A long-awaited wine bar and bottle shop has opened for business in Park View, but customers aren’t allowed to drink on a 4,000-square foot heated patio just yet. Starting Wednesday, November 11, St. Vincent Wine accepts prepaid pickup orders selected from lengthy lists of wines, ciders, beers, and charcuterie at 3212 Georgia Avenue NW.
The bar is the brainchild of D.C. nightlife vets Peyton Sherwood, a partner at the Midlands Beer Garden, and Frederick Uku, a former bartender at the Red Hen. St. Vincent replaces the Union Drinkery space, which it renovated to look like a worn-in, wood-lined saloon with a huge draw. An outdoor space will start welcoming customers in two weeks.
“To start, we’re only going to be an e-commerce website. With COVID, you can’t roam around in the store just yet,” Uku says.
For its first phase, the owners built a user-friendly Shopify site that lets customers browse for wines by name, price, type, size, and vintage. Same-day can be picked up between noon and 8 p.m., and next-day ordering is available, too.
Fridges and wine racks located right inside the front door house bottles that start at $20. The priciest pick is $200 for a 1.5-liter bottle of Chateau du Grand Bos Graves 2000.
Some of Uku’s early favorites include a Broc Cellars “KouKou” 2018; a Pecchenino “siri d’Jermu” Dogliani Superiore 2017; a Dolores Cabrera Fernandez “La Araucaria” Paraje La Perdoma 2018; and a Couly-Dutheil “Les Chanteaux” Chinon 2018. More options for beer, cider, seltzer, and mead, and batched cocktails are coming soon.
The natural food pairing for all that wine is a selection of a la carte cheeses and cured meats ($4 to $7) such as 18-month prosciutto, soppressata, and bresaola. A pantry section has honeys and jams. Domestic and European cheeses swing from Mt. Tam by San Francisco’s famed Cowgirl Creamery ($8) to La Tur, a high-brow Italian blend of sheep’s, cow’s and goat’s milk ($22). Pre-selected charcuterie platters will land on the site soon.
In the next two weeks, St. Vincent will start selling wine bottles for on-site consumption, sans table service, in a large, dog-friendly backyard behind the shop. The sprawling garden — lined with heaters, wrought iron tables, and large trees transported from Virginia — was a pre-pandemic idea that turned out to be a key component.
A self-service model in the back also helps the team keep prices low and avoid marking up their bottles the way many wine bars do, Uku says.
The second floor, which will stay closed when the patio opens, will eventually serve a menu of cocktails and wines by the glass. There will be comfort foods like pasta and DIY charcuterie boards, too. A small stage will eventually host local bands.
For now, pickup patrons will be limited to browsing the front section of the wine shop.
“We might give the random person the tour of the space,” Uku says.