Bon Vivant: (n) a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink.

All posts in DC events

Bastille Day Celebrations in DC

Posted in: Bon Vivant, Bubbly, Champagne, DC events, Drink Well, Events, Holidays

Looking to celebrate Bastille Day in style?  It’s one of my favorite excuses (like I need one!) to indulge in some of my favorite French delicacies. Tomorrow is the 227th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, so don your best red, white & bleu and raise a glass of champagne!

I’ll be celebrating at Michel Richard’s Central, which is featuring a special 3 course menu of french bistro faves for just $55. They will also be featuring specialty cocktail, wine and beer as well as live entertainment from the Blue Room Jazz Band!

Central

Central

If you prefer to celebrate with a special glass of vin Eno Wine Bar is offering a Bastille Day flight and 30% off all bottles of French wines.

For live French music, check out Café du Parc or Sofitel (register here!)

And for an all day celebration, complete with mimes, check out Le Diplomat, which will also be offering specialty cocktails and pastries throughout the day.

To celebrate at home, check out Weygandt Wines‘, superb collection of French wines.  They’re offering 20% off French bottles!

How will you be celebrating Bastille Day? 

cheers

 

 

 

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It’s all Greek to me

Posted in: Bang for Your Buck, Bon Vivant, DC events, Drink Well, Entertaining, Foodie, Seasonal Sips, Wine 101, Wine Facts, Wine Pairing, Wine Recommendations, Wine Reviews, Wine Tasting, Wineries and Vineyards

After spending an amazing summer studying in Greece and returning there for travel over the years, I’ve developed quite an affinity for Greek wines.  The food and wine are such a tremendous part of the rich culture. I adore cooking and serving Greek food and wine for clients and friends alike!

Many are skeptics, having had a bad bout with the notorious pine resin-y retsina, but most leave converts.

I was so pleased to be invited to a blind tasting recently by two Greek brothers who run a wine import and distribution business here in DC. We blind tasted 22 Xinomavros and enjoyed a generous spread of authentic Greek food at Mourayo in DuPont Circle.

Jason and Nasos Papanikolao.  "You captured us perfectly!  He is always out front and I am always in the background drinking wine!" - Jason

Jason and Nasos Papanikolao. “You captured us perfectly! He is always out front and I am always in the background drinking wine!” – Jason

The hard to pronounce varietal is an oft over-looked, but a delicious and bold red wine perfect for pairing with lamb and summertime grilling season! It has deep, dark fruit flavor profiles and a nice earthy balance.  This wine is often best decanted before service.  If you like big, tannic, full bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, give this Greek stand out a try for a fraction of the cost!

blind wine tasting

One of my favorite things about Greek wine- and Xinomavro in particular- is the outstanding value.  Below is one of my favorite wines for the money.  It showed well at the tasting against pricier bottles, but is delicious at around $20/bottle!  For a big, bold wine to pair with red meats, that’s a steal!

greek wine and txaziki

This bottle is a go to when enjoying lamb and delicious homemade tzaziki.

Do you ever enjoy Greek Wines?

(Yamas!)

 

 

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A Sensory Delight

Posted in: Bon Vivant, Cocktails, DC events, Drink Well, Events, Foodie

It started with the invitation.  I’m a sucker for snail mail, but almost missed the chic and creative envelope hiding among bank statements and bills.  It was unlike any other industry event I’d attended and I was immediately intrigued.  The concept is simple, but novel in this age of social media.

enjoying the cocktai hour

Enjoying the cocktail hour

“You come. You see.  You eat.  You Facebook, Instagram, and tweet. You sip and nosh and connect, then post it to pay your check.”

Longview Gallery‘s industrial chic vibe met Mid-Summer Night’s Dream with fanciful and thoughtful details everywhere I looked. Live jazz played as guest mingled and got snap happy.

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Clever details everywhere: popup popcorn for a popup restaurant

 

I’m pretty happy with any party that starts with a tray of French 75′s being proffered at the door. After mingling and taking in the scene we were seated to a 4 course meal.

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Welcome cocktail: French 75

In a world where every one of life’s mundane details is snapped and documented,  Taylor and Hov Events decided to bring together an event worthy of being documented by foodies, artists and fashionistas from DC’s online community.  The result was extraordinary- everything from the welcome cocktails, design elements, to the food were snap worthy.

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Just one of the fanciful art installations

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It’s hard to make good food for a party this size- it’s even harder to make GREAT food.  Spilled Milk Catering pulled it off with a four course meal that had everyone raving.

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I’m excited to see what concepts this team pulls off in the future!

cheers

 

 

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A Year in Champagne

Posted in: Behind the Scenes, Bon Vivant, Bubbly, Champagne, DC events, Wine Films, Winemakers, Wineries and Vineyards

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of A YEAR IN CHAMPAGNE last weekend and enjoyed the film immensely! Both film and wine buffs will appreciate the behind the scenes peek at the storied wine region.

Viewers are granted both a bird’s eye view of the vines, as well as a look inside the 600 mile labyrinth of Champagne caves undulating underground the tiny but mighty wine region.

a-year-in-champagne

The film follows 6 Champagne Houses, each illustrating a different aspect of the business and history of Champagne.  I was particularly smitten with the smaller, grower Champagne houses. The Diebolt-Vallois clan stole my heart with their wit, whimsy, dedication and hard work, while the 80 year old patriarch of Saint-Chamant showed each bottle being hand-turned.

Bollinger and Gosset, who have helped shaped much of the branding and identity of Champagne, also make appearances, lending balance and juxtaposition to the grower lifestyle.

The film is full of passion, charm, history, and is sure to leave you thirsty for your favorite bubbly!

There are two screenings for A Year in Champagne in the DC area starting tomorrow, each accompanied by Champagne tastings.

3/4/15, 7:00 PM, Fairfax, VA  Angelika Film Center & Cafe Buy tickets here

3/4/15, 7:00 PM, Washington, DC  Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market Buy tickets here

 

A Year in Champagne will be available for download on iTunes starting March 6.

Watch the trailer for the film here.

cheers
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The Hill is Home

Posted in: Capitol Hill, DC events, Drink Well, Guest Posts, Wine Shops, Wine Tasting

I’m excited to be teaming up with the folks at one of my favorite neighborhood DC blogs- The Hill is Home. Those in the area know it as a great resource for all things Capitol Hill- from community meetings, festivals, local politics and now food and wine!

To check out my first post on where and when to  taste wine for FREE click here.

If you’re in the neighborhood and have any ideas on what you’d like to see, sound off in the comment section below!

cheers

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