White

No Wine Left Behind

Last week, we attended the 2019 Philadelphia Magazine Wine Festival— huge thanks go to Philly Mag for this amazing opportunity! The Festival, presented by Lexus, offered attendees a chance to sample more than 500 wines from around the world, and meet and greet with the winemakers from featured wineries in their exclusive Winemakers Lounge, next to the on-site Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store. Additionally, guests enjoyed cuisine from more than 20 of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants.  The event benefited the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, which aims to end heart disease and stroke in women.

We were so thrilled to be at this event, and wowed by just how many wines there were to try! One of the first wineries that caught our attention was Pacific Rim, which is based out of Washington State’s Columbia Valley. Pacific Rim is passionate about Riesling, so if you like Riesling, you’re in luck! We started with the 2016 Hahn Hill Vineyard Chenin Blanc. This wine has floral notes, perfectly balancing sweetness with a hint of citrus. The two of us typically prefer different wines, and this was a great compromise. We loved every wine we sampled from Pacific Rim, and highly recommend you give them a try! Their bottles are affordably priced, too.

After a few (perhaps more than a few) wine samples, it was time to try some food. We enjoyed delicious bites from Tinto, The Twisted Tail, and Los Camaradas, which are pictured below. We even sampled a pasta dish from one of the event sponsors, Barilla, and the new funfetti cookie flavor from Insomnia Cookies.

The Wine Festival featured Hampton Water and Ferguson Crest, with both Jesse Bongiovi and Fergie on-site to promote their respective wines. We talked with Jesse Bongiovi about Hampton Water, and learned that rosé is the water of the Hamptons. Bongiovi also demonstrated how functional and practical each bottle’s glass stopper is, which seems perfect for a beach trip! This wine is for anyone to drink easily for hours on a nice summer day. Pat Ferguson (Fergie’s dad), had a huge smile that never left his face, and spent the evening giving attendees samples of Ferguson Crest’s 2014 Fergalicious Red Wine Blend. Meanwhile, Fergie was close by, taking photos with guests and signing their newly-purchased wine bottles. The Fergalicious blend offers savory and smoky notes, and finishes boldly on the palate.

Overall, the event was a blast, and we had a ton of fun walking the venue and sampling as many wines as we could. We finished with the Chairman’s Selection, and stopped to take some photos and record some memories. Life doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, and we feel blessed to share these moments together, and simply have fun. Life is too short to leave any missed opportunities, or wine, behind!

This month’s featured wine is Pacific Rim’s Chenin Blanc, which we detailed in our post. “Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc is vividly bright with flavors of pear, quince and grapefruit essence. It has a drier style, which closely resembles the Loire Valley style rather than a CA Chenin.” Read more about this great wine below!

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]
Sangria

Befriend the Bartender

At the end of July, we were invited to participate in a dinner event held at Barra Rossa, courtesy of SeatedCool fact: For every Seated reservation, they donate one meal to every child in need through ShareTheMealthe 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 Barra Rossa. 

Seated provided us with free dinner and drinks, and we were impressed!! Not only was the food amazing, the drinks were a perfect, refreshing way to end a long work day. The bartender even whipped up a margarita for Lauren (pictured above), although it wasn’t on the menu.

  

A few of our takeaways from this experience:

  1. Try new things. We stepped out of our comfort zone to attend this event, and it turned out to be one of the best friend outings we’ve had in a while. While sampling Barra Rossa’s menu, we talked for hours, drank delicious sangria (more on that later…), and had some great laughs.
  2. Seek out community. We heard about this event through the Philadelphia Bloggers Network, which we recently joined after starting our blog. There’s something special about forming community through good food and drink.
  3. Befriend the Bartender!! Possibly the most important piece of advice in this post is to befriend the bartender. Not only did she make us custom drinks, but we also got the recipe for an awesome summer sangria. Which leads us to this month’s featured pairing…

Our wine pairing for August comes in the form of an end-of-summer sangria! Bright, fruity, with a strong finish, you’ll need the following ingredients for this drink:

Peach schnapps

Triple Sec

Pineapple Juice

Your favorite Pinot Grigio

Brandy (one suggestion is Christian Brothers Brandy)

 

Enjoy, and let us know if you have a favorite sangria recipe!