Wine Around Town: ENO Wine Bar


Happy Wine Wednesday! A few weeks ago, I took a trip to a wine bar that has quickly become a new favorite.

ENO Wine Bar, located on the corner of 28th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW and right next to the Four Seasons Washington in Georgetown, looks cute and quaint upon first glance. But after stepping inside, you're greeted by a comfortable fusion of old world wine country and modern design (they've got a beautiful cellar and super chic tasting room in the basement!) I first learned of ENO via Twitter, when they extended an invitation for me to come visit. We all know that taking a trip to Georgetown can sometimes be a feat, but I was determined to give this wine tasting room a try. 


And I wasn't disappointed! Their happy hour was fairly reasonable, with glasses of their house white, red and rosé priced at $5 a glass. What makes ENO super special is that they have wine available on tap. Yes, you read that correctly - they've got wine on tap. From my table, I could see about five taps that pour various wines. (Trust me, if I had enough time, trust - I would've tried them all.)  They also have a variety of nibbles that pair nicely with their wines, something I will definitely have to try upon my next visit.

As a first timer to the tasting room, I decided to first try their rosé. It was waaay too hot outside for a heavy red, and I wasn't in the mood for a very sweet white wine, so the rosé seemed to be a happy medium.


Crisp and light upon first taste, this Rosé Grenache was definitely a great choice - but I eventually moved on to try their red wine on tap. For a while, I was wary of rosé wine because I thought it was too fragrant and sweet. But my love for dry red and white wine has allowed my taste buds to be more adventurous and explore the berry delightful and smooth taste of rosé.


If ever you're ever visiting Georgetown around happy hour, I highly recommend stopping by ENO wine tasting room for a supreme experience. Be sure to check out their website and follow them on Twitter  and Instagram for updates.



Wine Around Town: Wardman Wines

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."

To learn more about Wardman Wines, visit their website, follow them on Twitter or stop in for a visit!


Wine Around Town: Grand Cata, Latino Wine Company

Happy National Wine Day, everyone! As you all know, I love wine. Living in the Nation's Capitol over the last five years, I have found a plethora of very cute wine bars and stores that have tickled my fancy, and left me even more curious to satisfy my infatuation with fermented grapes.

With the summer just around the corner, I’ve made it my mission to visit the many amazing wine bars and stores that The District has to offer. I've titled this new excursion "Wine Around Town," and will be sharing a new spot once a month.

Now, on to the wine!


Earlier last week during a (rare) sunny day, I decided to take a stroll from my office in Thomas Circle to a new wine store that just opened in the Shaw neighborhood. Looking at the website, the wine shop appeared to be very spacious and inviting, with the walls lined with a variety of wines from Latin America. And because I have a love for wine that is specifically from this region AND they were already having a daily tasting from 5-7 p.m., I knew that Grand Cata was exactly what I was looking for.

catar - Spanish verb for "to taste"

Upon entering the store, I was greeted by its owners Pedro Rodriguez and Julio Robledo. I expressed my excitement for tweeting them earlier, and they of course were super pleased to see my stop by so soon.


The two wine enthusiasts, both Puerto Rican and Chilean respectively, shared with me the inspiration behind the inception of Grand Cata, and their excitement for the grand opening (which took place on May 18th.) As Julio pour me the #DailyCata, Pedro prepared to take me on a tour of the store.

I was completely taken away by the beautiful rustic yet modern feel of Grand Cata. As Pedro walked me around the store, he shared how the wines were categorized by region (old and new world, too) along the two main walls of the store. They also had a very impressive collection of tequilas sherrys, and beers that were arranged wonderfully behind the register. Pedro also mentioned that Grand Cata would soon be starting a wine club where subscribers would receive 2 bottles per month a a few other cool perks. You can learn more about that here.


And because I never leave a wine store empty handed, I walked out with a bottle of the #DailyCata, which was a 2014 Southern Italian Primitivo by Mottura Le Giuse. I haven't cracked it open yet, but it was quite a steal for $11! Overall, I love the vibe of Grand Cata, and how hospitable both Pedro and Julio were during my visit. I look forward to stopping by next time I'm roaming around in Shaw.

For more information on Grand Cata, be sure to visit their website and follow them on Instagram and Twitter!



As soon as I walked it, I felt as though I had

Wine + Wisdom: Risk Rejection.


Good evening, and welcome to the inaugural post of 'Wine + Wisdom',  where I will share the latest wine that I'm sippin' on and a life lesson that I've encountered over the course of the week. Questions, comments or wisdom you'd like to share? Be sure to hit me on Twitter or in the comments below. Let's pour up, shall we? 

There's so much power in taking a risk. Leaping  jubilantly into the unknown with mustard seed-sized faith, and putting yourself so far out on front street that there can't be any possible way of you finding your way back to where you started. For as long as I can remember, I've never been scared to try something new, but it's the reaction to my risk taking that usually gives me pause. Sometimes, it's positive; but the negative usually results in the form of rejection.


Reflecting on this, I'm finishing up the last bottle of four from my quarterly Bright Cellars subscription . It's a 2014 Nero D'avola Terre Siciliane by Arduini, and it is absolutely delicious. To break that down for y'all, Nero D'avola translates to "the most important red wine grape in Sicily" - specifically southeast Sicily . If you know me, you know I love my red wine and this one in particular has just the right amount of dryness and sweetness. With notes of raspberry and blackberry, this red wine is on the lighter side and doesn't linger too long on the pallet.

Now that you've gotten into my pour, back to the wisdom. Experiencing rejection is never easy, but it's a character builder that is absolutely necessary. From not getting the job of your dreams, to losing your job, to being ignored and/or completely dismissed by your significant other, the feeling of inadequacy and worthlessness can seep through at the drop of the dime.

But it's important that you don't allow the outcome of rejection to take over you. Yes, you took a step into the unknown and put your heart on the line, only to hear the word "no" and get your ego is bruised in the process. You feel all the terrible negative feels and maybe even question whether or not you deserve what your heart truly desires. Again, don't play yourself! These feelings are temporary, and believe it or not, you're a lot tougher than you could ever imagine. Most importantly, you are deserving of all the happiness, joy and peace the world has to offer.

Moral of the story? Embrace rejection because it'll make you stronger and more resilient in the end. Taking risks is apart of this thing we call life, and every thing you've ever wanted is waiting for you on the other side of fear.

Until next time, keep your head up and that wine glass full.


8 Wines of Christmas (Or Any Holiday For That Matter)


Happy December, everyone! It's so secret that I love wine. From my #WineWednesday Instagram posts, to opening my newest shipment of wine from Bright Cellars every month, I've become quite the wine snob this year.


With Christmas just days away, I thought it would be cool to put together a list of my favorite wines that would be perfect for a holiday gathering with family and friends or just a night snuggled up by the fireplace. Whether you're a novice wine drinker or have been enjoying adult grape juice for quite some time, this list has a little bit of everything for everyone.

Take a look at the list of some of my favorite wines below. Enjoy!



Malbec (Alamos, 2013 - $12.99) - This is by far my favorite (affordable) Malbec that can pretty much be found in any grocery or wine store nationwide. Malbec is typically a fuller, bolder wine with a dark sweetness (think: plum, cherry and blackberry.) Alamos makes a variety of wines, but it is their delicious reds they are most known and appreciated for. Pair this Malbec with a hearty dish like steak, or with a piece of dark chocolate for an after dinner treat.


Pinot Grigio (Cavit, 2014 - $7.99) - While I'm a huge fan of red wine, I do also enjoy certain white wines from time to time as well. This is another easy find in the grocery store that's light and refreshing with just the right amount of sweetness. With hints of green apple, this wine actually pairs well with turkey and chicken,  so go 'head and pour it up one time on Christmas Day!


Shiraz (Nederburg, 2009 - $10.99) - A South African wine for $11? Let me tell you how much I came up in life when I discovered this gem. I love red wine that's more on the dry than sweet side, so if you're looking to make your way up the red wine ladder, I highly suggest finding you a bottle of this. I'll say that it hits your palate with a kick, so this would definitely pair well with a spicy dish.


Sauvignon Blanc (Huru, 2014 - $8.99) - I received a bottle of this as part of my Bright Cellars monthly subscription and couldn't get enough of it. While Sauvignon Blancs can be on the dry or sweet side, I prefer mine (you guessed it) on the dry side. This would be a great wine to serve on New Year's Day with fish or even if you're snacking on Goat cheese and crackers. 


Cabernet Sauvignon (Black Box, 2012 - $8.99) - I like to tell people who are just starting to dabble into the world of red wine to start with a CabSauv because it isn't an overpowering red, but it still gives you a full-bodied taste.  Given to me as a gift in what I like to call an 'adult juice box,' Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon is mild, yummy and perfect with a nice piece of steak or a meaty vegetable like mushrooms.


Chardonnay (Smoking Loon, 2012 - $8.99)  - While I'm not the biggest fan of Chardonnay, this particular white wine is fairly mild yet creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. Typically, Chardonnay has a real buttery taste (which I loathe) but this Smoking Loon wine has melon and other citrus notes that don't leave that weird waxy after taste.  If you're hosting a small get together with family and friends, this is the perfect wine to serve with a cheese platter of Swiss, Brie and Gouda.


Chianti (Tomaiolo, 2010 - $9.99) - If you're ready for a bold yet fruity red wine, let this Chianti (Kee-Ahn-Tee) be your go-to. What I love most about this particular red is that it can go with pretty much whatever you decide to eat. From salty popcorn to a cheesy piece of pizza, Chianti is that comfy red wine that'll make you feel right at home. (If I had to place any bets, I'd say this would be a wine that Olivia Pope would appreciate.) 


Riesling (Eroica, 2012 - $14.99) - I have not been able to find this wine ANYWHERE! But let me tell you that this Riesling right here? Changed my life last Thanksgiving with this sweet aroma and spritz-y taste. Another lighter, drier white wine with strong citrus notes, this American wine pairs well with Asian cuisine. 

What are some of your favorite wines to drink around the holiday season? Let me know in the comments below or send me a tweet.

Cheers to a safe and responsible holiday season!