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Meet Michelle Warner, who, with her husband Michael, recently opened DCanter A Wine Boutique on Barracks Row. The entrepreneur shared her inspirations and some wine secrets with us.

Michelle Warner_IMG_2371

(Photo credit: Laura Ford Photography)

1. What was the inspiration behind opening the DCanter Wine Boutique?

My husband and I have always wanted to start our own business, and we both love wine. So with the combination of these two, DCanter – A Wine Boutique was born. We call it a “wine boutique” because DCanter specializes in small-production, boutique wines that are typically from family-run wineries. It’s also a reference to the personalized experience we provide each of our customers. We love helping each person who walks in our door find something delicious to enjoy, experience, and savor.

2. Tell us about the 8th Street neighborhood since you moved in.

8th Street/Barracks Row is a really friendly neighborhood. You definitely feel the sense of community here. We’ve loved having our wine boutique located here so much that we also decided to live just a few blocks down the street! It has been wonderful getting to know our neighbors through the shop and meeting visitors from other parts of the city. Being near the National Mall and Eastern Market makes Barracks Row a prime destination for visitors, and as a result — DCanter as well. And we’re excited to make our wine selections available through our wine concierge and delivery service across DC!

3. How are your wine classes going?

The wine classes at DCanter are a fun way to learn more about wine and get to taste unique, craft wines. We have classes for the wine novice as well as the connoisseur, with topics ranging from wine 101 to a focus on wine regions. We also frequently host winemakers in the shop for “bottle signing” events or virtually through our neat video-conferencing capability. Our customers get a kick out of engaging with a winemaker who is talking to them from the winery in The Republic of Georgia or France or Austria. The classes are a great way to discover what the vast wine world has to offer, and that there’s nothing intimidating or snobbish about it. They are frequently sold out, though, so we recommend folks sign up right away if they’re interested in attending a particular class!

4. If someone is new to wine and doesn’t want to look dumb at a business dinner, what would you suggest?

Look for red blends on the wine list. These are wines that feature more than one grape varietal and will be listed on the menu. Red blends are typically crowd pleasers, whether your ordering a glass for yourself or for the table. And definitely feel free to get a recommendation from the sommelier. That’s what they’re there for.

5. Michelle Obama comes into your store. What do you suggest she try?

I know she’s a big proponent of farm to table and organic/sustainable farming, so I would definitely suggest she try the Ankida Ridge Pinot Noir from Virginia. It’s an incredible Pinot Noir that can rival any red Burgundy. It’s a delicious product of sustainable local agriculture. I imagine that she’d enjoy the wine after a long workday and share it with the President, while they catch up with their kids at dinner.