The fifth annual Philly Wine Week kicks off March 22 with more than 100 events at 65 bars and restaurants over eight days, proving once again that Philly isn’t a beer city, it’s a drinking city.
Wine-themed events range from Quizzo to backyard barbecues to multi-course dinners. Here are a few standouts. Looking for some of the best spots to drink wine in Philly all year round? Those are here.
Thursday, March 22
Philly Wine Week starts with Opening Corks, a 21-plus party at Vie (600 N. Broad Street) with more wine to sample than anyone should probably drink in one evening. It’s $48 to get in and kicks off at 6 p.m. VIPs ($90) get in an hour earlier. (Note that Opening Corks was originally planned for the 23rd Street Armory, but due to the snow there was a venue change.)
Friday, March 23
The Pennsylvania Winery Association wants to remind everyone Pennsylvania makes a lot of wine with this dinner at High Street on Market (308 Market Street). The four-course meal will be paired with local wines from Galen Glen, Nimble Hill, Maple Springs, and Pinnacle Ridge, and the winemakers will be on hand to talk tannins, body, nose, vintages, and all that jazz.
High Street on Market is also running a Pennsylvania Winery Underdog Series all week, in a nod to the Eagles. The idea behind this blind tasting series is Pennsylvania wines are also underdogs. (After all, hungry dogs run faster.)
Sample wines most drinkrs don’t usually get to taste at the Opening of the Osteria Cellar. Sommeliers at Osteria (640 N. Broad Street) will be pouring a flight of “prestigious bottles” to go with Jeff Michaud’s food, including a spit-roasted baby pig.
Saturday, March 24
Upstairs in the Loft at Aimee Olexy and Stephen Starr’s The Love (130 S. 18th Street), a five-course, seasonal, locally sourced dinner with wine pairings is being served for just 20 diners, for $150 a head.
Sunday, March 25
American Sardine Bar (1800 Federal Street) kicks off patio season with the outdoor Wine Week BBQ. The wines will all be from Pennsylvania and there are fire pits to fend off the cold — plus the upstairs bar will be open if it’s really cold.
Kensington Quarters (1310 Frankford Avenue) wine director Tim Kweeder heads to Cake Life Bake Shop for a wine/pastry mash-up. It’s $55 for five pastries, in a mix of savory and sweet, and five wines.
Monday, March 26
Lambrusco Fest 3.0 is happening at Kensington Quarters (1310 Frankford Avenue) with pay-as-you-go glasses of the Italian wine, plus $5 plates of food — cash only — from guest chefs Jesse Ito (Royal Sushi & Izakaya), Nich Bazik (Good King Tavern), Ari Miller (Watkins Drinkery), Collin Shapiro and Jonathan Zilber (Philly Style Bagels), and Andy Satinsky (Weckerly’s Ice Cream). In additional to the local lineup, Justin Steel from Bar Marco in Pittsburgh, John Boswell from Mimi in New York City, Jesse Ross from Dapper Goose in Buffalo, Jake Wolf from Capital Club 16 in North Carolina, and Terence Feury, formerly of Fork and now at Forty 1 North in Rhode Island, will be cooking.
Tuesday, March 27
Oenophiles can show off their expertise at Wine Quizzo at Vintage Wine Bar (129 S. 13th Street).
In Old City, Nick Elmi’s Royal Boucherie (52 S. 2nd Street) is putting the focus on women of wine with Les Femmes du Vin, a tasting hosted by Lili Shariati of Vine Street Imports, Mia Fanelli of Maison 208, Vanessa Wong and Sarah Peterson of Fishtown Social, Liz Flamini of Osteria, and Alexis Fitzgerald of Panorama. There’s a charitable piece to it: 10 percent of each $35 event ticket goes to a charity of the sommeliers’ choice.
Wednesday, March 28
Jet Wine Bar (1525 South Street) will be pouring black wines — plus green, orange, pink, and other hues — during Rainbow Wine Night. Owner Jill Weber is a wine expert, as are her bartenders.
Start with dinner at Walnut Street Café (2929 Walnut Street) during a recreation of La Dive, a natural wine fest in France’s Loire Valley, then head to the after-party at Good King Tavern (614 S. 7th Street) for more wine, plus oysters and crepes.
Thursday, March 29
Jose Garces’ Amada (217 Chestnut Street) is spending all of Philly Wine Week highlighting a different region of Spain with flights, specials, and glasses not usually available at the restaurant. On March 29, the focus is on the wines of Rioja.
Rosé All Day: Finish PWW 2018 With a Big Pink Bang is on from noon to 10 p.m. at Panorama (14 N. Front Street). Rosés will be half off.
For those who haven’t blown through all their allotted wine dollars, end Philly Wine Week by digging into a four-course Tuscan dinner with winemaker Riccardo Campinoti of Le Ragnaie. It’s $200 at Osteria (640 N. Broad Street).