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.