Sidney Moore Margolis, a DC wine retail icon

Sidney Moore Margolis passed away April 9. DC wine lovers of a
certain age will remember her as the proprietor of Mayflower Wines &
Spirits on M St NW, near the old Marriott hotel and Blackie’s House of
Beef. It was a major stop on my “Stations of the Vine” pilgrimage each
Saturday when I was learning about wine and building a cellar by
visiting various wine stores for their free tastings and energetic
discussions about wine.

Sidney herself rather kept to herself – she was not a gregarious
retailer. She preferred to express herself in the store newsletter,
which she personally wrote and typed in the era before computers and the
Internet. She would write about the winemakers whose products she
featured in the store, or wonderful meals she had with wine, or
top-notch olive oils from Tuscany she could offer at the store. It was
great reading, and great marketing.

My tribute to Sidney
was posted today on The Washington Post’s All We Can Eat blog. I hope
you’ll read it and remember someone who not only sold us wine, but
helped us appreciate its role in our culture and in our basic enjoyment
of life’s finer pleasures.



About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (
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