Spirits are flowing as Chevy Chase wine, beer and spirits merchants prepare to bid farewell to 2011 and extend felicitations to 2012. Here's a sampling of what local retailers are offering this holiday week.
The shop, which opened in August, is currently offering patrons 15 percent off purchases. If you didn't receive a coupon in the mail, a coupon can be found on page 85 in the January issue of Bethesda Magazine.
General Manager David Birks said business has been "unbelievably good—far above expectations." So good, in fact, that the shop is expanding and plans to open a tasting and beer room in mid-January. The additional retail space will increase the already-extensive beer selection (including imported and American craft beers) to more than 600 unique, different beers, said Birks.
Not a beer drinker? Beer Wine & Co. sells French Champagnes, Spanish Cavas and Italian Proseccos. About 500 wines from around the world are offered as well, including wines from Australia, South America, New Zealand, and France.
Specials this week include Gruet Blanc de Noir (a New Mexico sparkling wine on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2011 list) priced at $17.99, Evodia Garnacha (a Spanish red wine) for $13.99 and Prosecco Solletico (from Italy) priced at $19.99.
Hours: Thursday, Dec. 29, and Friday, Dec. 30, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; New Year's Eve from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 7029 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, MD; 301-951-0100. Off-street parking available.
This store, and the 23 other stores overseen by the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control, are offering hundreds of items on sale for the end-of-the-year holiday season, said Gus Montes de Oca, chief of operations for the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control.
Plus, many mail-in rebates are available for customers to save big on wines, beers and spirits. All sales and rebate offers are the same at all Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control retail stores.
Hours: Thursday, Dec. 29, and Friday, Dec. 30, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; New Year's Eve from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 11 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, MD; 240-773-2009.
Manager Ian Weitzman is a third-generation merchant who said he feels he needs to be in the business to carry on the family tradition.
Approximately 1,200 beers from around the globe—for even the most discerning beer drinker—are offered at this long-time Chevy Chase business. About 20 holiday beers from such places as Belgium and England also grace the shelves. My favorite (blame it on the cool label): Santa's Private Reserve from Oregon. Weitzman said roughly 3,000 wines and 25 to 30 Champagnes are available for purchase.
How does he go about choosing which labels to sell? Weitzman relies on taste and the reputation of the producer. He tastes in-house, courtesy of the sales people from local distributors and suppliers. "It's the only job [where] you can drink and get away with it," Weitzman said with a smile.
A wide variety of wine and spirits are on sale through Jan. 14, including Champagnes priced from $7.99 (Freixenet Extra Dry) to $124.99 (Domaine Perignon), 2008 Hayman & Hill Red Meritage (California) available in bottles ($14.99) or by the case ($169), Barcardi God & Light Rum for $18.99 and Skyy Vodka priced at $19.49, as well as seasonal beers. See the store's website for more advertised specials and a free tasting schedule.
Weitzman's personal recommendation to ring in 2012: Johnnie Walker Blue ("expensive but yummy") and Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut (a Champagne).
Hours: Thursday, Dec. 29, to New Year's Eve, from 10 a.m. to 8:55 p.m. 5544 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC; 202-363-4000.
"We appreciate our loyal customers in Chevy Chase for giving us a great 2011," said Circle Wine & Spirits owner Christy Chang.
Customers' patronage and excellent feedback make the job especially pleasurable, she said, adding that customers may receive 15 percent off the price of any wine that's not on sale by mentioning this article.
Chang said customers will be excited to know that the store has Pappy Van Winkle's, a highly sought after—and difficult to get—Kentucky bourbon. Another seasonal offering is Bollinger Champagne (1999).
Additional specials through Jan. 10 include 20 percent off Italian still wine, sparkling wines priced from $6.99 to $39.99, Kahlua 750ml (all flavors) priced at $14.99 and a large assortment of spirits (including Grey Goose and Jack Daniels), wine and beer.
Enjoy tastings on Fridays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 7 p.m.
Hours: Thursday, Dec. 29, and Friday, Dec. 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; New Year's Eve, from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 5501 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC; 202-966-0600. Off-street parking available (rear of store).
Chevy Chase Patch wishes you and your family a safe and healthy new year.