kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Zola Wine and Kitchen

I got the chance last night to check out Zola Wine and Kitchen--the restaurant's full-service wine shop, chef's test kitchen and site of cooking and wine classes. Just a short walk away from Zola and the International Spy Museum, at 505 9th Street NW, the space is sleek yet welcoming.

The wine shop boasts a lot of offerings (about 60%) under $20. TV monitors over wine shelves play video and pictures of the food that best goes with the wines underneath (one monitor showed pics of lambs, while another touted wines that come from all over the U.S. And the categories will periodically change based on season, holidays, etc.) Wines are also grouped from lighter to heavier body--clever red lights under the shelf give a clue as to the juice inside, with darker lights meaning fuller-bodied red wines. Themed wine classes are held in the shop itself, as well as next door in the test kitchen area.

Speaking of the test kitchen, here guests have the opportunity to attend weekly cooking classes, running from one to two hours in length. Prices for individual classes range between $70 and $120 per person depending on the course. Additionally, each participant receives 10% off any wine shop purchases made during the day of his or her class (oenophiles will be happy to know that students can also sip wine during the cooking classes.) A large dining table with a flat screen TV makes this a great spot for corporate events as well.

Current Zola Wine & Kitchen cooking classes include:

Wednesday Series, featuring Italy
Wednesdays, beginning on January 14th
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
$70 per person, per class
$250 for four sessions

The series will feature authentic Italian ingredients from Cinghiale (wild boar), local free-range Veal, Branzino and Octopus to homemade Antipasti, Pasta and Pizza.

Sunday Supper
Saturdays, beginning January 17th
11:00 am to 1:30 pm
$120 per person

Students in these classes prepare a seasonal Sunday Supper for four people, to take home. Menus will include hearty soups, classic roasts and braises with veal cheeks and short ribs, winter vegetable accompaniments warm desserts such as pear clafoutis and apple cranberry crisp.

Zola Wine & Kitchen is owned and operated by a partnership between Dan Mesches, the president of Star Restaurant Group, LLC, and The Malrite Company. For more information about the cooking classes at the new Zola Wine & Kitchen, please contact Denielle Vendetti, the Special Events Planner, at (202) 654-2855 or