Wine Heaven – on The Hill

Tom is the managing partner of First Vine; he runs the day to day operations and selects all of our fabulous wines. I’m involved more on an “as needed” basis; I’m a Washington DC Realtor in my other life. The reason I mention this is because I thought our local newsletter and blog readers (wine lovers that you are) would enjoy hearing about a house on Capitol Hill that has just come onto the market – complete with a top of the line custom wine cellar containing a collection of about 1500 bottles (which do not convey – sorry 😉

You'll think You've Died and Gone to Wine Heaven: 656 Massachusetts Ave, NE

You’ll think You’ve Died and Gone to Wine Heaven: 656 Massachusetts Ave, NE

The cellar at 656 Massachusetts Ave, NE , built in 2003, is located in what used to be the kitchen of the house’s 2 bedroom English basement apartment. It also happens to be a beautiful room. The racking and ceiling are constructed of all-heart redwood, with a slate floor. The door is insulated and triple-paned with a fir wood frame and an Italian blue glass handle by Olivari.

And for all you wine cellar geeks – the interior walls are insulated to R-19 and the exterior walls and ceiling to R-35. A 6 ml poly vapor barrier surrounds the room and prevents water migration. The cooling unit is by Breezaire and it maintains a 55-57 degree temperature all year round.

So what about the rest of the house, you ask? It’s a 3200+ square foot row house built in 2003 and in pristine shape. Chef style eat-in kitchen, French country dining room, expansive built in media center, spacious bedrooms and generous closet space. Open this Sunday from 1-4 if you’d like to take a look!

Well, after all that wine cellar envy, you’re going to want to come home to a good dinner and a nice bottle of wine. Uncork a bottle of one of my new favorites – First Vine’s Cave la Romaine Côtes du Rhône 2011 Viognier ($16). DC-area residents know that Viognier is practically the official grape of Virginia wineries. The original French version combines great fruit and a little bit of floral aroma, like the Virginia version, but with little or no sweetness, a bit more acidity, and a little flintiness or mineral character. It’s an outstanding wine, great for typical white wine pairings and also special-event meals.

And for dinner, whip up this quick and easy broccoli pie – like a quiche, but without the French accent!  Plus it makes its own crust.  Add cooked shredded chicken or ham if you’d like.  Bon appetit!

Broccoli Pie


2 cups broccoli (or mixture of other vegetables), steamed until tender and chopped

1 1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup Bisquick (or 3/4 cup flour + 1/2 tsp baking powder)

1/2 cup chopped onion, sauteed until soft

1 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack or try your favorite)

3 eggs

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Smoky Paprika


Grease a 9″ pie plate ; fill with onion, broccoli and cheese.  Mix together.  In a separate bowl, mix milk, Bisquick, eggs, salt and  pepper for 1 minute. Pour over broccoli, onion and cheese mixture. Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until set.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with smoky paprika.

This entry was posted in Cave la Romaine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wine Heaven – on The Hill

  1. Sue says:

    I can not imagine moving all that wine! And where in the world would they move it TO? I’d love to hear the inside story of what it took to collect that wine and why they’re moving. HEY, that would be a great idea for a show on HGTv – the behind the scenes stories of people who move!

    Great fast recipe, but I would definitely use the flour and baking powder. Do you think that would really perform as well as the Bisquick,though, which may have some magical properties.

    • firstvine says:

      I know .. That’s going to be quite the moving job ! They are moving across town to be closer to their kid’s school. They are building a house and in the configuration of the new place , there is not enough space to have a wine cellar quite like this. So they are bummed about leaving in that respect. Sounds like they will have a wibe cellar there too, though, but slightly less fabulous ;). It is a very neat feature.

      Regarding the bisquik vs flour plus baking powder, I have made recipes like this both ways and have found no discernible difference. I do this recipe, then there’s a sweet custard pie which is basically the same thing minus the veg and cheese plus sugar, nutmeg, etc. if I do happen to have bisquik lying around, I use it, bc it’s one less step. But you certainly don’t have to run out and buy it

      Cheers 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s