Food and Drink, Penn Quarter, The Daily Feed

Mad Hungry? Hooks Books Event at Zola Fills You Up

Photo courtesy of
‘Artomatic 2009 Kerrin’s Appetizers’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Zola Wine & Kitchen is hosting a Cookbook Author Series with this Thursday’s author being Lucinda Scala Quinn, formally the food editor of Martha Stewart Living Television.

On November 12 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., the nationally renowned culinary author will discuss her new book, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, and will offer culinary demonstrations.

Tickets are priced at $75 per person and include a copy of her new release, along with appetizers showcasing the published recipes and two glasses of wine per person. Guests for the evening also receive a 10% discount on wine purchases from its wine shop during the event. Continue reading

The Daily Feed, We Green DC

Taste “Green” Wine

Photo courtesy of
‘mmm’
courtesy of ‘erin m’

Hmm, wine. You’ve got your reds, you’ve got your whites, you’ve got your greens. Well, what else would you call organic wine? And why would you want it, anyway?

On Friday night, you can learn all about organic wine — how it’s made and how it tastes — at Sonoma, through the DC Green Connection.

Since grapes are one of the top foods to buy organic if you want to avoid eating pesticides, organic wine makes sense. Sonoma’s sommelier has picked out several kinds for DC’s greenies to taste while chatting about ways to save the planet.

The DC 100

DC Omnivore 100: #18, Fruit Wine

Photo courtesy of
‘Bluemont Dessert Wines’
courtesy of ‘tbridge’

It’s time for another edition of the DC Omnivore 100, where we explore the top one hundred foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their lives.

“Fruit wine made with something other than grapes,” to be precise. Tom and I were kicking around which part of the Omnivore 100 list we wanted to try, and remembered that our CSA farm, Great Country Farms, has an affiliated vineyard run by the same family just across the street. We remembered seeing on their tasting list some wines made with fruit from the farm. And since we’re out there picking up our CSA share every week, it would be pretty easy to just drop by and grab a couple of bottles to try.

So we did. We picked up “The Peach,” a 50/50 blend of peach wine and vidal blanc, and “The Strawberry,” a sweet dessert wine made with 90% strawberry wine and 10% red wine. We brought them along on our trip out of town this weekend so that we could share them around with family. You know, in the name of Science™. Continue reading

Getaways

Getaways: Sky Meadows

Sky Meadows

Sky Meadows

Sky Meadows. The name itself makes me think of rolling pastures, wildflowers, birds, and butterflies, all under puffy white clouds and a deep blue sky. But maybe that’s because I’ve been there.

This humble Virginia state park is close to the city, just over an hour’s drive west from DC. A historic house and picnic tables are there, and you can catch fun programs ranging from Celtic music to astronomy nights to an annual strawberry festival. But I go there mostly to hike.

These hikes are different from the classics in Shenandoah, such as Old Rag and White Oak Canyon. Their pretty, pastoral scenery gives them a gentler feel, and the trails meander in shorter, easier loops. To be fair, the beginnings are steep, but they rise up toward the sky through meadows of waving grasses and wildflowers. And they pass strategically placed benches that let you sit and look out at the farmlands, ponds, and softly curved mountains.

I’m going to recommend you go to Sky Meadows on a Saturday, and here’s why. Then you can make your trip a loop that includes picking up lunch at a delicious bakery on the way (it’s closed on Sundays) and ending with wine at sunset on a patio with a view (it’s open late on Saturdays). Continue reading

Food and Drink, Interviews, Life in the Capital, Penn Quarter, People, The Features

She Loves DC: Jill Zimorski

jill and wine

Jill rushes up to greet me wearing a bright green cardigan and a cute black Ann Taylor dress. (I know, because I have it in pink!) She’s not what you expect in someone whose credentials boast “Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers” and “has completed the Advanced Certificate Course offered through the Wine Spirits and Education Trust.” Jill just looks like she could be any of my girlfriends, but with a totally rockin’ day job – beverage director for Café Atlantico, the popular Penn Quarter eat place that hides Minibar. She’s been with Jose Andres since 2006, and seen Cafe Atlantico through quite a bit. We sat down to talk about my favorite subject – DC, paired with my other favorite subject – food and wine. (Heavy on the wine, given Jill’s passion!)

Me: Name the best part of DC in your opinion?
Jill: I think it would have to be the endless variety of people who you can meet, and what you can do here. My list of things I want to do is long, and some of it you can do on your own and other things with friends. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Special Events, The Features, The Great Outdoors, We Love Food

We Love Food: Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor

Food and Wine Festival

Summertime is festival time, and I’m not complaining. After attending Savor a week ago, I had no idea what to expect going into The Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor. Would it be fancy? Would it be lame? Would they have enough food and wine to keep me happy? Actually, does anyone ever have enough food and wine to keep me happy? Is there enough food and wine in the world to keep me happy for life? Ah! So many existential questions, but I digress. Basically, Jasmine and I headed over to National Harbor with zero expectations, and wound up extremely happy, totally entertained, bellies satisfied, heads full of wine.

We took the water taxi over from Alexandria, quite nice. Pretty views of Alexandria and National Harbor, and I generally just love boats. Period. If you’re a regular reader, you already know that if there is an event or location near, on, or around water, I’ll like it. It’s a guarantee. So National Harbor already had that going for it, as the festival exhibitors lined the boat docks, so we were on water the entire time. Combine that with wine, and food, and I think you’ve got a total winner. Continue reading

Entertainment, Food and Drink, Music, Night Life, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Rock the Casbah Embassy

Photo courtesy of
‘Yann Tiersen 27′
courtesy of ‘Shadowgate’

Last night’s US premiere of musician and composer, Yann Tiersen, marked the opening of the season of events hosted by the ‘La Maison Française‘ (or “The French House“) Franco-American cultural exchange at the French Embassy. They are scheduling event’s throughout the summer and vary their selections from music (jazz, folk, classical, and rock) to other performances (cabaret, opera, theater) and are held in a very intimate setting on the grounds. If the actual quality of the performance isn’t enough, remember, this is France, and a complimentary wine tasting ensued after the performance (I only wished for cheese and bread to follow!).

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Alexandria, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Grape + Bean Tasting Bar Opens in Alexandria

enoteca

My love of all things wine is well-documented at this point. I’m turning into a regular at Eat Bar and Matt and my’s wine collection is growing by the day. So I was thrilled this morning to open up my DC Daily Candy and see that a new coffee and wine place is opening in Alexandria.

Grape + Bean is located in Old Town on South Royal Street. They sell coffees and wines by the glass at the new tasting bar. With a “focus is on high quality and small production wines, single-origin eco-friendly whole bean coffees, and custom brewed coffee.” I’m excited to try it. According to the Washingtonian, they brew one cup at a time, so it leans towards the pricey side of all things coffee. So this might not be a great place for your regular coffee stop, but I’m itching to check it out, regardless.

Have you been there? Where is your favorite coffee shop? What about your favorite wine bar?

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Chocolate-Orange Port at MyLHBS

Oranges and Chocolate

My friend Derek at MyLHBS in Falls Church informed me that he still had some kits left to make the chocolate-orange port that has become so popular in recent years. I am told that the wine ends up tasting like those dark chocolate-orange candies that are so tasty. Except with alcohol. I just picked up two kits yesterday – enough to make approximately 30 bottles. These are going fast, so be sure to go soon.

What? You don’t know from making wine? Don’t fret because Derek can help you with that as well. He knows a lot, so go pick his brain and buy your first wine kit. It’s a great hobby and very cost effective if you end up drinking wine. Wine makes great gifts as well, especially for me. You know – in case you wanted to get me the perfect gift.

Oranges and Chocolate by VROG in Bristol

Food and Drink, Getaways, The Daily Feed

Quattro Goombas Winery

Wine Bottles IMGP0221

My father was in town this past weekend so we took him on a short tour of the Virginia wine country in Aldie and Middleburg. Actually, we visited one winery and drove by two or three others along the way.

Quattro Goombas Winery is on Rt. 15 about a mile north of Rt. 50 in Aldie, VA. I have visited quite a number of wineries in my time and can tell you that I had an experience there that I have only had one other time. I liked every single wine I tasted. Often these things are hit and miss but this tasting hit like a Slant Six, each wine delicious, with its own characteristics and each one smooth.

If you have an afternoon free, go see these folks. It’s only an hour west of DC and you are sure to enjoy it. They will treat you right and at the end of the tasting you will feel like an honorary goomba yourself.

Downtown, Food and Drink, Night Life, Penn Quarter

We Love Food: Proof Positive

proof.glass

A couple weeks back, myself and a few of the authors you see sneaking around this site had a casual dinner over at Proof in Penn Quarter. It’s a newer restaurant – actually, more like a very upscale “wine bar” – and it was suggested as an alternative to the usual pub meetings we normally have.

Their website proclaims the restaurant is “a Penn Quarter dining destination that exudes both contemporary chic and rustic warmth.” I’ll say this – they completely lived up to that billing.

While there’s some seriously good (and expensive) food on the menu, by far the most popular choices of patrons is their various charcuterie and cheese boards. Oh, and the bazillion bottles of wine scattered around. Just in case you weren’t sure what exactly they excelled in.

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