Happy Wine Wednesday, folks! On a recent stroll through the Brookland neighborhood, I decided to visit a gem that's cozily tucked between a Chipotle and the Barnes and Noble bookstore. Wardman Wines, which opened in December 2015 has quickly become a staple in the up-and-coming northeast neighborhood.
It wasn't my first time visiting Wardman, for I actually made my first visit during their opening week just a short six months ago. It was the dead of winter, so of course I was looking for a hearty red wine that would be great for snuggling up with on the couch. I can't recall what type of wine I purchase, but I know I wasn't disappointed.
As soon as I walked in on this spring day, however, I was immediately greeted by one of Wardman's assistant manager's Eric, who was extremely kind enough to take me on a tour of the store.
When you walk into Wardman's open yet very rustic space, directly to your right you'll find a shelf of wines (both red and white) all under $15. From light and fruity to full bodied and bold, Eric reassured me that all of the wines are unique and very delicious. "This section is very telling of the tastes of our customers," Eric told me. "So we always make sure to keep these shelves stocked with things we know are going to be well received."
Continuing the tour, Eric described to me how the wine was organized (by region and from least expensive on the bottom to most expensive on the top) but what I found the most intriguing was the entire wall dedicated to cavas and champagne.
(Just recently, I've become super fascinated with bubbly, but more on that in another post.)
Another feature that struck me was the beautiful half-moon bar situated right in the middle of the store. This is where they host their many tastings which happen almost every day of the week. In the back of the store, there is also a small classroom space where they hold introductory classes to wine tasting.
What makes Wardman such a gem is the fact that their staff's background is so eclectic. With its owner, Hiram, a "recovering attorney", the general manager Nick, who is a "chef turned wine wizard," Aisha who is a kick-ass spirits mixologist and Eric (my tour guide) a beer aficionado, you can't possibly walk out of the door empty handed. The expertise is amazing, and the passion for great customer service and quality wine shines through. During this visit, I left with two bottles: one Carmenere-Syrah blend (on the heavier side of the reds) and another Pinor Noir (on the lighter side.)
"Wardman Wines is a place where they want everyone - no matter what their taste in wine may be - to be able to find something that they are going to pick up, taste and enjoy," Eric says. "Because honestly? ALL of the wine is good."