Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Hot Ticket: VinoFest @ Union Market, 6/28/14

A lot of great specialty festivals are taking place around DC these days. Music festivals, beer festivals, food festivals, and others are giving us more and more options every weekend this summer.

How can it get any better? Perhaps with VinoFest, this Saturday, June 28, at Union Market, which combines two festivals into one with a festival of wine and a festival of music!

VinoFest promises chart-topping musicians, art exhibitions and a big selection of wine in a curated experience that includes local and imported wines, food vendors and music concerts.

Tickets are still available!

For general admission at $75, gain access to wine tasting and music concerts

For VIP access at $125, gain premier access to the concerts, wine tasting and an exclusive VIP lounge with Belvedere Vodka-sponsored open bar w/ catered apps and deserts.

For a concert pass at $50, enjoy the full concert lineup without the wine tasting. Food and beer vendors also are on site for those looking for an a la carte bite or drink!

The wine tasting includes a to complementary glass of sparkling wine as well as a four-hour session of wine tasting from 2-6pm.

Music acts include:

  • Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation
  • Jesse Boykins III
  • See-I
  • Jetty
  • DJ Spinser Tracy
  • Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes
  • Body Language
  • Bonnie Rash

VinoFest is presented by VinoLovers, a DC-based startup that has launched a new wine subscription club that personalizes wine selections to the taste of each member. A portion of proceeds benefit two national charities:

  • Bike2TheBeach, a nonprofit that promotes the benefits of bike riding
  • Dreams for Kids DC, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for at-risk youth through service, leadership and social activities

VinoFest’s stated mission is to “blend philanthropy, entrepreneurs, tech, art, music, and food all in one explosive summer party!”

Tickets available online.

Union Market
1309 5th St. NE
Washington, DC 20002
Saturday, June 28
Wine tasting: 2-6pm
Concerts: 2-10pm

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Support the 16th Annual Dining Out for Life

You dine out. You like to volunteer and support good causes. And once again this year, you can do both in one evening.

On Thursday, April 26th, nearly 140 restaurants in the DC area will be participating in the sixteenth annual Dining Out for Life event, benefitting Food & Friends. Restaurants donate anywhere from 25 to 110 percent of their profits from the evening to the local charity that provides meals and counseling to clients in the region who are living with HIV/AIDS, cancer or other life-challenging illnesses.

If you want to do more to help Food & Friends, sign up to be a Restaurant Ambassador. You’ll help spread the word about the event, greet and thank diners on the 26th and raise funds.

Last year’s Dining Out for Life raise more than $240,000 for Food & Friends. For more information about the event, go to

Fashionable DC, Technology

Geek2Chic Celebrates High-Tech Fashion – For a Good Cause

DC Week 2011: Geek 2 Chic

If you came to the Geek 2 Chic fashion event – where men from the world of technology are dressed up and sent down a runway – expecting amazing makeovers before your eyes, you might be disappointed. After all, many of the amateur models at this charity fundraiser were hardly pocket-protector-sporting hopeless cases when they arrived at the Chevy Chase Bloomingdale’s store on Tuesday. Instead, as hostess Angie Goff mentioned as they strutted confidently along, several of these gentlemen had been previously named to lists like The Hill’s Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill.
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The Daily Feed

DCCK’s Burger Battle at Harry’s Smokehouse

Photo courtesy of
‘8/365 – matchbox mini-burgers’
courtesy of ‘dracisk 365/365’

DC has been in a burger bonanza lately, but this weekend there’s a burger battle that you can enjoy while helping a good cause.

DC Central Kitchen and Harry’s Smokehouse (formerly Harry’s Taproom) are partnering up for a burger cookoff this Sunday, June 12th from 6 PM to 9 PM at Harry’s Pentagon City location. Chefs-in-training from DCCK will compete to make the best sliders for the audience’s and judge’s vote.

Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go to DCCK. In addition to getting to scarf down mini burgers and dishes from Harry’s Smokehouse’s grand opening, you’ll get wine and beer with your admission ticket. A good way to round out the weekend.

Food and Drink, News, People, The Daily Feed

Help John Murphy Win Money for the Homeless

Photo courtesy of
‘John Murphy Full Shot’
courtesy of ‘rabid_c’

Hello, DC.  I’m in Africa right now, so I don’t know much of what’s happening in DC.  Still, some news does trickle in to me and I received a particularly disturbing notification, today.  John Murphy, all around cool guy and evening chef at Miriam’s Kitchen (one of WLDC’s favorite charities) needs your help.  John is currently competing in the Sears Chef challenge.  He’s the only non-profit chef in the running and, until last night, he was winning.  But for some reason (nefarious, no doubt) votes poured in for other contestants and now John is 500 back from the leader. What I need you to do go and vote for John.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t know him. I doesn’t matter if you’ve never tried his food.  If he wins this round, Miriam’s Kitchen gets $5,000.  That means 5,000 meals for DC’s homeless.  Plus, if he goes on to win the competition, overall, Miriam’s gets an additional $20,000.  So please, take the time to make a few clicks and feed some homeless people.

The Daily Feed

Donate To Prostate Cancer Foundation And This Guy Will Call Your Dad

Photo courtesy of
‘Thundering Herd’
courtesy of ‘flipperman75’

Local running blogger Tom Jones from 528,000 Feet had a pretty nifty idea on how to both raise money and awareness around prostate cancer research. Jones, a Senate Staffer by day, is a long-distance runner and cycler, and like many who participate in long races and marathons, Jones has selected a charity to support through donations and pledges around his quest. Instead of just asking for donations to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, though, he’s upping the ante by offering something very cool in return for your family.

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Food and Drink, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Heart’s Delight at the Passenger

Photo courtesy of
‘The Passenger 8’
courtesy of ‘maxedaperture’

Charity is a good thing.  Charity plus drinking is an even better thing.  This is one of the reasons that Heart’s Delight is one of my favorite non-profits, because they consistently host charitable events that feature fine selections of alcohol, and their next event will be no different.  Heart’s Delight will be hosting a membership drive at the Passenger on Monday, June 14. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the organization and to join up.  10% of all sales will go to the American Heart Association.  I highly recommend that you check it out.

Fun & Games, The Daily Feed

Team-up to “Dodge” Diabetes

courtesy of Dodging Diabetes 

On Saturday, March 20th, the 5th Annual Dodging Diabetes Charity Dodgeball Tournament will bring together 500 players and fans for a one-day competition to raise money and awareness for the fight against diabetes.

From 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Champions Fieldhouse in Rockville, teams will be ducking and diving flying balls to make a difference in our community.

To sign up as a team, click here. Team registration (before March 16) is $350.

Founded by two D.C. area locals in 2005, Dodging Diabetes has netted over $40,000 for the Joslin Diabetes Center through its annual charity dodgeball tournaments. Web site:

The “Average Joe,” too, can make a difference.

The Features

A Week of DC Helping Haiti

Photo courtesy of
’20_16A’ Donation Drive at the Haitian Embassy
courtesy of ‘m hoek’

Since posting about local Haiti relief efforts, I’ve gotten a bunch more info via email and blog comment that I wanted to share with you. Please note that I’m erring on the side of getting the information out there; I haven’t vetted any of the organizations putting these things together or receiving the donations, so please check them out and use your best judgment before donating. So pick the event that works for you and plan to spend time with your friends and neighbors around the cause of helping our fellow people.

Tonight, Monday the 18th:

Nanny O’Brien’s Irish Pub 8:00 PM- Irish music, fundraiser, raffle to benefit earthquake victims. Donations collected and a portion of the day’s proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.

PUBLIC 5:00-8:00PM- Happy Hour fundraiser to benefit the Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Victims fund. Suggested donation is $40, and people making donations get $3 Miller Light specials.

Tuesday the 19th:

Recess Lounge – Will donate a portion of each drink purchased Tuesday evening, and will be soliciting free will donations (suggested amount: $20) to be sent to Yele Haiti and Partners in Health.

Wednesday the 20th:

Madam’s Organ 6:00-9:00PM – Party for Haiti: $1 from every drink and 10% of food sales donated to the Red Cross. At 8:30PM, organizers will ask attendees to pull out their cell phones and text donations, in unison, to the charities of their choice.

Thursday the 21st:

Bread & Brew – DC Vegan Drinks will be taking donations at their event, as well as holding vegan bake sales through the weekend to raise money for Mercy Corps and Food for Life Global.

Friday the 22nd:

Local 16 6:00-10:30PM – Fundraiser event to benefit Oxfam’s Haiti relief efforts. Donate $25, at the door or in advance, and the party will feature drink specials, “free beer until the keg runs out,” and a buffet of Local 16’s appetizers.

BrightestYoungThings also has a list of Haiti fundraising events they’ve compiled that you should check out.

The Features

DC Helps Haiti: Earthquake Relief Events

Photo courtesy of
‘Haiti Earthquake’
courtesy of ‘United Nations Development Programme’

Update 1/18: Information about Haiti earthquake relief fundraising has continued to pour in, so we have a new list of events you can attend this week.

By now we’ve all heard the harrowing reports coming from Haiti. And if you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that you’re orders of magnitude better off than the average Haitian even before the earthquake. Maybe you’ve got to wait for your next paycheck, maybe you’re out of work and can only spare a couple of bucks, but donate what you can, even if for no other reason than that you’re grateful live in a country with building codes and soup kitchens where you’ve never had to literally eat mud to fill your empty stomach.

But in addition to donating cash directly, there are a number of ways to help direct money (because that’s what they need now, money rather than a bunch of random goods) to Haiti earthquake relief. (A lot of this is cobbled together from press releases because we wanted to pull this together quickly, thanks for your forbearance.)  Got anything I missed? Leave it in the comments.

Wale will be playing a benefit concert at the 9:30 Club on Monday night. All ticket sales will be donated to the Partners in Health Organization and Yéle Haiti. The artists are donating their performances, the 9:30 Club has donated the use of the venue, club employees are donating their wages and the advance ticket sales service charge also will be donated.

We got a Twitter report that The Passenger is doing a Haiti relief fundraiser today, 5-8pm, but I don’t have any details. (Not that I need much of an excuse to visit The Passenger.)

This weekend, Trystthe DINER and Open City will be donating 100% of the sales of their in-house drink specials to the UNICEF fund for Haitian earthquake survivors. Drink specials include Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at the DINER, the Creamsicle Cooler Open City and any coffee beverage with a shot of Bailey’s at Tryst.

Tonight, the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow will be having a fundraiser at the Palace of Wonders. $10 door, a portion of which will be donated, as well as all money raised during the event itself.

The Friday night Liberation Dance Party at DC9 will be donating door proceeds to Haiti relief this week.

The Black Cat will be holding a benefit concert on February 6th. Watch for more details.  LiberatedMuse will hold a benefit concert on February 12th.

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, the Embassy of Haiti and ServeDC are asking for volunteers to man telephone banks at the Haitian Embassy, 2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.  If you are able to offer mental health services and grief counseling, please contact the DC Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency at 202-272-6161.  Additional information on support and volunteerism can obtained by contacting the Haitian Embassy – Greater Washington Haitian Relief Committee is 202-241-3593.

Material donations, clothes, food, toiletry items can be dropped off at the Haitian Embassy, Sunday, 17 January 2010, 11am-4pm, 2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

Additionally, the Sunlight Foundation will be holding “CrisisCamp” this weekend, in which a bunch of developers get together to put together tools for NGOs and relief organizations to use involving geospatial imagery, map data, etc. as well as family locator databases and the like.

Downtown, Food and Drink, People, Special Events, The Daily Feed

New Vintage Wine Tasting on Monday

Photo courtesy of
‘Sonoma Wine Bar’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

The New Vintage is hosting another charity wine event on Monday evening.  Castello Banfi, an Italian vineyard, will be showcasing a number of their wines at Cork Wine Bar, which is booked solely for this even. Tickets, which must be purchased ahead of time, are $50 ($25 is tax deductible) and benefit the American Heart Association. The event is a great way to meet and network with younger, philanthropically minded people.  Yours truly will be there, and I suggest that you come to.  After all, it’s nice to experience the softer side of charity, every so often.

Adams Morgan, Alexandria, Arlington, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Essential DC, Foggy Bottom, Life in the Capital, Penn Quarter, Petworth, The Daily Feed, The Hill, The Mall

Giving Map

Photo courtesy of
‘Salvation Army Christmas Give Away’
courtesy of ‘docentjoyce’

Continuing with our “Good Samaritan” theme, I now provide you with a means by which you may become said Samaritan.  Behold: the WaPo giving map.  This handy application maps out charities in the DC area and sorts them by type.  The list includes everything from homeless shelters, to non-profits for the arts, to religious charities.  So, in the spirit of the season, take a look at the map and find a place in your area that you’re willing to give time or money to.  Make someone’s holiday better.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Thanksgiving Pie Sale Benefits Food & Friends

Photo courtesy of
‘Pumpkin Pie’
courtesy of ‘Bethany Ann Khan’

At the DC foodie happy hour last month, I found out about this great holiday pie sale to benefit Food & Friends, called Slice of Life.  While I’ve never volunteered for Food & Friends, it is a great organization with a great reputation. And we all know that it’s going to be a particularly rough holiday season this year…

If you purchase a pie for Thanksgiving and take it home for you and your clan through the Slice of Life program, 100% of the cost of the pie goes to the foundation. Or, you can donate the pie and the funds directly to the families who need them most.

All the information you could possibly be interested in can be found by clicking this link.

Let me know if you have any questions or, you know, what your favorite pie is. Orders must be completed by this upcoming Thursday, November 19.

You have the choice of five pie flavors: Continue reading