More than 50 bars and restaurants are popping corks for the sixth annual Philly Wine Week, starting with the Opening Corks kickoff on Sunday, March 31. From cheesesteaks and fried chicken dinners to a battle of the sommeliers, here’s what to put on your calendar.
Monday April 1
Start off Philly Wine Week with a sex talk. Jet Wine Bar’s Jill Weber and drag queen and Bob & Barbara’s performer Miss Karen Vonsay lead a discussion on how gendered language is used to describe wine. Attendees will be tasting wines “all along the gender spectrum.” Tickets are $50 for the event, which is at Jet (1525 South Street).
Kensington Quarters (1310 Frankford Avenue) combines wine, vinyl, and a pig roast during the Wine Party 3.0 bash in Fishtown. Plates of the barbecued pork will go for $10 and snacks and sides are $5. To drink, sample unlimited co-op wines by purchasing a $35 wine pass, bring your own bottle (no corkage fee), or just buy drinks at the bar. J the Audiophile will be spinning.
Tuesday April 2
At Amis (412 S. 13th Street), the Tours of Italy series highlights a different region of Italy every night of Philly Wine Week during regular dinner service. Wines from the night’s highlighted region will be served by the glass and an antipasti, a pasta dish, and an entree inspired by the hyper-local cuisine of the region will be available. Reservations recommended.
At the Rittenhouse hotel on Rittenhouse Square, Lacroix’s new chef de cuisine Eric Leveillee (coming from Marigold Kitchen, RIP) will be making snacks to go with wines from Bodega Numanthia out of Spain. Winemaker Jesus Jimenez will be there to guide the tasting. It’s $55. Stick around to eat and drink at Lacroix, Bar210, or the Library Bar and get 15 percent off the check.
Wednesday April 3
What wine goes best with a rich, full-bodied cheesesteak? In Old City, Pinot Boutique (227 Market Street) is pairing Philly-famous eats, like cheesesteaks, Tastykakes, and soft pretzels, with different wines during Cheesesteaks and Wine?, happening Wednesday and again Sunday, April 7, for $35. Find out how well a wine reminiscent of grape jelly pairs with Peanut Chews.
South Philadelphia Taproom (1509 Mifflin Street) is serving Baja California dishes and glasses from Mexico’s Bichi Wines during Baja Al Natural. It’s pay as you go.
Three High Street Hospitality chefs — Fork’s John Patterson, High Street on Market’s Andrew Farley, and A.Kitchen’s Eli Collins — are teaming up for a Field Blends Dinner at Fork (306 Market Street) highlighting wines made from different varietals of grapes that grow together in one vineyard. The food will all be locally sourced. It’s $60 for dinner and $30 for the wine pairing.
Thursday April 4
Four sommeliers, including Fishtown Social’s Vanessa Wang, Panorama’s Alexandra Fitzgerald, Martha’s Amanda McKenna, and Vine Street Imports’ Lili Shariati, are pouring some of their favorite wines upstairs at Royal Boucherie (52 S. 2nd Street) during Les Femmes Du Vin. Snacks are included in the $40 ticket. Ten percent of ticket sales goes to Project SAFE.
Sunday April 7
Chef Matt Lang, who opened the original Fette Sau in Brooklyn, is giving a sneak peek of his upcoming Zig Zag BBQ restaurant with a Va La Wine Dinner at Martha (2113 E. York Street). He’ll be serving a family-style barbecue dinner while Va La’s Anthony Vietri pours the wines. The $100 ticket includes both.
Ambra (704 S. 4th Street) hosts a battle of the sommeliers during the pay-as-you-go He Said, She Said, with the restaurant’s Jamie Rubin and guest somm Samantha Germani picking out wine pairings for each course of the prix fixe menu and diners deciding on a winner.
Close out Philly Wine Week with a fried chicken feast at Queen Village’s Hungry Pigeon (743 S. 4th Street). The pay-as-you-go menu features five different fried chicken dishes (a traditional Southern-style version served with coleslaw and a biscuit is on there). Sides include mac and cheese, potato salad, and collard greens, and there’s pie for dessert, plus Champagne to pair with the meal. Reservations are recommended.