Posts Tagged ‘Port City Brewery’

Get Thee To a Valentine..

January 31st, 2012 • No Comments

(Note: Updated on February 9th (Thursday) 2012 – will be updated as events unfold or get Sold Out..)

I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but like Halloween, it’s a celebration/festivity that has taken on a life of it’s own. And 2012 is no exception, there are just a plethora of Valentine’s tastings for both the chocolate and non-chocolate lover – I’m not even sure if the latter exists! Some quick thoughts on Valentine’s and tastings: if you’re a restaurant or event provider who wishes to really draw people in this time of year, any theme with chocolate, sparkling wine (especially Champagne) or some over-the-top rich dish like braised meats seems to bring people in in droves – oh, and also any food/concept connected with Amore, for example oysters and fondue (both chocolate and cheese work). It’s also OK to add terms like “seduction”, “decadent”, “aphrodisiac” and even “libido” to your menu descriptions which breaks away from the everyday norm of exclusion of these concepts – Valentine’s gives you as the marketer the right to explore the racier side of life..and people will accept and forgive you for about a week! Of course, certain cultures are also associated with lasciviousness so French and Italian restaurants and themes have a distinct advantage. If you have a strong combination of all of these themes and concepts, you can also expect a marriage proposal or two to occur – and hopefully, not with your staff!

Oh, and to make all this information just a touch more confusing..Valentine’s Day is officially Tuesday, February 14th, but many events list their date on Saturday or Sunday as “official” Valentine’s Day events – it’s a celebration of love and romance, does it really matter what the official date is? I think not..

I will list the major tastings by date (Note: if you’re just looking for a listing of restaurants that have multi-course dinners especially for Valentine’s, here’s a pretty good list by Washingtonian):

Thursday, February 9th,

Sommelier Showdown (as part of the DC International Food and Wine Festival), 7:00pm-9:00pm
Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20004

Tickets are $150/per person and can be Purchased Online

See top DC Sommeliers flex their knowledge at the Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival’s inaugural Sommelier Showdown. Our experts will engage in a friendly tête-à-tête and compete in a race of the taste, using deductive tasting to identify wines with hidden labels.

To complement the wines presented, the Showdown will feature five of DCs most noted chefs who will be tasked with bringing food and wine together, including Chefs Todd Gray (Equinox), Xavier Deshayes (Ronald Reagan Building), and Jaime Montes de Oca (Zentan).



SOLD OUT-Savory Syrah – A Global Tour
7 pm
Chain Bridge Cellars, 1351 Chain Bridge Rd. McLean, VA 22101

Wine experts all agree that Syrah is one of the “noble” varietals, capable of making some of the most complex, layered and age-worthy wines in the world. But the kinship between a $10 Aussie Shiraz and a $70 Hermitage is pretty hard to fathom! So take a worldwide tour of everything Syrah/Shiraz can be and see if you can find some common themes. We’ll taste bargains from Australia and the South of France;  classic American, South African and Rhone wines; and a couple of “big guns” from the Barosa and Cote Rotie.

This class includes seven wines, Syrah-friendly snacks, and take-home descriptions of each wine and region covered.

To reserve a space, email [email protected] or call 703.356.6500


TasteDC Chocolate Making 101 at Wanders Chocolaterie

How to Blind Taste Wine
February 9th (Thursday) Session 1: 6 – 7:30 pm; and Session 2: 8 – 9:30 pm
Adour in The St. Regis, 923 16th and K Streets, N.W., Washington, DC 20006

Wine Director Brent Kroll will conduct a sensory analysis on how to quantify wine flavors and origin.

Tickets are $60/per person.
Call (202) 509-8000 to Make Reservations


Announcing the Mid-Atlantic Craft Brew Festival – MAC Brew Fest!

May 9th, 2011 • No Comments

Brandon Skall, Founder of DC Brau, DC’s 1st Brewery in Many Years

So after spending the last 14 years focusing on learning about wine and food (and plenty of beer and spirits in between!), I’ve decided to re-dedicate myself to craft beer. I’m certainly not giving up on wine, but I’ve seen the light – growth in craft beer sales and consumption in the U.S. has increased consistently at over 10% a year for the last 5 years. But the real impetus for moving myself into the craft beer field is really that Washington, D.C. is a VERY under-served area for craft beer. For example, we only have a few breweries in the area including Baying Hound Aleworks, DC Brau, Port City Brewing Co., and Lost Rhino Brewing Co.. Although we do have some excellent brew pubs such as Franklin’s, Mad Fox Brewing and Capital City Brew Pub, there is so much room for growth in both local breweries and brew pubs. And did I mention that the beer wholesalers in the area tell me they can’t get enough craft beer to keep up with demand?

So here’s the official announcement – I’m organizing the Mid-Atlantic Craft Brew Festival, known as “MAC Brew Fest” on Saturday, October 15th, 2011 in Washington, D.C. at the Sphinx Club which is hidden gem of a venue in the heart of DC at 13th and K St., NW. The website is at MAC Brew Fest and will include 30 craft breweries – many from the DC/MD/VA area as well as delicious food paired with the craft beers. Right now my event planner and I are working on the event including developing the TasteDC Food Pavilion which will include a minimum of 30 American artisanal cheeses, locally sourced charcuterie, a gelato bar and extensive selection of sweets and desserts as well as international foods. The goal is to showcase craft beer as part of meal with regional specialties. I’ll keep updating the blog and website, but I’m looking forward to creating a beer event that makes people proud of our city – Cheers!