than your go-to glass of Sancerre, consider an orange wine from the list’s “contact!” section.

Checkout: Lizzy's ginger scone, Half Smoke, Pretty Penny, Burnt Sugar Old Fashioned, Smoked Salmon Rillettes

Cork Wine Bar

At Cork, you’ll find a wine bar, market, and wine shop, all under one roof, which means that Gamay you’re sipping on is also available to take home in bottle form. Work up an appetite? Head to the market and pick up a wedge of Humboldt Fog, a gooey pecan bar, a salad, or any other matter of excellent specialty goods, with the option to dine in on your finds or take them home.

Checkout: Assorted cheese and charcuterie, Grilled octopus salad, Rosemary chicken liver bruschetta, Homemade cinnamon roll

La Jambe

Stop by La Jambe for a boozy weekend brunch or its excellent happy hour. La Jambe, French for "the leg," cheekily refers to both the legs (the drops that trickle down the glass after a good swirl) on a wine, and jambon, or a leg of ham. Fittingly, both feature heavily on the menu, and are joined by an excellent selection of beer, cider, and French aperitifs, as well as the most sophisticated grilled cheese you'll ever eat.

Checkout: L'andalou, le caractère, le Frenchie, baguette French toast, crêpe forestière

Maxwell Park

Lounge on the patio when the weather is nice, or cozy up on the couch in the back on a chilly fall night. Each month, Maxwell Park has a specific theme, like “Born in the USA,” highlighting an array of domestic producers. The unpretentious sommeliers are particularly friendly and can help you find the perfect sip.

Checkout: Global wines, asparagus salad with poached egg, charcuterie board, beet tartare, burrata

Flight Wine Bar

Boasting more than 500 different wines, Flight has a menu featuring everything from foie gras to fried chicken. Adventurous guests can try one of the 28 wine flights with clever names like “All the Better to Smell You With! Aromatic Yet Dry Whites” and “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural . . . Red”.

Checkout: Wine flights, Meat Pie, Burrata, Summer Salad, Fried Chicken, Pickles

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