Philly Wine Week Guide: 16 Don’t-Miss Events

We picked two don't-miss events from each day of this inaugural celebration of wine in Philly
March 11, 2014
by Danya Henninger

Along with spring, Philly Wine Week will soon make its debut. From March 23-30, more than 20 vinously impressive bars and restaurants will hold tastings, happy hours, pairing seminars, parties and dinners. You can check out the full schedule on the official website here.

There are a handful of events that repeat throughout the week, like the “Toast at 10 PM,” which goes down at a different participating venue each evening, and the weekday “Local Lunch” at Jet Wine Bar. To make it easier to find the standouts (especially since they’re all displayed with a 24-hour clock), we’ve listed two don’t-miss events from each day below.

Sunday, March 23
Opening Party at Ristorante Panorama: “Bubbles & Barrels” is the theme for the kickoff to the week. Tickets run $40 per person (here) for the 5-8 PM walk-around tasting event that benefits PAWS.

Ravines Cellars Wine Dinner at High Street on Market: Ellen Yin and Eli Kulp’s Old City dining room will serve a meal paired with the wines of this Finger Lakes winery.  Call for reservations and pricing info (215-625-0988).

Monday, March 24
Meet the Winemaker Happy Hour at Alla Spina: Kevin Robinson of Fort Washington’s Karamoor winery will be sipping, chatting and pouring at the North Broad Vetri spot from 5-6:30 PM. Look for $5 wines and samples of as-yet unreleased vintages.

Sherry Pairing Dinner at Jamonera: Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s Midtown Village tapas house will serve a dinner featuring six sherries matched with three courses of cheese and charcuterie. Check out the menu here and call for reservations ($55; 215-922-6061).

Tuesday, March 25
10-Year Tuesday at Tria Rittenhouse: From noon-10 PM, glasses of two decade-old wines will be pouring for $10 a glass, a rare chance to taste vintages of this age at this price.

Wine: A Tasting Course at The German Society of PA: Author Marnie Old will give a crash course based on her great new book (see our write-up here). Things begin at 6:30 PM; call for reservations and pricing info (215-627-2332).

Wednesday, March 26
Sprechen Sie Deutsch Wine Dinner at Brauhaus Schmitz: Explore German wines at a 7 PM event at this South Street beer hall with the help of wine expert Marnie Old and chef Jeremy Nolen. Call for reservations and pricing info (267-909-8814).

Wines of Rap at Jet Wine Bar: What is it that Waka Flocka, Gucci Mane, Drake and Nicki Minaj love about Moscato, Rose and Merlot? Head to this 9 PM-2 AM late-night DJ party on South Street West to sip $5 featured vinos and discuss.

Thursday, March 27
Bridesmaids and Barolos at Ristorante Panorama: We are so behind the idea of making use of the gorgeous, expensive but only-used-once dresses you might have worn to a friend’s wedding. Pick up a $50 ticket here to the 7-9:30 PM walk-around tasting with hors d’oeuvres, but know that if you come dressed in your finery, you’ll get a $25 restaurant gift certificate on arrival.

Cage Match: Wine Pairing Battle at Alla Spina: Two local wine reps - David McDuff and Jason Malumed - will go head to head to see who can make the best match. Winner: you, as you eat the pairings and help judge. Call for reservations ($55; 215-600-0017).

Friday, March 28
Marcie Blaine Chocolate Tasting at Barbuzzo: Stop into Turney and Safran’s Mediterranean kitchen throughout the day to try housemade chocolates paired with a variety of sherries.

Rare Grape Happy Hour at Osteria: From 5-6:30 PM, Jeffrey Michaud’s North Broad Italian will be pouring limited finds from Montalbera in Piedmonte. Flights of three vintages will be available on a pay-as-you-go-basis.

Saturday, March 29
Learn Your Lingo at Vintage: Bone up on your knowledge and understanding of wine terms with a DIY tasting from 2-4 PM at this Midtown Village bistro.

Wine and Cheese Pairing at Cooperage: From 6 PM-1 AM, the Washington Square wine and whiskey bar will be offering a special matchup of Iberian cheeses and wine.

Sunday, March 30
Vintner’s Dinner at Bistro St. Tropez: Max and Sophie Barmès of Barmès Buecher winery will be hosting a meal from 6:30-11 PM at Patrice Rames’ French dining room by the Schuylkill River. Call for reservations ($85; 215-569-9269).

Closing Party at Alla Spina: At 8 PM, join your fellow wine-lovers at the finale shindig for the first-ever Philly Wine Week and raise a toast to many more to come.

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