The Wine Specialist
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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 16
3.92/5 rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Kind of surprised I never knew about this place, but a couple of repeat visits have got me curious to come back for more.
The selection here isn't too different from what else is in the area, but it also doesn't seem to be shopped as much, so some of the product is older and the flipside is you can occasionally find something interesting. Found Riel beers here and also an old 30yr Ola Dubh which was a great find.
Service is perfectly fine and they asked if I was looking for anything special. I did say I was, and asked about it and they mentioned that their beer product stock only changes over maybe once a month. Prices are a little on the high side, but not too bad, but there are also some high shelf items in here. On top of that the place has a great spirit selection, and a very impressive assortment of single malt scotches.
Worth stopping and if anything taking a look.
11-01-2013 14:13:31 | More by smakawhat
4/5 rDev -5.9%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
The store is just on the edge of a rather nice area (at least it looks nice). The best way to get to this place from the metro is to get off at Foggy Bottom and walk north up New Hampshire to M Street. It's right next to the Chinese restaurant, and not too far from Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle). Also, if you keep walking west on M Street, you will reach the Georgetown Pizzeria Paradiso.
The beers are at the left side of the store, with some refrigerated coolers and a few shelves off the good stuff. There are also six packs stacked around the middle of the store. I didn't explore the entire place, but looked like that was the extent of the beer selection. I was able to grab a couple bottles of some rare stuff (Ola Dubh 16 and Bourbon County Stout). The selection isn't the greatest, as Chevy Chase up in Chevy Chase seems to have every beer that's delivered to the Potomac Region.
Service seemed good enough for those looking for wine, I didn't ask for help, as I rarely do. Everyone seemed friendly though. The prices seemed to be about what they should be.
Not a bad place to stop if you pass by it. If you're like me, this is probably a good place to go that has a good selection of beers that aren't available in Northern Virginia. Recommended.
11-16-2009 00:55:52 | More by BeerSox
4.15/5 rDev -2.4%
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped by here to pick up some beers that are unavailable in my neck of the woods.
Quality is good. The beer is at the back of the store (for the most part) and everything seemed well-maintained.
Service was very good. The guy was happy to inform me that they had Hopslam in the back, and I was happy to accept a sixer of it. They were less happy to tell me that they could no longer carry bombers or sell singles. Anyways, they were knowledgeable about what they had and what they were getting and could not get.
Selection was good. As I stated previously they didn't have any bombers, though a place up on P St., perhaps 1/2 mile away had them. The six-packs I saw were of Magic Hat, Brooklyn, Troegs, Bells, and Peak, among others. Plenty of Nugget Nectar was available in addition to the Hopslam, which was nice to see.
Beer was relatively cheap up here, but certainly not inexpensive.
Overall this place didn't disappoint, and hopefully they'll be able to carry bombers again soon. Worth checking out if you're in the area.
02-14-2009 20:13:35 | More by glid02
4.05/5 rDev -4.7%
quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by this place on my way walking from Georgetown to Dupont Circle.
This is a very upscale, nicely-maintained shop in NW. Their profusion of wines and propensity for wine tastings let you know that this is, of course, a specialist for wine. Management is young and generally more knowledgeable about other spirits than beer. However, for what beers they do have, they're overall great stuff at non-swift-kick-to-the-balls prices. From what I remember, they had a lot of Belgians (Koningshoeven, Chimay, Maredsous etc.), Germans (Weihenstephaner, Bayerischer Bahnhof etc.), and Domestic brews (DFH, Magic Hat, Rogue etc.). But what really intrigued me is some of the rare gems that you could find. I managed to walk away with a 1999 bottle of JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale for only $8; I also got a bottle of Scaldis Noel here, which you can hardly find anywhere else. Furthermore, you can get a pretty good deal on the high ABV beers that they usually charge you your first born for at other places (DFH 120 min IPA, DFH World Wide Stout etc.) All in all, a great buy.
02-01-2009 16:02:21 | More by thekanna
4.15/5 rDev -2.4%
quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've been here a few times to pick up some beer while visiting my buddy that lives near Washington Circle. The stuff you buy here seems to be of top quality. People here are nice and the prices aren't bad for this part of town. Selection is decent sized. A fair amount of macros along with some craft brews. Some craft breweries I've seen here are Brooklyn, Bell's, Sam Adams, Troegs, Southern Tier, Stone, Harpon, etc. They have a good selection of liquor and occasionally wine tastings here also.
11-28-2008 01:44:41 | More by Applesauce1
4.35/5 rDev +2.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Swung by The Wine Specialist as it was one of the only places I could find in town to pick up wine shippers.
They have a pretty solid selection of beer in the back. Some hard to find stuff and just generally good things. There are plenty of employees around the store that mostly leave you alone but if you ask a question they are very helpful.
If you are from out of town and want your purchase shipped to you they will pack it up and send it to you as well. The prices were pretty reasonable and is on my list of places to check again next time I am in town.
10-09-2008 14:59:08 | More by midaszero
District of Columbia
4.65/5 rDev +9.4%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
My go-to place in DC. Tim, the beer guy, is friendly and incredibly knowledgable about everything they sell. Prices are reasonable, and a fair bit less than you'll find for a comparable selection, especially in DC. Consistently have a nice stock of singles and sixers of all your locals, Troegs, Dogfish Head, Victory, Clipper City, Weyerbacher, as well as a nice selection of foreign beers (including some really random ones like fruit beers from Normandy, etc.). Not the biggest selection I've ever seen (although I think it is the biggest one I've seen in DC), but the people are amazing and the price is fine. Also, Thursday's the do beer tastings, which is a solid find.
09-13-2008 14:16:14 | More by soupyman10
4.5/5 rDev +5.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in during a recent business trip to bring a beer or two back to the hotel room for a nightcap. Easy to find near any of the business district hotels. Plenty of wine here, but there is plenty of beer too.
The store is a bit hectic looking with cases of beer stacked all over the place. But there is some good selection here with plenty of mid-Atlantic beers like Heavy Seas, Brewer's Art, and DFH.
Huge belgian selection, both in refridgerators and warm. The cold beer selection was a bit lacking mainly due to space, but again they were well stocked with a nice variety.
Service was very friendly and super knowledgable. More stores need to have guys working that have a passion for beer.
This is a place I will be stopping in during my regular business trips to DC.
06-06-2008 00:11:56 | More by Gavage
4.45/5 rDev +4.7%
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Not far off of 66, the Wine Specialist is actually closer and easier for me to get to than Norm's in Vienna. It's a shame it took me so long to check out this gem. The beer section is cramped since the bulk of their sales comes from wine/hard alcohol, but what they have is quality. Right away I was drawn to the tasties that I can't find just a few miles away in VA. Off the top of my head they had Great Divide, Chocolate Indulgence, ST Oat, Choklat and Backburner, the Old Engine Oil/Ola Dubh lineup, a couple Nogne O and Mikkellers to boot (all of which I have never seen in a VA beer store).
The selection is great, but what I was most impressed with is the service. The entire selection is available to view online, and the site gets updated regularly. Also, within a few minutes of looking at their goods Tim, the beer buyer/manager, introduced himself and we started talking beer. He is hands down the most knowledgeable beer guy that I have ever come across.
Prices are very reasonable as well.
05-05-2008 16:58:05 | More by HopHeed2113
District of Columbia
4.5/5 rDev +5.9%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Visited here after walking back from Georgetown. Location is only a few blocks from Dupont Circle, maybe closer to Farragut North. Beer section is cramped but full of goodies. I was soon asked if I needed help from a very knowledgeable beer geek, the first time I've been asked for assistance since being in DC, no other store has offered this. They have a wide selection of Belgians, great selection of DFH (WWS, 120min, Burton Baton, Golden Era, OSB, etc). Their selection is available online, a huge plus as it's a bit out of the way for me, and I'd like to check the stock before I stop by. They were telling me about a tasting coming up this week, a great plus. Overall, this stores' selection and price point is on par with Chevy Chase, but service is much better. Highly Recommended.
03-26-2008 14:34:34 | More by dreadnatty08
The Wine Specialist in Washington, DC
93 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.