An occasional series of bars, taverns, saloons, watering holes of note — not that we’re advocating tipsiness, of course.
If you know nothing about wine, but you want to learn, the Wine Bin is a good place to start. They’ve got 200 wines under twenty bucks and a knowledgeable staff dying to talk to you about all the bottles on the shelf. If you like to discuss terroir and know your Chambourcin from your Chardonnay, it’s a good place to revel in the well-stocked shelves (about 500 wines in all) and talk up that knowledgeable staff. At the counter beside the cash register, a couple of bottles are open for tasting, both red and white. Maybe a rose, too.
What’s that, you say? You prefer beer? This is the place to pick up a six-pack or, better yet, taste a few craft beers at that same counter to decide which you want to take home.
Since the state of Maryland recently legalized the very old practice of selling beer by the growler, the Wine Bin installed beer taps and now sells an ever-changing menu of craft beers. Since many microbreweries don’t bottle their beers this is the only way to enjoy them at home. So stop by and have a taste before getting your growler — a refillable glass jug that holds up to 64 ounces — if that’s too much, get yourself a 32-ounce squealer.
This can be a popular place on a weekend afternoon. But go ahead and elbow your way in. Or stop in mid-week and take your time looking around, sampling whatever they’re pouring. The shop also stocks an assortment of liquor, wine accessories, chocolates and cigars.
What’s more, there’s often something special going on here — besides all that wine and beer tasting, I mean. There’s Yappy Hour for dog- and wine-lovers, visits from winemakers, the occasional wine dinner, and in summer, Saturday night movies on the adjacent parking lot.
© Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman
If you have a favorite spot you’d like to see here on Thirsty Thursday, let me know.