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Grape Legs - Closed.


Waitman
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I'll have to check it out this weekend. From that link it sounds like a good alternative to Best Cellars, at least the concept, and only a slightly longer walk. Hopefully the selection will be a bit more variable and interesting.

Hiya - This is Franco, from Grape Legs.

In response to your question on selection, I currently stock 102 labels. Of those, only 5 are from the States. The rest hail from Argentina, South Africa, NZ, Aus, France, Ital, Alsace, Portugal and Spain.

I am really diggin' the quality/value of Spanish wines, recently, so I bulked up on those (something like 15 reds (only a couple of those are Riojas)). In fact, two of the Spanish wines I stock are on the most recent Wine Spec's TOP 100. One is $10, the other $11. Doable, huh?

I don't have descriptions of the wines plastered all over the place. Instead, I want folks to pick up each bottle and ask questions about it. I have tasted every wine I sell. Heck, I selected all of them. We might not share the same likes, but I try to infuse my description of the wines with comments that others have made, also.

For the most of the wines stocked, I am the only retailer in DC, although many of the wines I have are served at a number of restaurants in town.

I only deal with two small distributors, each with a catalog of some really fun and tasty grape juice. So, unlike most of the other merchants in town, I do not source any of the inventory from the major distributors. By doing so, my shelves have labels that most folks never get a chance to see and I think 80% of my wines are in the $7-$15 range.

Come on by any day (M-Sat/noon-9pm). I always have some things open for sipping (3 different wines a day, 18 per week), so folks can get a feel for the stuff before they buy and I usually have some pretty good music playing, to boot!!!!!!

Peace & holla!

Franco

Grape Legs

1905 9th St NW

202.387.WINE

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Street parking is readily available in the immediate area. We also offer free delivery on order over $50, throughout the city, if you are phoning in an order.

Regards,

Franco

Grape Legs

1905 9th St NW

202.387.WINE

I know there's no rule, but what's the correct thing to do for tipping the delivery person?

(And welcome, Franco!)

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I know there's no rule, but what's the correct thing to do for tipping the delivery person?

(And welcome, Franco!)

Cheers,

Rocks.

As is the standard, all responsible establishments that offer delivery services, my delivery personnel are hourly employees. They don't make a ton of $$$, so tips help offset their pain.

Myself, I have found that it is not a percentage of the purchased $$ amount, but more on volume. One can spend more that $50 on a bottle, which is a pretty easy delivery. However, the labor and effort taken to load, deliver and off-load cases, which noboby like to carry, is the measure for a tip.

For example, when I hosted an event, last year, and had several cases of beer and wine delivered (up several flights of stairs), I determined, after the fourth trip up the stairs, that I would give a $5 tip for every case. Came to $20 bucks for the 4 cases, but I had that covered in the case discount percentage I received. Plus I didn't climb Mt. Everest x 4. Nor did I endure any traffic, to or fro.

That is my angle, for what it is worth.

Franco

Grape Legs

1905 9th St NW

202.387.WINE

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I pay $5 per delivery of a case of wine. This doesn't involve climbing any stairs, but does require lifting said case onto my dining room table or computer desk table. This is, after all, after paying a $5 delivery fee from another (AHEM) liquor store. When my Father-in-Law was alive, he would send a case of wine over for his son's birthday and for Christmas. Problem was, he didn't give us any kind of warning; so, I often found myself in the early morning not dressed and absolutely cash-less. :lol:

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I pay $5 per delivery of a case of wine. This doesn't involve climbing any stairs, but does require lifting said case onto my dining room table or computer desk table. This is, after all, after paying a $5 delivery fee from another (AHEM) liquor store. When my Father-in-Law was alive, he would send a case of wine over for his son's birthday and for Christmas. Problem was, he didn't give us any kind of warning; so, I often found myself in the early morning not dressed and absolutely cash-less. :lol:

Some people would, surely, pay more than $5 for that situation :unsure:

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I'll have to check it out this weekend. From that link it sounds like a good alternative to Best Cellars, at least the concept, and only a slightly longer walk. Hopefully the selection will be a bit more variable and interesting.

This place is a good alternative to Best Cellers at kind of the same level that I find Selma Hayek to be a good alternative to celibacy.

Is there parking?

Parking is for wimps. :lol:

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I just went to a speed tasting at grape legs. Some inexpensive interesting wines, though the whites were a little too cold and I (and everyone else) drank two glasses in like five minutes. It was totally entertaining/disorienting. An interesting shop, charismatic space and owner. Seems like a fun neighborhood place to get your swerve on after work. Fastest, cheapest, happy hour starter ever.

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I just went to a speed tasting at grape legs. Some inexpensive interesting wines, though the whites were a little too cold and I (and everyone else) drank two glasses in like five minutes. It was totally entertaining/disorienting. An interesting shop, charismatic space and owner. Seems like a fun neighborhood place to get your swerve on after work. Fastest, cheapest, happy hour starter ever.

What is speed tasting? Something like speed dating?

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It was heavy-pour, manic tasting. That's not what Franco called it, I don't think. It was just super fast. As in, get a mouth feel for a wine and swill the rest, no pour bucket. :o
Manic is the right word-- that just seems to be Franco's style. We were down that way on Saturday and stopped in. He is incredibly enthusiastic about the wines he carries and makes it feel more like you're in his living room than a store. All I can say is, you'd better be ready for some wine when you show up! Definitely get down there and check this place out-- it's the type of business that deserves some dr.com support. Franco was telling us he has plans for a bistro on top of Grape Legs as well.
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I dropped by here a couple weekends ago to stock up for a party. The tasting was definitely fast-paced! I'm fine with it since it fits Franco's enthusiastic style. He's definitely dialed in to the wines he stocks and it shows; doesn't hurt that our tastes seem to run along the same lines. I'll have to check the bottles at home, but we really enjoyed a Portuguese alentejo (sp?) for all of $12/bottle. I'll be back in a heartbeat when we need to restock.

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Liked the space, liked the wines, liked the owner -- even though we agreed to disagree about red Burgundies** -- and really hope this place takes off. If it doesn't, it won't be for lack of owner enthusiasm. There were power issues due to bistro construction upstairs, but despite the gloom I managed to taste about 8-9 wines, and came home with 6 of them.

Get the music going, Franco, and we'll be back every week. :lol:

**(we agreed that he was lucky I wasn't wearing my steel toe Docs when he talked smack about them :o )

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Tweaked and I walked past this place two times and didn't see it. And while we didn't know the exact address on the block,* we were looking for it. Turns out there is no sign right now, the lights were out due to a power outage, and there is nothing in the window (which is rather high up off the sidewalk- at least to me) that indicates what is being sold inside is good wine. It looked like it was a closed-up old package store with construction going on. We had to settle for some wan Ethiopian BudLite wannabe brewskis while we waited for the rest of you winos to show up at our $20 Tuesday dinner at Etete (which is on the same block.)

*1905 9th.

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My favorite was a NZ Sauv that managed not to smell or taste like cat pee. Who knew? :o
Waitman also talks it up here. :lol:
Thank you Heather for posting the link to Waitman's report [because I'd skipped over it when I started reading this thread]. It prepared me for meeting Franco. His megawatts of energy more than made up for the power failure. It was near impossible to keep up with him during the tasting. Everything he poured was different and heartfelt. The most interesting was the wine that had a funky nose and turns out to have more than hints of blue cheese. My purchase included two bottles of that NZ Sauv "Dyed in the Wool" -- good stuff in spite of the sheep on the label (some folks are on a "no animals, ever" rant).
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Liked the space, liked the wines, liked the owner -- even though we agreed to disagree about red Burgundies** -- and really hope this place takes off. If it doesn't, it won't be for lack of owner enthusiasm. There were power issues due to bistro construction upstairs, but despite the gloom I managed to taste about 8-9 wines, and came home with 6 of them.

Get the music going, Franco, and we'll be back every week. :lol:

**(we agreed that he was lucky I wasn't wearing my steel toe Docs when he talked smack about them :o )

Heather - Glad they weren't steel toes, for sure! Also, really glad you guys enjoyed the place. FYI - I refer to our tasting methodology as 'power tasting.' Trying to show that the palette is more resiliant than we think. One of the reasons that I like pouring lite whites after earth shaking reds. Your mouth can deal with it!!!

Thanks for the comments!

For example, tonight, I have open for tasting:

Cafe de Paris 'Blanc de Blancs' (France) $9.99

Chat Haut Laulion wht Bordeaux (France) $10.99

Vinas de Balbo Chard/Trebbiano(Argentina) $6.99

Dyed in the Wool Sauv Blanc (New Zeal) $12.99

Greenhough Sauv Blanc (Nelson, New Zeal) $12.99

Greenhough Chard (Nelson, New Zeal) $12.99

Hirondelle Greco (Puglia) $11.99

Prosper Maufoux Vire-Clesse Chard (France)$15.99

Char Vari Monbazillac (France)$17.99

Albran Pinot Noir (France) $10.99

Barricas Malbec (Argentina) $10.99

Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz (Australia) $15.99

Dom des Bosquets Gigondas (France) $27.99

Dom Coste Chaude C duRhone Villages(France) $14.99

Browns/Padthaway Verdelho (Australia) $14.99

Nothing ever planned. Just want folks to get a chance to try things that they have never seen before.

Bouche, which is being worked on as I type, will open in May. $0 corkage for wines purchased at Grape Legs & $8 for any non-Grape Legs bottle brought in from home.

BTW - Check your receipt. You will note that in the darkness, I was unable to visualize the number I typed in to the CC machine. Cheers, and thanks for the invite to dinner with the crew!!!

Grazi & holla,

Franco

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I've gone by twice in the last week and no sign of Franco. I last talked to him about 6 weeks ago and business seemed to be good. It looked like everything was moving ahead with the bistro upstairs and he was talking about some other business options as well. I never bought that much wine from him but I really enjoyed his personality and approach to wines as well as the "Power" tastings. I hope this isn't the last we've seen of Franco.

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I went by here the other day and the curtains were finally open. All the wine on the shelves is gone and there was construction equipment in the middle of the floor. The outside door was locked and there were no signs indicating what is going to happen next.

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