White

Great Minds Drink Alike

This month, we had the pleasure of visiting Vintage Wine Bar, which is in the Midtown Village section of Center City Philadelphia. This French American bistro is a favorite of ours, as it features over 60 wines from around the world, and has amazing food, including their delicious cheese boards.

Our visit to Vintage was two-fold, as we were long overdue for an in-person catch up, and we have been wanting to try their wine flights for some time now. Vintage’s wine flights allow guests to sample three wines in 3 ounce pours. The two of us decided to try different white wine flights, one of which was featured during Philly Wine Week. Alexis ordered Vintage’s French Whites Flight, and Lauren ordered their Floral Whites Flight.

Before sharing more information about our wine flights, we want to highlight Philly Wine Week, which just recently finished. This annual event was founded in 2014 by leading wine bar operators in Philadelphia, in a collaborative effort to showcase the range, diversity, and quality of wine bars in the city. Since then, a group of industry professionals created a 501(c)6 nonprofit to create a fun, accessible, and educational wine-centric environment within Philadelphia, in order to promote the wine industry citywide. Philly Wine Week is now eight days of wine-driven events each Spring. The group also raises awareness of other wine events that happen throughout the city during the rest of the year.

Alexis
My flight was called The French Whites, and was featured during Philly Wine Week 2019.

First, I started with Touraine Chenonceaux ‘17, a sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley, featuring notes of light lemon, wild flowers, with a crisp finish. It was refreshing– great for a warm day, and it was light enough to handle the shade we threw when discussing some of our latest stressors.

Next, I drank Domaine Jean Vullien et Fils ‘16. Specifically, I tried an indigenous grape varietal called Jacquère, which comes from the hillsides of the Combe de Savoie. This wine offered bold flavors of fresh pear, herbs, and orange zest, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It also served as a nice complement to the fig and gorgonzola bruschetta that I ordered (pictured below).

My final wine was La Tour de Gatigne ‘17, a Viognier blend from the Rhone Valley, that was silky and full bodied, with notes of apricots and tangerine. It is a pale yellow color, with intense aromas of nuts and white flowers, that finishes beautifully on the palate. It was a perfect, smooth end to my wine flight.

Lauren
I chose to take the Floral Whites Flight, as I prefer sweeter wines.

The first wine I tried was La Linda Torrontés ’17.  La Linda is a chardonnay, a clear yellow white wine, with an expressive floral nose, tropical fruity aromas and some grapefruit notes. The mouth entry is sweet and flowery, with white peach flavors and a touch of orange peel jam. It was delightfully fresh, fruity and very smooth.

The next wine I tried was Teruzzi & Puthod Vernaccia ’17. The time on the lees gives this wine complex aromas of flowers, citrus, and minerality on the nose. The palate offers a full-bodied and smooth wine with good acidity and richness. Flavors of oranges, white flowers and fresh herbs lead way to a lengthy finish.

The last wine I tried was the Storm Point ‘17 Chenin Blanc. This wine is freshly packed with nuance, playfulness and discovery. Savory and herbal aromas lead to subtle stone fruit and citrus blossom notes. This is accentuated by vibrant lemon zest sprinkled with sea water. This is textbook Chenin Blanc, featuring a mineral drive with ample weight balanced by poignant acid on the finish.

I enjoyed my flights to Argentina, Italy, and South Africa; they were all refreshing and memorable in their own right. All three wines were perfect matches with Vintage’s charcuterie plate, which includes cured and aged meat, chicken liver mousse, cornichon, and whole grain mustard.

As we made our way through our flights, we discussed our visions for future. We are constantly attempting to refine and define what success looks like for us individually, and how to lead mission-filled, impactful lives. We discussed the importance of setting boundaries and expectations in our personal and professional lives, and why it is imperative to be clear and direct about both. Although we never leave our conversations having everything figured out, we did agree that life is a marathon, and all we can do is strive to do better each day.

Our featured wine this month is Domaine Jean Vullien et Fils ‘16. Tasting notes can be found above! To learn more about this winemaker and their process, click here.

White

Everything Happens for a Riesling

In October, our friends at Seated invited us to a happy hour event at Lou Bird’s Restaurant, which is located at 20th and Lombard. We were treated to a wide spread of their menu, along with specialty cocktails and wine. These Seated events have become the perfect respite after a long workday, and continue to be a fun way to connect with bloggers throughout the city.

One of our favorite (non-wine) beverages of the night was a mixed cocktail called The Bee’s Knees. It was refreshing and light, with the perfect burst of citrus at the end. The main ingredients included honey, gin, and lemon, but the surprise twist was a hint of lavender.

While sipping our first drinks, the two of us caught up after a few weeks of not seeing one another. There’s never a dull moment once we start talking, whether it be about recent work stress, ridiculous personal stories, or those funny memories from the past that we will never forget. Our conversation gave us a much needed opportunity to reflect on the ups and downs of the last 10 months, but more importantly discuss the boundless opportunities the future holds, understanding that everything happens for a reason, even if not initially apparent. Needless to say, after a few laughs, and a few life updates, we promptly returned to the bar for round two!

With drinks in hand, we were ready to check out the delicious food Lou Bird’s was serving up. We started with a cheese and fruit board, and tried everything from dumplings with a cabbage slaw to fancy sliders and mini cheesesteaks. Of course, they didn’t let us leave without trying dessert, too! Below are photos of some of the other options on Lou Bird’s menu. Don’t forget: Lou Bird’s has a double happy hour on Wednesdays from 5-7 and 9-1.

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Our takeaways from this experience were:

  • Never go long stretches without seeing your friends, if you can avoid it. They help make the hard days easy, and the easy days fun!
  • If the bartender is mixing up a new cocktail, definitely try it– and ask for the ingredients. You could stumble upon your new favorite drink.
  • Lou Bird’s Restaurant has delicious food, with a wide range. Check it out, and let us know what you think! (menu here)

Our featured wine for this month is S.A. Prüm “Essence” Riesling (which you can find on the menu at Lou Bird’s). Full tasting notes below!

“Pale gold in color. On the nose, aromatic, with scents of apricot and peach. On the palate, fresh fruit flavors of pineapple and apricot are perfectly balanced by a racy acidity and mineral character.”

Sangria

Wine Now, Run Later!

Last month, we had the pleasure of dining at Chima Philadelphia, as part of a promotion featuring their Rodizío dinner. As expected, the service, food, and cocktails were outstanding. Mid-way through dinner, we ran into some friends of ours and ended up joining our reservations together…because the more the merrier!

Apart from the great service, food, and cocktails, we were reminded of the importance of community. After both navigating hectic periods in our lives individually, it was great to have an evening to connect with friends, to laugh and enjoy each other’s company. During dinner, we reflected on 2018, and what an adventure it’s been. We thought back to some of our previous posts such as “Reclaiming Our Time”, and the importance of not staying in environments that no longer serve and honor you. We thought about “Be Well Sparkle Often” and how imperative it is to listen to yourself, and take the time to, address and process situations in healthy ways.

Between the laughter and stories, we feasted on unlimited rounds of Brazilian inspired food all evening. We started off with the unlimited salad bar, which arguably could be its own meal! If you know us, then you know that we also had to indulge in one (or two) of their signature cocktails. The white sangria was definitely a table favorite that night.

While at dinner, we were also afforded the opportunity to visit Chima’s wine room, which was such a cool experience for us both. See some of our photos below!

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Our pairing for this month is a Rodizío Sangria, which we can’t get enough of! Although sangria leans slightly sweet, you can taste the burst of citrus and hint of brandy, which warms and rounds out the flavor.

Rodizío Sangria 

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange wedge (1/8 cut, seeded)
  • 1 lemon wedge (1/8 cut, seeded)
  • 1 lime wedge (1/8 cut, seeded)
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • Splash Triple Sec (orange liqueur)
  • Splash melon liqueur
  • 1/3 cup Guarana Antarctica
  • Wine (red or white)

Directions:

In a mixing glass, add the lemon, lime, orange and simple syrup. Gently muddle it. Top the glass with ice and pour the brandy, Triple Sec and melon liqueur. Shake well and transfer it into a 22 oz. Cervoise Glass. Once again, top the glass with ice. Top glass with red or white wine. Garnish with an orange and cherry canoe. Stir it before drinking.

[source:  https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2014/02/drink_of_the_week_Rodizío _gril.html]
Rosé

Time to Wine Down

In August, Seated hosted another evening of great food, wine, and conversation, this time at Ristorante Aroma, located in Center City. The Italian BYOB features Italian specialities from northern and southern Italy. The menu is curated by Head Chef and Co-Owner, Antonio Cardillo, who in fact was born and raised in Italy. 

The cocktail hour and dinner provided a great opportunity to learn more about the fellow bloggers that were present. All the bloggers have interesting stories, regarding how they got involved in blogging, and how they determined the focus of their blogs. During dinner we were able to discuss our families, friendships, careers, our goals for our blogs. It was awesome to meet such accomplished and inspiring women, who found community through blogging. After a hectic day, it was a perfect way to wind down.

For dinner, Ristorante Aroma served us four amazing courses, including 3 dynamic appetizers, a sampling a three pastas, and entree of our choice. By the time the entrees and dessert arrived, there was a general consensus that everyone was stuffed, but could not resist tasting the main course and the marvelous dessert options.

Below is a copy of the menu we enjoyed along with some pictures of the great food.

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I must say one highlight of the evening for our table was the Terre Siciliane IGP Rosato. It was our drink of choice the whole evening.

A few of our takeaways from this experience:

  1. Try local restaurants– Once you have your favorite go to restaurants, particularly chain restaurants it is easy to get in a habit of dining at those establishments. However it is great to support local restaurants, like Ristorante Aroma who have authentic menus, with great flare. Moreover, you are often able to try new types of food, learn more about the inspiration for the menu,  curate an intimate experiences, and develop a great repertoire/relationship with the establishment.
  2. Dream BIG– One question that came up often during the event, was “what’s your vision for your blog?”. As we have continued this process with Sarcasm, & Wine, we have have thought of this often, dreaming of the possibilities. That evening our fellow bloggers provided great insight and encouragement, and told us the possibilities are endless– reminding us to dream big, be consistent, be patient, and continue to grow our network.
  3. Have fun-Even passion projects can become burdensome, and become one more thing to do on your checklist. However, when you step back and remember why you started the project to begin with, it puts things in perspective. Although we have certain goals for the blog, taking the time to celebrate the milestones big or small, and enjoying the ride is part of what keeps us going. It’s even better when we are able to find opportunities to allow us to do both, enjoy great food and wine, meet great people, and develop content along the way.

Unsurprisingly, our pairing for this month is the Terre Siciliane IGP Rosato. In keeping with the stylistic freedom of the IGT category, Terre Siciliane IGT wines can be made in virtually any style: red, white or rosé, still or sparkling, dry or sweet. Tasting notes are below!

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The Terre Siciliane IGP Rosato is bright pink, and taste like spices, and flowers. The herbs complement red berries on the nose and in the mouth. At once “dense and juicy, with the light red fruit flavors and floral notes carrying through on the persistent finish, which features an underbrush nuance.”

Cool fact: For every Seated reservation, they donate one meal to every child in need through ShareTheMeal, the app from the United Nations World Food Programme. When you book reservations through the Seated app, you are rewarded in credit (that could be used for your next Lyft ride), for trying great restaurants like Ristorante Aroma.