Posts Tagged ‘Wine Bar’

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


The Wine Bar Craze in the U.S.

March 28th, 2010 • No Comments

Los Asturianos in Madrid

I recently read this post and photo montage of great wine bars in the world from Travel and Leisure Magazine Europe’s Best Wine Bars and was amazed at the diversity of concepts. I’ve been contacting many wine bars in the Washington, D.C. area recently about their special events and educational wine class offerings and I’m noticing that they all have different concepts of what a wine bar should be. Some local wine bars have a chef and a full menu, while others simply serve charcuterie and glasses of wine. The majority have beer programs as well, but the commitment to beer varies across the board. Almost all have some type of specialty wine preservation system like Enomatic that uses Nitrogen or Argon as inert gases that displace air in the bottle and preserve the wine to some extent.

The question is how does one differentiate what designates a “wine bar” vs. a restaurant? If a restaurant has a bar and they primarily sell wine, does that make the restaurant a wine bar as well? If a wine bar has a chef and also sells wine, does that simply mean it’s a restaurant that sells wine as well? And what about the situation where a wine bar/restaurant also has a license to sell off-premise wine and beer – shouldn’t that be called a wine bartailer? In Virginia, there’s the interesting combination of a restaurant and a separate establishment next door of an off-premise wine retailer. Due to unusual laws, this allows consumers to walk into the wine store, purchase a bottle of wine and consume it next door in the restaurant dining area. Virginia doesn’t allow consumers to bring their own wine into a restaurant (also known as “corkage”) but it does allow these special establishments. These type of restaurants normally charge a fee for the privilege, but it is usually must cheaper to do this than to purchase a wine off a restaurant’s wine list.

I’m going to be doing more research into wine bars and their special event requirements as a I spend more time marketing my services as a wine professional for hire as a wine educator. Future blog posts will cover how wine bars increase their profitability through special events and special programs including private events. Hopefully, this information will help both existing wine bars and potential wine bar owners in their decision-making and will increase the quality and revenue generation of wine bars throughout the world – Cheers!