Around Town: Wine Tours @ City Winery Washington DC

CityWineryDC
City Winery DC Winemaker Adam Drici (Photos by Ari Strauss)

Editor’s note: Parklife DC reviews many shows at City Winery, so we recently took a wine tour to learn more about our friends and partners in Ivy City (1350 Okie St. NE, Washington, DC 20002). Read our Parklife DC concert coverage at City Winery

In April, DC’s City Winery will celebrate its first year, and it’s planning some celebrations for that month. As regular concert attendees at City Winery Washington DC, Parklife DC meanwhile visited the winery on a team tour. We heartily recommend you book your own tour after reading these notes on our experience!

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Around Town: Grand Opening @ Aperto — 10/17/16

Aperto 12 Aperto Chef Luigi Diotaiuti, MoKi Media Partner Maha Hakki, and patron Lily Matini (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

In September, Chef Luigi Diotaiuti, proprietor of Al Tiramisu, opened a new restaurant Aperto in Foggy Bottom (2013 I Street NW), to serve lunch and dinner.

Last week, the Chef invited some folks to the ornate, intimate setting for a grand opening party, where we could tour the space and nibble on some hors d’oeuvres. Aperto proved to be a wonderful date spot with outstanding food and remarkably attentive service.

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Around Town: Taste of DC @ Penn Ave NW, 10/8 & 10/9/16

20121006-OC-LSC-0249Taste of DC (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture)

On October 8th and 9th, take a trek down to Pennsylvania Ave NW for the annual Taste of DC.

The 2016 edition will feature over 60 restaurants, along with live music, food demonstrations and tastings of over 100 beers and wines. Also look out for the Ben’s Chili Bowl chili eating contest…

The food options will be as diverse as you might want, from Croatian to BBQ to ice cream to Italian to Indian to Mexican to sushi to Turkish and beyond. There will be a Bier Garten with 50 beers. Five oz. tastes range from $2-4.

You can choose from a few ticket options, from the basic $20 General Admission (includes drink voucher, $10 towards food) all the way up to the $60 Tastemaker (free drink samples, $25 voucher, special access, etc.). They also have the Tastemaker Plus that gives you access to behind the scenes sessions like women in the food industry or local distilleries, among others.

Get your tickets here.

Taste of DC 2016
Pennsylvania Ave NW (between 3rd St – 7th St)
Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9
Sat: 1-8pm
Sun: 11am-6pm
$10-$80
All ages

Around Town: VinoFest 2015 @ Storey Park — 5/9/15

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Dwight Weidenhamer (right) was one of the capable wine consultants at VinoFest 2015.

VinoFest is a devilishly simple concept — set up a stage for some bands and curate a range of alluring wines for festival visitors to sample in an accessible place with good elbow room.

And so VinoFest 2015 welcomed a lot of wine and music lovers to Storey Park (1005 First St. NE, DC), essentially a parking lot waiting for mixed use development to occur in NoMa, in its second annual edition on Saturday, May 9. The lot proved spacious, the bands proved entertaining and the wines proved delicious to the hundreds and hundreds of revelers who dropped by.

The festival opened at 3pm for VIP ticketholders and then at 5pm to regular ticketholders. The VIP ticketholders certainly got the better deal. During the first two hours of access, they were able to hit the wine-sampling tent for unlimited small pours of the offerings. After 5pm, guests cashed in an allotted ticket to get a sample of wines from Spain, Australia, California and elsewhere around the world. By 630pm, the lines for wine samples were quite long, proving the popularity of the festival for wine-starved party hoppers.

Wine

With the assistance of wine consultant Dwight Weidenhamer, my party sampled several rather nice wines perfect for the hot summer-like weather. We initially enjoyed the Fritz de Katz Riesling, from Mosel, Germany, which had a wonderfully crisp texture and a medium body.

We also welcomed SeaGlass sauvignon blanc from Santa Barbara, Calif., a slightly acidic, tart wine that nonetheless offered some delightful refuge from the hot day.

Ultimately, however, we were completely won over by the sparkling wines. The Fleuraison Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, made from white Arien grapes from the La Mancha region of Spain, was refreshing with a taste of flowers and a touch of butter. Our absolute favorite proved to be a big surprise — Summer Breeze, a U.S. bottled sparkling wine of Brazilian grapes billed as a “crackling white.” Deliciously dry and cideresque, this wine drew us back for multiple tastings.

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Don’t Miss: VinoFest DC @ Storey Park, 5/9/15

vino-winetasting
A pour in the winetasting room at VinoFest DC 2014 (Photo by Sung J. Shin)

After a successful inaugural year in a lot at Union Market, VinoFest, a celebration of music and wine, moves to Storey Park (1005 First St. NE, DC) in NoMa for its second year. More than 1,800 wine and music appreciators attended last year, and the festival aims to grow beyond that in its new space this year.

Vinolovers, an e-commerce and festival experience company, hosts the VinoFest Wine and Music Festival in addition to providing an online wine subscription service with monthly wine deliveries.

The headliner of VinoFest DC 2015 this year is none other than globetrotting DJ Questlove. Here is the full lineup of performers:

Questlove
Trouble Funk
White Ford Bronco
Alison Carney
Alma Tropicalia
Black Masala
DJ Adrian Loving

VinoFest DC 2015 will offer wines from around the world, including local Virginia wines, and classic wine regions such as South Africa, Italy, France and California, in addition underappreciated regions like Brazil, Romania and Greece.

“Most of these will be summery wines… high acidity, lighter alcohol, very easy to drink of a beautiful spring day,” said the organizers of VinoFest.

The festival also will team up with charities, including Make A Wish Foundation Mid-Atlantic, DC Central Kitchen and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, each of which will receive a portion of the proceeds from the festival.

Tickets are available online. Today, May 5, is the last day for general admission tickets!

Use the hashtag #VINOFESTDC to discuss your experience on social media.

VinoFest DC 2015
Storey Park
Saturday, May 9, 2015
3-10pm
GA, $59.99
VIP, $84.99
Designated driver, $30
21+ to drink

Around Town: National Cherry Blossom Festival Celebration @ Union Market Shops, 3/20-4/12/15

Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits Rosé Tastings

This spring, Union Market (1309 5th St. NE, DC) will get in the pink spirit to honor DC’s most prized floral tradition, the National Cherry Blossom Festival. From Friday, March 20 through Sunday, April 12, 2015, the vibrant district in Northeast DC will offer a handful of blossom-inspired perks, including free rosé tastings, unique dinnerware discounts and a deliciously sweet Sakura Black tea blend commemorating the festival’s Japanese origins. These shops will offer specials to correspond with the Tidal Basin’s three-week long treat.

Salt & Sundry
What: The hip lifestyle boutique will endow any customer who utters the words, “Cherry Blossom,” a 10% discount off all Japanese dinnerware.

Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits
What: Bubbly enthusiasts should head to Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, which will be offering free, celebratory rosé tastings every Saturday from 12 to 3 pm, and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Peregrine Espresso
What: Union Market’s favorite coffee connoisseurs will switch things up by offering patrons Sakura Black – a delicious Japanese black tea blended with sweet sakura cherry blossom leaves and flowers.

Bazaar Spices
What: Bazaar Spices will celebrate with a pop of style! The shop’s gourmet pink-hued popcorn kernels are guaranteed to blossom into perfectly Pink Popcorn that is high in antioxidants and full of fiber & flavor.

For more information, visit http://www.unionmarketdc.com.