This city, try as it might, is still trying to find its identity when it comes to wine (our blue-collar roots coupled with some of the silliest liquor laws on the planet can really stifle an industry). But over the years, Philly’s wine world, led by a select few impassioned restaurant owners, beverage directors, general managers, and wine purveyors, scratched and clawed their way to the top, bringing with them some enviable wine programs. It was only in the last decade that Philly went from a town of “house whites” and red zinfandel to a town of orange wines and funky rosés.
So like it does every year, Philly Wine Week will showcase some of the city’s best wine programs with wine-focused events through the week (this week). For the full list of events, hit up the Wine Week website. Otherwise, here’s a list to get you started.
Tonight, March 20th
The must-go wine event of the week is Kensington Quarters’s Lambrusco Festival. GM and wine-pro Tim Kweeder is a huge fan of the bubbly red, so he’s installed multiple Lambrusco bars and brought in his chef-friends from around town to sell ‘brusco-friendly eats through the night. Here’s the line-up:
- Jonathan Zilber & Collin Shapiro (Philly Style Bagels)
- Val Stryjewski (Prohibition Taproom)
- Sam Jacobson (Stargazy)
- Damon Menapace (Kensington Quarters)
- Lily Fisher & Nima Etemadi (Cake Life)
- Ari Miller (Food Underground)
- Steve Forte (Town Hall Provisions)
- Palmer Marinelli (Balboa)
- Jesse Ito (Royal Sushi & Izakaya)
It’s cash-only for food tickets ($5 each), and all food items will be 1-2 tickets. Fun starts at 7 p.m. and goes till midnight.
Tuesday, March 21st
Paris Bistro celebrates one of its most classically French dishes — the Marseille bouillabaisse ($26) — with a flight of white, rosé and red for $18.
Wednesday, March 22nd
Orange wine is one of the biggest drink trends of the year, and Good King Tavern is showing off their goods with an extensive by-the-glass list and small bites, plus a live cheese and charcuterie counter from 5-11 p.m. The orange pours from 5 p.m. to close.
Thursday, March 23rd
Jezabel Careaga (Jezabel’s) will team up Jill Weber of Jet Wine Bar for a night of pintxos (tortilla de patatas, boquerones, escalivada, etc.) and vermouth by-the-glass or flight. Get there between 7-9 p.m. to drink, eat, and chat with Jill and Jezabel.
Friday, March 24th
Celebrate women in the wine industry at Tredici Enoteca where some of the best female wine makers from around the world will gather to show off their products by flights — three wines, three cheeses, $22.
Saturday, March 25th
It’s going to be 70 degrees and sunny on Saturday, so spend your morning in Rittenhouse park and head to Lacroix for lunch. There, exec-chef Jon Cichon and beverage director Hai Tran will have a three-course lunch waiting for you with a Loire Valley-focused wine pairing for just $50. Call 215-790-2533 to make your reservations.
Sunday, March 26th
Sunday is the last day of Wine Week, so hit a triple if you can:
- Fried chicken and champagne at Hungry Pigeon (5-10 p.m.)
- 3rd annual Wine BBQ at American Sardine Bar (backyard barbecue small plates and draft wine by the fire pit)
- Sangria Sunday Kegs and Eggs at Tria Taproom (sangria on-tap plus brunch)
Philly Wine Week [Official]