DC Wineaux visits Weygandt Wines in Cleveland Park

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.

After the brouhaha over Weygandt Wines on the Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits piece, I had to go check out the shop for myself. Weygandt Wines (3519 Connecticut Ave NW) is home to only thee employees–Todd Ross, Matthew Stintz, and Tim O’Rourke (one wine industry vet and two former chefs, respectively). The store, based on the portfolio of Weygandt-Metzer Wines has a clear focus on high quality old world wines and little known producers.

Weygandt Wines is a large, open, bright space; the atmosphere is a bit stark, however. The store was nearly silent when I went in with the exception of the conversation coming from three men in the tasting area. The only “character” in the decor of the store is a jug of chocolate milk amongst the “previously tasted” bottles in the tasting area and a six-pack of Dale’s Pale Ale inconspicuously stashed in a mini-fridge behind the tasting counter–not that I’m a fan of “flare” exactly, but there’s something to be said for decor that aids in subtracting from the “wine snob” factor.

I was approached just a few moments after I entered the shop by Tim O’Rourke who asked if I needed help but looked eager to return to his tasting–not a criticism, just an observation–because, honesty, I’d prefer to be tasting too. Most of the wines are red and French–there is a nice selection of whites and sparkling wines in a refrigerator along the back wall. All of these wines seemed to be priced quite competitively and I plan on returning for a second look. The dessert wine selection, however, left something to be desired.

I squired myself about the store and selected three bottles–it was only after this process that I noticed the shelf of wines for $9.99-$19.99 near the entrance.This selection of sale wines was actually rather impressive. Due to the nature of the wines in this store, this sale selection is definitely the best place for a shopper just looking to pick up a “it’s friday night let’s get our party on” bottle.

The bulk of this shop is best for an educated wine drinker or one who is willing to allow a member of the staff to aid them in their choice. Most of the wines at Weygandt are intended to be purchased to be collected and aged or enjoyed on a special occasion. I do find it important to note that Weygandt stocks very little American wine and no other new world wines. I saw a Cabernet Sauvignon, an old vine Carignan, and I believe a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay–all of which, if I remember properly, were from the same Californian producer.

It is clear that the primary concern of Weygandt Wines is to sell high quality, limited production wines, that they love to sell. This shop isn’t for everyone but the educated consumers will enjoy exploring this gem of Cleveland Park–and, while I do sort of feel like I need to dress a little more “business casual” when I return, I do plan on going back.

Recommendations after the jump.

Two to age and two to drink–can you guess which is which? From left to right: 2007 Weingut George Riesling (Rheingrau, Germany); 2008 Domaine Remi Jobard 1er Cru Rouge (Burgundy, France); 2009 Domaine de Vissoux Beaujolais Vielles Vignes (Burgundy, France) (tasting notes below); 2007 Boeri Barbera D’Asti Superiore (Piedmont, Italy).


Pierre-Marie Chermette/Burgundy, France/Gamay (Beaujolais)/2009


light, fruity reds


comfort food!: chicken pot pie, broccoli or potato au gratin, chocolate chip cookies


light bodied, ruby red in color. on the nose: earth, black cherry, leather. on the palette: ripe red fruits; seemingly neverending finish of smooth red fruits.

8 Comment

  • “This shop isn’t for everyone but the educated consumers will enjoy exploring this gem of Cleveland Park…”

    And consumers who want to be educated, as well. I’ve always found the staff helpful and friendly, ready to offer educated, detailed descriptions of the wines. And their Saturday tastings regularly offer bottles in the $50-$100 range, a chance for even the most impoverished would-be wine snob to get a taste of the good stuff.

    The decor is sparse, but I like that I’m not paying for overhead.

    And, last time I was there, they told me that they were going to be significantly expanding the Italian selection soon.

    • I agree that the staff does seem to be the type to aid a consumer in choosing a bottle or bottles– “The bulk of this shop is best for an educated wine drinker or one who is willing to allow a member of the staff to aid them in their choice.”–and I’ll be excited to see that bigger Italy section when I return!

  • Next to Kermit Lynch, Joe Dressner, and Neal Rosenthal, Peter Weygandt is considered one of the best wine importers in the business. The Vissoux Beaujolais Village CT, to my palate, is one of the best non-cru Beaujolaises on the market (that and Jean Paul Brun’s B-V Ancienne). And it can age (I had the ’07 BV CT several late last year and it was singing…mostly rocks, acid, and mineral with just a little fruit to buffer it. Absolutely delicious and utterly different from the primary and fruit driven drink it was on release).

    While I don’t love all of the wines he imports with the same consistency as Dressner and Rosenthal imports, his import label on the bottle is usually a sign that you are at the very least getting something non-spoofed, serious wine that isn’t micro-oxed, reversed osmosized, and new oaked to death.

    Don’t work at the shop and I don’t know the people. Just a Vissoux and Tremblay fan, and I’m glad he imports them.

    • True dat, I always give Pete a call when I’m hosting a big soiree, and he never fails to provide wine that not only tastes remarkable, but gets everyone blissfully blitzed at the same time. Cheers!

  • I’m with you 100%–his selection was great (unless you’re craving an Australian Shiraz or something, though that’s not typically my taste)–and the Vissoux was outrageously good!

  • This place is awesome! never got a bad wine!

  • You should probably also have explained that they only stock wines from the 1 importer – Weygandt. He specializes in french, and italian producers. The staff is highly knowledgable, but like any wine store you have to be able to explain what you like and know the right questions to ask them. Loire valley selection is probably the best in the area, IMHO.

    • you know, I actually had that detail in the first draft of the article and then decided it was more important to discuss who’s in the shop day to day–but, yes, the shop is based on the portfolio of Peter Weygandt who began importing French wine in 1987 and then expanded his portfolio and later joined forces with Metzler Wines and are now existing as Weygandt-Metzler Importing.

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