Arrowine – A Trove of Bottled Treasures

Arrowine has been selling the fruit of the vine in the Lee Heights Shops on Lee Highway in Arlington, VA for many years now.

I can remember discovering the store myself quite some time ago, and it wasn’t new then.  In fact, I believe it was opened in 1985.  Despite having found my way there long ago, I haven’t been there in years … literally years.  Why?  Well, I don’t have any really good excuses.  Laziness, perhaps?  There are many wine merchants closer – in and near my own neighborhood.  So … this weekend I made my way back to Arrowine to refresh my memory.

OMG!  Why did I wait so long to return?  Their website says they are a neighborhood wine shop with a national reputation.  I think that’s a great summation of what they do.  They are a big shop, but not a huge big-box type store.  They stock a very large selection of wines from around the world with quite a few unusual, unexpected, hard-to-find wines.

On Saturday afternoons they have a free wine tasting, and I planned my visit accordingly.  That place was humming with activity when I arrived!  There were folks crowded around the wine tasting table where they were pouring six different wines.  There was also quite a bit of hub-bub around the cheese counter.  On the main floor across a sea of wine racks, I heard people greeting old friends and catching up.  I guess it really IS a neighborhood establishment.

As far as the tasting went, I was impressed.  The gentleman pouring was friendly and very knowledgeable about the wines he had on hand.  In fact, he clearly had been involved in finding those particular selections because he had some fun personal anecdotes about a couple of the boutique wineries represented.  He wasn’t pushy in the least.  But when asked a question, he was very forthcoming with pertinent and interesting info that he was excited to chat about.  His was not a dry regurgitation of memorized wine facts nor a hard-sell pitch.

I had a good time.  Browsing their inventory for a bit, I grabbed a couple of bottles while I was there.  Of course!  I could see how the store might seem a bit daunting if you aren’t comfortable in the world of wine.  Because they have a world of wine on hand, let me tell you.  But the staff is friendly and helpful, so there is no reason not to dive right on in.  I’m glad to have rediscovered Arrowine for myself.  I know I’ll be back soon.

 

 

 

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I’m Grateful For Grateful Red

I recently ran across a small wine merchant located next to a bike store across from a major chain grocery store.  I know that sounds sketchy, but it isn’t at all.  I really liked the clever name – Grateful Red – so I decided to venture in to see what it was all about.

Well, they’re primarily about wine along with some beer, too.  The offerings there are not the labels one finds in the typical wine and liquor stores in the area.  That’s good!  Of course, the prices are a bit higher than the usual bottle I blog about here on Oenophilogical.  I mean the ones that can be considered “budget-friendly,” aka cheap.  Even so, I like the variety of offerings Grateful Red has on the shelves.  So I plan on grabbing some of their selections now and then for tasting and blogging.

One of the best things about the Grateful Red store, though, is that they do a wine & beer tasting every Saturday from 1 – 4 p.m.  They open 3 wines and 2 beers for folks to sample.  When I was in they had a Riesling from Germany, a Blush wine from South America, and a French red (as well as two artisanal beers) available for tasting.  What a great discovery!