Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Do you know how to Eno?? If you try the new Tasting Room at the Shops at Wisconsin Place in Chevy Chase, you'll see how it's done. The recently opened wine bar has an Enomatic Wine Machine (Eno Bar), a wine-lovers' ultimate vending machine. Tasters activate the Eno Bar (stocked with wine bottles and dispensers) with a card they buy at the bar. You can put any amount on it over $10; it doesn't expire. We each got a $20 card and ended up adding another buck or so at the end. (Once you get started "tasting," it's hard to tell your eager palate to stop.) Simply insert card, place the glass under the dispenser, push the taste button and presto--instant gratification at a fraction of the price of trying an entire bottle--or even a glass. The idea, according to owner Sean Martin, is to show the world that his stepfather John Kent Cooke's Virginia Boxwood Winery stands up to the array of international vintages at the Eno Bar. My companion's fave was actually the Boxwood Cab; I liked the spicy Topiary. We also tasted bordeaux from the Left and Right Banks of France; a Spanish Llicorella and some Napa reds. Tastes come in 1-oz, 3-oz or 5-oz pours. The Tasting Room also offers wine-accompanying nibbles like cheese plates (we shared a large one as dinner), bruschetta, hummus and sweets. The atmosphere is appropriately chic and streamlined. The Tasting Room also offers outdoor seating.

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