This year we did not spend our 5 de Mayo gulping down Margaritas. Instead, as Vino & Vintage, we attended our very first Wine Festival…the 11th Annual Philadelphia Wine Festival, presented by Philadelphia Magazine and Fine Wine & Good Spirits. What a great time! The event began at 6:30pm and ended at 9pm. We arrived at around 7pm and were immediately greeted by several friendly, professional staff, pointing us to our destination (aka wine heaven!). We picked up our complimentary wine glasses and Tastings Note Pads provided by premier sponsor LEXUS, stepped foot onto one of the floors at Lincoln Financial Stadium and were immediately impressed and overwhelmed. The rows of over 200 winery representatives and vendors from all over the world seemed endless. Where do we start? How will we be able to try all of these wines? Who’s driving home? Where’s the food? 😉
We sat down for a minute to come up with a game plan. We quickly agreed to begin our evening with a few whites and end it with reds. We flipped through our Tastings Note Pad, which listed all the vendors, picked a row, and started sippin’. In 2 hours we barely put a dent in the place but managed to try some wonderful new wine varieties, ran into some old favorites, enjoyed some delicious food samples, met some very nice and helpful wine connoisseurs and ran into some familiar faces. 😉
The event was very well organized. PA Wine & Spirits provided an on-site store to purchase your favorites of the night. Several local restaurants were there to provide samples of their most popular dishes. A silent auction took place throughout the evening to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Our only critiques of the night would be the Dessert Lounge and Cheese table. What pairs better with wine than Chocolate and Cheese? Not much. We couldn’t wait to sample some sweets, but were disappointed to find that the only choice we had at the Dessert Lounge was what flavor of cannoli we wanted. Though the cannolis themselves were good, we expected a lot more variety. We were also disappointed at the lack of cheeses available. While we were at one end of the event room, we discovered a fruit table. It wasn’t until the end of our night, at the opposite end of the room, that we discovered the (rather small) cheese table. If it were our event, we would have centrally placed the cheese and fruit displays, perhaps included them in the Dessert Lounge where we would have added a few chocolate items.
In the end, we definitely enjoyed our evening. For the first time we both realized that we very well almost reached the point of overdosing on wine….something we never thought possible! Almost all the wines we sampled were delicious and to avoid an endless blog post, we will simply list our favorites below in alphabetical order, along with some pictures from the night. We are looking forward to next year when we hope to attend the VIP tasting which granted early access from 5-6:30 and featured some exclusive wines.
For more information on next year’s event: Click here.
OUR FAVORITES OF THE NIGHT
(yeah, we actually tried a few more than just these):
Altesino Winery Roso di Montalcino DOC 2009
Broadbent Vino Verde NV Warwick Three Cape Ladies 2009:
Carpineto Chianti Classico Riservz 2007
Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2008
Terrazas Malbec Reserva
Ruffino Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva
Novy Late Harvest Viognier Russian River Valley 2010
Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007
Stags Leap Wine Cellars Fay Cabernet Sauvignon 2008:
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates/Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2006:
Wines of Subarashii NV Subrashii Kudamono Asian Pear Wine NV:
Testarossa Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2010:
Thorn Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008***** (5 stars…our absolute favorite of the night!)
Thorn Hill Vineyards Petit Sirah Napa Valley 2007
Terra d’Oro Moscato 2010** (Moscato is now a new favorite white!)
Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Wines Unlimited):
Xtant Petit Batard 2007****(TOP 3 of the night…Merlot, Cabernet and Malbec fusion…enough said!)
This was a display for Xochitl restaurant which was at the event providing samples of their delicious food.
We seem to keep running into these candles…something about them inspires us. 🙂