16 Can’t-Miss Events at Philly Wine Week 2018

Check out our top picks and let the bacchanalia commence.

Philly Wine Week/Facebook

Rejoice: Spring is almost here, and Philly Wine Week starts on Thursday. That means hundreds of vino-centric parties, tastings, dinners, happy hours, pairing sessions, and flights — plus even more fun stuff like wine quizzo, bling tastings, and wine pong. Check out our picks for the best of each day of Philly Wine Week 2018 below, from the time the corks pop on March 22nd to the final pours on March 29th, and take a look at events running all week long here.

Thursday, March 22nd

Opening Corks
23rd Street Armory, Center City
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Philly Wine Week kickoff bash is a can’t-miss event, with hundreds of wines to sip in addition to food from The Good King Tavern, Barbuzzo, Tria Cafe, Tria Taproom, Jet Wine Bar, Lacroix, Oloroso, Tinto, Royal Boucherie, American Sardine Bar, Maison 208, Plenty Cafe, and Di Bruno Bros. General admission tickets are $48, or grab a VIP ticket for $90 to get into the even an hour early, plus access to an exclusive champagne reception and deluxe bites.

Baja Night Featuring California Wines and Piadine
Osteria, Fairmount
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Head to Osteria for a flight of California wines and piadine, a taco-like Italian flatbread stuffed with cheeses, meats, or vegetables. Wine flights are $30, with piadine running from $8 to $10 each.

Friday, March 23rd

Talula’s Cheese & Wine Happy Hour
Talula’s Garden, Washington Square West
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Talula’s empire founder Aimee Olexy is a noted cheese lover, and wheels produced in southeast Pennsylvania are some of her favorites. Stop in for a complementary cheese board featuring local, rare, and ripe wedges with $10 glasses from their special Philly Wine Week list — think organic and natural American wines and Pennsylvania gems.

Wine Pong Tournament
Maison 208, Midtown Village
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dust off your college house party skills and head upstairs at Maison 208, where they’re featuring five whole tables of wine pong — one each for bubbly, white, red, orange, and rosé. The $35 admission gets you access to an open bar of select wines and complementary dishes from the Social Hour menu. And the stakes are high: winners receive a gift basket of wine from each table and a Maison 208 gift card.

Saturday, March 24th

Can You Tell the Difference?
ITV, East Passyunk
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
What makes a wine sustainable, organic, or biodynamic? Head to Nick Elmi’s chic South Philly bar for a happy hour lesson on these trendy wine terms and the growing practices behind them. You’ll enjoy a flight of three wines representing each category — presented in a blind tasting, of course.

Philly Against the World! Local Vs. Non-Local Wines
Pinot Boutique, Old City
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Pennsylvania isn’t exactly known for its wines — but the folks at Pinot are ready to introduce you to some exciting, locally made varieties. They’ll pour you four pairs of wines in the same style — Bordeaux/Meritage, dry rosé, Gewürztraminer, and sparkling wine — and then you’ll vote for your favorite and try to guess which ones are local, with prizes for the best guessers. Be sure to get your tickets for$29 each before they sell out.

Sunday, March 25th

4th Annual Wine Week BBQ
American Sardine Bar, Point Breeze
Sunday, March 25th from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The folks at ASB have traditionally closed Philly Wine Week by opening their outdoor patio space for the first time. This year, a schedule change means it falls in the middle of the celebration — all the more reason to put it on your list. They’ll be featuring Pennsylvania wines with specials from chef Doreen DeMarco, and the fire pits will be roaring in case it’s chilly.

Make Your Own Vermouth
Plenty Cafe, Rittenhouse
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Join Plenty owner Anthony Mascieri for a demonstration of how he makes the cafe’s house vermouth. Afterwards, you’ll make your own with his guidance and all the barks, botanicals, and herbs provided. Seats are $35, and you’ll leave with your own bottle of custom-made vermouth to take home.

Monday, March 26th

Martha Monday with Pinnacle Ridge Winery
Martha, Kensington
6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Martha always keeps a lot of local on its menu — and now’s your chance to taste still and sparkling wines from one of their favorite local winemakers. Brad Knapp of Pinnacle Ridge Winery in Kutztown — who has been making great wines for two decades — will be in the house to sample his bottles, along with complementary bites from the bar and discounted cocktails.

Lambrusco Fest 3.0
Kensington Quarters, Fishtown
6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
For the third year in a row, KQ will bring together some of the city’s top chefs from spots like Royal Izakaya, Philly Style Bagels, and Weckerly’s Ice Cream, plus visiting chefs from Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Buffalo, and New York. They’ll be serving up $5 bites to go with artisanal lambruscos by the glass and a soundtrack of Philly music.

Tuesday, March 27th

Les Femmes du Vin
Royal Boucherie, Old City
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The city’s top women sommeliers are taking over Royal Boucherie’s upstairs parlor for a good cause. Lili Shariati of Vine Street Imports, Mia Fanelli of Maison 208, Vanessa Wong and Sarah Peterson of Fishtown Social, Osteria’s Liz Flamini, and Alexis Fitzgerald of Panorama will be pouring some of their favorite wines (10 percent of the $35 ticket price goes to a charity of their choice). Royal Boucherie’s snacks and charcuterie are part of the deal, too.

Little Nonna’s Tour of the Italian Riviera
Little Nonna’s, Midtown Village
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Taste the food and wine of the northern Italian coast together at Little Nonna’s, with dishes like grilled calamari and chickpeas, poached branzino, and grilled veal skewers served family style and paired with wines from the region. The prix fixe menu is just $55, including wine pairings.

Wednesday, March 28th

Slovenian Wine Showcase
Southwark, Queen Village
5 p.m. to midnight
Taste selections from this up-and-coming winemaking nation, known for mineralic whites and aromatic reds. Order by the glass or grab a flight featuring wines like an orange pinot grigio, rosé, and ribolla from Slovenian winemakers.

Diving into La Dive 
Walnut Street Cafe, University City
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
A crew of the city’s top women in wine recently headed to France’s Loire Valley for La Dive, a natural wine festival that’s been called “The Burning Man of Wine.” WSC head sommelier Kaitlyn Caruke as well as Good King Tavern owner Chloe Grigri, Lauren Harris of Townsend, and Mariel Wega of Skurnik Wine & Spirits made the trip, and they want to bring some of their favorite bottles from the festival to you. Grigri, Harris, and Wega will act as guest somms, and the party will continue afterwards at Good King.

Thursday, March 29th

Jersey’s Finest
Tria Taproom, Rittenhouse
12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Taste the wines of Heritage Vineyards, based right across the river in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, plus Garden State-inspired bites and, of course, a soundtrack courtesy of The Boss and Bon Jovi.

Meet the Winemaker: Ed Lazzerini of Vox Vineti
Martha, Kensington
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Local wines and natural wines are showing strong this year at Philly Wine Week — so how better to close out the celebration than by meeting a natural winemaker from right here in Pennsylvania? Winemaker Ed Lazzerini runs Vox Vineti in Lancaster County, making wines using native yeasts and starting fermentation with the traditional pied de cuve technique. Ed will be offering complementary samples of his wines, with discounts on glasses and complementary snacks at the bar.