The weather outside may be frightful but Philly Wine Week is always delightful, and this year, it celebrates its fifth anniversary. Aside from growing in size (expanding from 22 venues to 70), it’s also diving deeper in terms of the types of wines covered.
“We’ve progressed with the growing interest in wine in Philly, as a whole,” says Jill Weber, Philly Wine Week board member and owner of Jet Wine Bar. “This is noticeable in the events which, are now somewhat more specific.”
Rather than have a general event focusing on the white wines of France for example, Weber explains that there’s an event strictly covering Chenin blanc wines. The Jura region of France is also getting a lot of love this year, with events at The Good King Tavern (614 S. 7th St.) on Sunday, March 25 and Royal Boucherie (52 S. 2nd St.) on Wednesday, March 28.
“The Good King Tavern will have wines from the Jura with raclette! So, not just an awesome wine experience, but a salty, gooey, cheesy experience, too,” she says. “And, Royal Boucherie is also doing a Jura dinner.”
If you’re a fan of Spanish wines, you should definitely check out a special event dedicated to volcanic wines from the Canary Islands on Monday, March 26 at Barcelona Wine Bar (1709 E. Passyunk Ave.)
“I am a sucker for the minerally, volcanic wines from the Canary Islands, and they are not that easy to come by for the general consumer,” Weber says. “So A Night In the Canary Islands at Barcelona Wine Bar is an excellent opportunity to really delve into that region.”
On the quirkier side of things, Weber’s own Jet Wine Bar (1525 South St.) will be hosting a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon wine tasting on Tuesday, March 27. So what does that mean, exactly?
“I will have a sit-down tasting with five wines, each of which is separated from Kevin Bacon by six degrees or fewer,” she explains. “I’m having so much fun researching this. One of the highlights for me is a Hungarian wine linked via Ernest Hemingway!”
Of course, if you’re looking to try hundreds of wines, the kickoff event for Philly Wine Week, Opening Corks, takes place Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Vie (600 N. Broad St.).
“This event if for everyone who loves wine and loves to taste new wines. There will be wines to sample from all over the world that are generally only available to people in the restaurant business,” Weber says. “There will be wines from Pennsylvania, France, the Republic of Georgia and more — along with food to sample.”
The key takeaway about Philly Wine Week, however, is how it brings the city together through a mutual love for the grape.
“I love the camaraderie among Philly’s wine professionals and the overall excitement that it draws from wine lovers,” Weber says. “ We really want Philadelphians to drink more wine, and be happy doing it.”
For more information on Philly Wine Week, visit: phillywineweek.org.