On my last visit I may have been 1 of 2 or 3 people in the store. Staff had the music turned up and were at the back bar talking about how drunk (with some additional expletives) someone had been — which is fine if someone had been paying an ounce of attention to anyone. After about 30 minutes someone came and asked if I had a question or needed help.
I actually do like some of the staff here and think they know their wine and spirits — but they need to learn a little more about good customer service.
Their selection is wonderful — wine and single malts. They have an excellent selection of wines from California, Italy, and to a lesser extent France — Spain and Argentina are just ok. Their prices are often a little higher than suggested retail, but you will find some hard to find wines at this store….
Nov 07 update: I recently went to the Wine Specialist — and to my surprise it seemed as though they have reduced some of their prices — a lot of the stuff is at retail and below — and items on sale as well. Plus I found a real treasure (04 Nvmanthia) — and the price was reasonable.
I really loved this place when Danny White worked here. He looked like the mayor from Monopoly — he had this big handlebar moustache and shaved his head. Then he married a chef and he got bigger too — and they soon headed off to Las Vegas. DC has never been the same. I worked with someone at Bonny Doon Vineyard that referred me to Danny — and from the moment I introduced myself I always felt like I was a close friend. OK, so I lived with 3 women at the time (Danny loved them) and he always came to our parties with a case of wine — so it may have been that Danny liked my housemates more than me…..
Bill then stepped in at the Wine Specialist — he was great too — a friend once ordered wine via phone to have delivered — she didn’t live in DC but was told to call the wine specialist by the folks at the Four Seasons….so she ordered something and then gave delivery details — and he said “Tom D____?! He is in here all the time — you should get him such and such instead” — she was a little concerned that a wine merchant would know me so well….
I hate to pay their prices — but time and again I stop in as they have a lot of hard to find stuff….and their scotch collection is amazing — and there is a kid there that really knows his scotch too.