Category Archives: Learning

Out of the Bucket Part II

To continue this week’s tour of Chinatown and Penn Quarter, and to keep going down the list, we’ll visit one of my other favorite places.  As promised, this is my spot for wine when I find myself anywhere close to the Verizon center.

Welcome to Proof

The wine Bar at Proof – photo from

Nice atmosphere + good wine = Proof you should add this to your list

I found myself Proof’  for the first time a few years ago when I had just missed getting into the National Portrait Gallery, one of my all-time favorite DC museums, and Proof was right around the corner.  I sat at the bar, pictured above, and to my great delight, the current exhibition from the Portrait Gallery was on display via the four flat screens above!  Not only could I view the art I’d intended to see, but I could do it in the company of big, jammy glass of red poured for me by elegant staff into even more elegant stemware.

If Benjamin Franklin said it, there must be something to it! 

As posted on Proof’s Website

In true wine bar fashion, Proof has over 40 wines by the glass.  Their selection of over 1,000 bottles includes both Old World wines from Europe and Mediterranean basin and New World wines from Australia and New Zealand, to the Americas.  The food menu is also worth a gander and I can vouch for its cheese and charcuterie selections which boast a number of my Italian favorites like cured meets bresaola and finocchiona as well as uber-delicious cheeses morbier and gorgonzola dolce, to name only a few of many.

Need I say more? Andiamo!

Salute, Mariesa

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Stop Your Whining, There’s a Wine App for That

After a long day, sometimes I just want someone else to pick out the wine, but usually I end up doing it myself because I want to drink something I’m actually going to enjoy.  So what to do when your only option is the nearest liquor store for the quick-buy post-work/ pre-dinner?  Well my friends, there’s an app for that!  Actually, there are a few.  Read below on a couple I’ve been sampling lately and please send me any you’ve found useful or let me know what your experience with these has been.

1. Wine Spectator (WS) VintageChart+

This is a very simple application for iPhone and iPad that can be helpful when you find yourself staring at an endless wall of wine from a region with which you’re not too familiar. When you don’t know what the difference is between two wines of the same variety that are from different years (known as vintages, in wine-speak) and you just need to make an educated guess.  This app takes care of guessing part by collecting countless wine reviews from pro-tasters and aggregating the scores into a handy little vintage chart.  Take a look and try it out (it’s FREE) next time you’re seeking guidance and the clerk is clueless.

By Country

Hmm… was German wine better from ’07 or ’08? Just tap “Germany” to find out!

As you can see, Germany’s ’07 vintages were rated slightly higher than its ’08 vintages. All else being equal, this is a helpful tie-breaker!

2. – The App for users and recommended for those curious enough about wine to know they don’t know much

For serious collectors, is a dream come true.  The app (available for numerous devices) pulls your personal account information from, an excellent site developed to track your personal wine collection.  It also optimizes all the other great features on the site such as sharing tasting notes and interacting with your fellow trackers.  Minimal investment of $2.99 but if you are a regular user, this app is priceless.

Not just for tracking, is also great for exploring the extensive database of over 34 million bottles reviewed by both collectors and professionals.

The best thing about this app is how its “shareability” factor. You can add whatever you’ve just purchased after a wine tasting and then share your latest discovery with friends on multiple platforms. Bravo!


Let me know what you think about these or send me your recommendations for other wine apps you enjoy.  


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