When Maxwell Park opened its doors in June 2017, the city’s wine geeks knew they’d been blessed with a second home. The brainchild of 31-year-old Brent Kroll, who spent most of his twenties as the wine director for one of D.C.’s most successful restaurant groups, the Shaw wine bar promised to be “devoted to the adventurous imbiber.”
It delivered on this promise. Kroll has put together an extensive list of about 500 wines that’s refreshingly thoughtful and approachable. Most of the by-the-glass pours change each month to match a theme—in June 2018, for example, “Camp Maxwell” offered “chill lakeside whites [and] campfire appropriate smoky reds.” And Maxwell Park doesn’t take itself too seriously; indeed, the bar itself is slate-topped so that patrons can doodle while drinking. Food options are limited but delicious and wine-friendly.