Checking Out Cleveland Park Wine & Spirits by Kristi Green

Kristi Green is the author of the blog DC Wineaux. She further indulges her love of wine in her work at a wine bar on U St NW.

Cleveland Park Wine & Spirits 3423 Conn Ave NW

In the realm of cool DC neighborhoods, Cleveland Park is fast becoming my favorite–and as a loyal U Street lover, that’s saying something. Cleveland Park is chock full of great restaurants (Dino, Ardeo+Bardeo, Palena…), great shopping (Carbon is incredible), and as I’ve recently discovered–this neighborhood is home to one of our city’s best wine selections at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits.

The shop, which has been open for two decades, is big, bright, and wonderfully open. I love cute little tiny wine shops, but the wide open aisles and high oak shelves of Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits are a breath of fresh air. With all that space, the wine lovers are free to step back and ogle the incredible selection of wines from all over the world.

While this shop does have a great deal of labels you’ll likely recognize, they also have a great deal of unique wines. Within moments of entering the Bordeaux section of their wine shop, Tony Quinn approached me–we began talking about the Zweigelt I’d chosen already and he informed me that they have wines from Austria, Georgia, Urgugay, and Colorado (who knew they were making wine in Colorado?!)–and everywhere else, for that matter.

After exploring a bit, Tony allowed me to taste two Rhone blends though I ended up coming home with a 2005 Saint Emilion, a Cremant de Loire Rose, and a Zweigelt. The price range is comfortable to say the least–I took home three bottles for under $60 (before the bag tax–that’s what I get for leaving my green bags at home).

This upcoming weekend, like most weekends, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits will host two free tasting events. On Friday, March 18th from 5-8pm the shop will hold a tasting of the entire XYZin portfolio. On Saturday, March 19th, Regis from Roanoake Vineyards will be in the shop tasting Virginia wines!

Recommendation after the jump.

A selection of wines purchased at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits (from left to right): Anton Bauer Zweigelt (Wagram, Austria–tasting notes above), Domaine de la Bergerie Cremant de Loire Rose (Loire Valley, France), Maison Blanche Saint-Emilion (Bordeaux, France).


Anton Bauer/Wagram, Austria/Zweigelt/2007


fruit forward reds


a post-dog-park at home happy hour! for food: poultry, mild cheese, lean charcuterie


light to medium body with substantial tannin. on the nose: ripe cherry, oak. on the palette: bright red fruits, grippy tannin, and a long finish of smooth cassis.

The shop is located at 3423 Connecticut Avenue NW; they are open M-Th10am-9pm; F-S 10am-9:30pm; Closed Sunday.

38 Comment

  • As a Cleveland Park resident, I have to say that anyone visiting (or living in) the neighborhood should skip CPW&S and head to Weygandt in the strip mall right next to Palena. Weygandt Wines has amazing service, and every bottle is amazing, from the $11 ones to the very expensive. I cannot recommend this place enough. At Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, I often feel that they are trying to sell me a car or something, but at Weygandt I feel that they truly want to provide me with something great in my price range (usually under $15 a bottle).

    • saf

      As a Petworth resident, I make the trek to CP for CP Wine and Spirits.

      • CP Wine and Spirits is a good place, but for my money I highly recommend you try Weygandt next time you’re in the area.

    • I’m not overly fond of Weygandt. They only have European wines, they don’t have anything from the Western Hemisphere and although they have some cheap ones, their under-$20 selection is very limited.

      Plus, CPW&S has liquor and beer as well.

    • I call shenanigans. I think the Weygandt folks are posting here. It’s a nice place but “The real deal”? That would be CP Wine and Spirits. It’s been there forever and the staff knows their stuff. No self respecting CP resident would call Weygandt the real deal. Not even on an anonymous forum. Unless you moved here yesterday?

      • I agree. Nobody likes Weygandt.

      • Haha, no I’m just a fan. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for two years. Folks here are right, CP Wine and Spirits has a larger selection and American wines, but the under $20 selection, while limited, is wonderful at Weygandt. I don’t find the staff pretentious at all, as I know little about wine and they’ve always been very helpful.

  • Agreed, Weygandt is the real deal.

  • I’ve never bought a bottle of wine at this place, but they have a very nice beer selection. It’s overpriced, but so is almost every other beverage shop in the District.

  • Their selection is “eh” and their prices are pretty high. The only time I go in there is when I am going to dinner at someones place in CP and need some beer.

    I buy all my wine at Calvert Woodley up the street in Van Ness. Enormous selection from the 5 dollar bottles up and an almost overbearingly knowledgable staff.

  • Weygandt belongs in Chevy Chase. Pretentious and overpriced. The guys at CP are usually drunk, but super friendly and have a good, much more affordable, selection of wine and beer.

  • Calvert Woodley forever.

    “In the realm of cool DC neighborhoods, Cleveland Park is fast becoming my favorite.”

    You should go to Clarendon, it will blow your fucking mind.

    • Not this damn argument again. Get thee back to Reston ye hipster troll.

      • For the record, I never said I live in Cleveland Park and I never said that I’m there all the time–I said I’m starting to like it as much as I like some other neighborhoods (and then, if you read the column you know, I mention my loyal love of U St); relax.

    • I agree, Cleveland Park is pretty nice, but it seems to be overpopulated by annoying old people who wish it was still 1950.

    • Isn’t it difficult to feel smug when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder to see if you’re about to be stabbed by a mugger?

    • I used to work in Clarendon, it wasn’t for me. I’m sorry my opinion didn’t tickle your fancy…what neighborhoods do you think are cool, oh wise anonymous one?

      And really, Virginia-phobia is tired. Let it go.

    • no matter how great other neighborhoods become, CP remains a great neighborhood for substantive reasons

      (safety, metro, walkability, proximity to the park or zoo, proximity to other neighborhoods, groceries, library, drugstore, post office, movie theater, an URGENT CARE CENTER, gift shops, wine shop, meditation center)

      most of the above businesses are independently-owned/small

      you might not want to buy here or find it affordable, you might not choose its bars or eateries — that’s okay with me, but it’s not a hood to denigrate

      many of us who are here love it — we love our neighbors, we love our safety, we love our businesses, we love our little village!

  • Whoa there. I don’t work for Weygandt. Nor do I live in CP… I live in Petworth. Yes, Weygandt doesn’t have a vast selection, but what they do have is usually pretty interesting and it’s well-curated. Yes, it hasn’t been around as long as CP, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good, or better in some ways.

    I like the tastings at Weygandt since there is usually a theme or producer and you get to focus on the wine and drink from actual wineglasses. At CP, it’s much more of a crazy party scene and you drink out of plastic cups. Call me a snob, but I prefer the former. It’s all just opinion. Some people want the latter. I don’t. If I want to see if I like a wine, I want to focus on it and think about it.

    I am no CP hater… they have decent beer and liquor and some of their California offerings I haven’t seen anywhere else in town (you definitely pay for that, but hey, at least someone is carrying them), so they’ve got that.

    • I think your email makes clear where the opinion splits on this one. If you want your wine curated and your tastings produced, go to Weygandt. If you don’t know (or particularly care) what that means, go to CP.

      • A little anti-snob snobbery never hurt anyone, but this is misplaced.

        Weygant’s selection is limited because they’re an importer and they only sell wines they import (though I did notice a couple of boutique-y looking Californians in a corner). On the flip side, he imports excellent stuff and his name on the bottle is widely considered (by the sort of people who know these things, not just me) to be a sign of good things inside. I find the staff very friendly and very knowledgeable, and while the selection skews high-end, there are plenty of good $10-25 offerings. The also have excellent tastings. Last weekend’s highlight included a $125 Corton Charlemagne, an $80 bottle of Nuit St. George (white and red Burgundies, respectively) and a $22 Cremant d’Alsace that would make an excellent substitute for a $50 bottle of Champagne. After I’d sipped the good stuff, they were happy to sell me three bottles that cost less than $60 all together.

        I never cared for Cleveland Park. I distrust their selections and too often Tony seems like a used care salesman trying to fast-talk you into buying whatever he’s got the best mark-up on.


        • thank you for your bright, positive insights. you have thoroughly explained your postion on the situation without a bold focus on the negative. comment on my column, anytime (even if you disagree with what I’m saying)!

  • That link is pretty hilarious with this post in mind. I think there’s definitely room for both. I go to CP W&S for beer and liquor, and Weygandt for wine. Both great assets to the community IMO. Thanks for posting that, PoP!

  • I live in CP, love in CP, and often hit up both places for different needs as each has its own merits.

    I will throw in though that I have been overcharged by the guy at the register (I should know his name by now) at CP W&S on multiple accounts and know others have as well. It’s typically about a $1 over and if questioned he apologizes, adjusts and all is well. Will continue to shop there as I dig the selection, the (sometimes really boozy) vibe but have begun feel they may be up to somethin…

    Anyone else?

  • Isn’t Carbon in Woodley Park right across from the metro? Did they open one in Cleveland Park?

  • They’re definitely different, but CPW wins out for its truly international selection of wines and many more budget options for the casual connoisseur. To contradict the earlier poster, Tony may be pushy but I’ve never felt a profit motive — he truly seems to want people to try new things.

    Throw in the fact you don’t have to go elsewhere to pick up the occasional bottle of liquor or liqueur, CPW is much more value for the neighborhood.

  • The best thing about CP is indique.

  • I love CP wine & spirits, on more than one occasion they have special ordered liquor, beer and wine for me and my husband. They also have provided amazing recommendations over the years. I strongly recommend if you are in the area pop in and check them out.

  • I actually work at Weygandt Wines. One of the 3 people that do. Believe me if you want to, but I know that none of us have previously commented on this post.

    That being said, thanks to those that have kind words to say. One of the things we try to be very conscious of is not being pretentious about wine–tasting, buying, history, or whatever else we can think of. Good wine is good wine, whether you know (or care) enough (or too much) about it, or you just like something to wash down a slice of Vace’s pizza and it doesn’t matter to you that the person who made your wine is a 5th generation winemaker.

    We realize that we are limited in that we are an importer store. While we try to offer a variety of different wines for a variety of palates, it’s impossible for us to be everything to everyone. The majority of our portfolio will continue to be focused on our importer’s selections, but we have started to bring in some U.S. West Coast wines that are in line with what our imports are–wines made by smaller grower-producers that we think are very good. That is not to say there are not great wines made by big houses. There are many, many–too many to count! But just like any small business, we have to have a plan and ours is to sell wines that are in the mold of what our importer has found. We have also started to bring in 4 different producers of Argentinian wines.

    As of right now, we don’t have any $5 wines. If we find some to import, that fit our focus, we will bring them in. We have a few $10 bottles and many more $15-$25. And we also have plenty of pricier wines that we generally do not suggest unless someone is asking for something a bit more special. To sum up our first 17 months, we have tried very hard to listen to our customers and adjust as much as possible to fit the market. We are a young, small business that has probably made some mistakes, but we are trying to make it and add something to the neighborhood and (hopefully) eventually the wine world.

    Sorry for the very wordy comment–I wanted to make our position as clear as possible. For those who do not like our store, that is fine. I have my preferences just like everyone else. But hopefully if you don’t like our store, it’s because you don’t like our selection of wines and it’s not because you think we’re pretentious or snobby. We love great wine, but don’t think anyone is defined by it.

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