I should start by saying I am so jealous that someone else (Wendy) is living my dream of selling wine, cheese and cured meet to the masses. Since I am clearly not brave enough to launch my own wine bar I’m sure glad Wendy did.
The Screwtop concept of wine bar, retailer, restaurant and event location is genius. They have a great selection of “fancy cheese”, every kind of pork you could ever want and delicious wine. Plus, they have that neighborhood feel I crave. I recognize the waitresses and it is completely unpretentious.
I am a member of their wine club, a fan of their happy hour specials and have even hosted a private event there so I’ve had a chance to see the business from many perspectives.
The wine club: At only $39.99 a month it is a pretty good deal considering you get 2 bottles of wine and a cheese selection. I’ve been impressed with the wine selection and I always end up being exposed to something new. They also host a great tasting party for members on the second Sunday of every month. My only complaint is that with it being summer and always being out of town, it is hard to make it to the tasting parties. I loved when they were on Tuesdays, it was a great way to break up the week.
Eating & Drinking: I love that they have themed happy hours. Who doesn’t like a theme?? Thumbs up Tuesday and my personal favorite Wino Wednesday. Their wine selection has something for everyone and with wide range of prices so you never feel forced to break the bank. In addition to buying wine by the glass, you can also choose from their rotating wine flights which typically consist of 3 selections. I love these since you get a chance to try a variety. They also have a craft beer selection if you are visiting with a beer fan.
Overall the food has been good. If you sit at the bar they will give you some delicious truffle popcorn to munch on while you mull over the menu. Here are a few highlights. The baked goat is soooo good plus it is almost an entire log of goat cheese and could be shared by 3-4 people. I had the Toked Goat Sandwich last night and it was really yummy. My all time favorite though is the Bacon Cheddar Bruschetta. This stuff is amazing and addictive. I haven’t had a chance to try the Buffaloaf (shocking to those of you who know me) but I will make sure to get it soon.
Retail Shop: Sometimes picking out a wine can be intimidating but the handwritten notes about each wine in the retail section make it easy to imagine each bottle in its best element. This is especially helpful since they stock such unique offerings. Bonus alert: If you try something at the bar and want to buy a bottle from the retail shop they’ll give you 5% off your purchase. Not much but every penny counts these days!
Event Space: They don’t have a ton of space but I held a standing room only wine tasting and networking event for about 50 people and it was great. The planning was simple, they had a wine rep come in to conduct the tasting, the cheese and charcuterie plates were delicious and the bill was incredibly reasonable.
So, if you haven’t been to Screwtop, stop in for a drink, a snack, and maybe a few take home bottles!
Screwtop Wine Bar
1025 N. Fillmore St.
Arlington, VA 22201