As we near our second birthday, we’ve grown quite a bit. We’ve met thousands of customers and found a welcoming family of natty wine lovers in DC and beyond. The shop has shifted and adapted through these two years. And yet, the cornerstone of our business continues: the individuals who stop by the shop weekly (sometimes daily) for a chat, a masked wave, and their evening wine. These aren’t fancy collectors or Instagram influencers. These are our neighbors, our friends, our family.

During these strange times, we want to celebrate and recognize these individuals on their own turf. Below are a few humans who make us extremely thankful to be in this business.

Photo Credit: Naoko Wowsugi


Patrick Cain
Pre-COVID, we would see Patrick almost every day as he headed home after work at Rock’n Repair (where he repairs everything from vintage amps to rare synths). We all adore Pat. He’s one of the best dressed men in DC and half of the genius behind Model Home. He’s fixed our record player, brought us foraged maitakes and summer pawpaws, and is always down to listen to a quick rant. He was photographed outside his home in Mount Rainier in his pride and joy, the garden.



Allison London
Allison and her husband, Mitchell, moved to DC in 2009. They live a short walk from the shop and their daughter, Nora, was one of our first and youngest customers (three days old)! Their house is full of Allison’s prints from art school and Michell’s photographs. They’ve been breaking up the COVID monotony by cooking through entire cookbooks and watching Nora grow. On our visit, we discovered that Allison also runs an an amazing illustrated card company (Party Sally) in addition to her day job.

Amir Browder
Amir is a gallery owner and artist who runs HOMME, which is just a few blocks from the shop. He’s originally from Newark but has lived in Capitol Hill for over twenty years. Well before COVID, Amir would stop by ahead of show openings to grab a couple bottles of La Boutanche. On our visit to his studio, we discovered that he’s also a Halycon Fellow like Naoko Wowsugi.

Gerard Bailhache
Gerard and his wife, Yvette, are hands down the coolest couple in DC. They live a few blocks from the shop near the border with Shaw. Originally from California, Gerard moved here from NYC and has worked in big wine logistics (ie, getting ships here from France) for over twenty years. He loves drinking great wine (mostly interesting reds) and is always cooking up something wonderful to pair with our bottles.

The Samuels Sisters
All three of the Samuels sisters shop at the store and they’re the OG family of Domestique. Dana (left), Heather (right), and Sarah (not pictured). They share wine, pick up bottles for one another, and, in general, love to imbibe. Dana is in the process of restoring a historic home and continuing its seventy-year history of being woman-owned. They are a testament to the joy and vitality of family and strong women.

Daniel Yuan
Daniel has been shopping at the store since the early days. His visits always carried significance: he needed wine and beer before his long-distance partner (and now wife!) came to town from New York. We congratulated him on his engagement and ooohed and ahhhed over his wedding photos. Though crazy and stressful, COVID times allowed for Kristal to relocate to DC. It was wonderful to spend a bit of time in their new apartment and officially meet Kristal, a person we have heard so much about through the years.

Meri Lugo
Meri has lived in a 100-year old apartment building in Mount Pleasant for over eight years with Max and their orange tabby, Sal. During COVID, she’s done a lot of living room yoga and watched plenty of sunsets from their fire escape. After many years of working in fancy food and beverage, Meri’s found a renewed appreciation for simple, unassuming comforts, like scrambled eggs in bodega tortillas.