I had the opportunity to go to a media night at Weygandt Wines last Friday, on the occasion of International Champagne Day. This was Weygandt’s first effort to reach out specifically to DC food and wine bloggers, and from what I can tell it was a great success.
Weygandt Wines, located in Cleveland Park, reminds me a lot of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. That venerable Berkeley institution is one of my can’t miss shops whenever I visit my alma mater, and for good reason: the wines I buy from the store are perhaps the freshest, most vibrant wines I’ve ever found. KLWM is sort of like a farmers’ market for wine. If that is the case, then Weygandt Wines is sort of like the Eastern Market of wines.
The namesake of the shop, Peter Weygandt, and his wife Maria (née Metzler) have been importing boutique French wines since 1987. He has recently expanded his portfolio to include wines from Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia, and Spain. He imports some killer Beaujolais and Burgundy, and has an excellent Rhône selection. In all, they import around 70,000 cases of wine from over 100 producers.
The Weygandts were not at the media event, but the event was run by the store’s general manager, Tim O’Rourke. Tim has an interesting history, having started out as a chef. He graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland in 2000, did tours at Café Atlántico, Ristorante Tosca, and Citronelle, and has cooked with such celebrity chefs as Daniel Boulud and Michel Richard. Being the general manager of a wine store probably has its own set of stresses, but I can imagine that it might also be very relaxed in comparison to working in some high-profile kitchens!
I had been to Weygandt only once before, and recently: I picked up a bottle of Cabernet France for an ongoing dinner with friends at Dino (which is right across the street). The store was technically closed but I sneaked in and asked who I found out later to be Tim whether he could recommend a good Cab Franc, which he did. Unfortunately, I don’t remember which bottle he selected, but it was good, and I appreciated being able to pick up a bottle after closing time (and at a substantial discount to boot!).
The event started out with a flight of six sparkling wines–one Crémant de Bourgogne and five Champagnes.