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VinoFest DC wrap up

2 Jul

DC’s first ever VinoFest, organized by Vinolovers, was (as expected) an awesome time.  As the event started, a long line of wine lovers filed into an empty lot and warehouse behind Union Market, and were greeted with a chilled glass of prosecco and a “Wine Passport” to  stamp for each wine tasted.


wine tasting in the warehouse

All eleven wines being poured were handpicked by the staff of Cordial Fine Wine and Spirits, and ranged from light and refreshing whites to the earthy and robust reds.  Two that I couldn’t wait to pick up from Cordial later on were the Tangled Tree Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa and the El Cortijillo Temparanillo from La Mancha Spain.  A local Virginia winery, Boxwood, was sampling their Trellis, a dry and fruity Bordeaux blend, and advertising their tasting room which is open every weekend.


The Boxwood Winery’s Trellis from Middleburg, VA

Food vendors R&R Catering, Rappahanock Oysters Co., Puddin’, and Timber Pizza Co. provided a variety of pairings for the wine samples, with my pick being the colossal no-filler lump crabcake from Rappahanock.


Rappahanock Oyster Co. chefs ready to feed the crowd

If all this wine and food weren’t enough, the organizers put together a concert that kept people partying late into the evening and an art exhibit with a mural covering one wall of the warehouse.  It was an all around great time, so hopefully Vinolovers will organize more events for DC wine drinkers.


See-I sharing their reggae tunes with the crowd


mural and screen printed art by No Kings Collective

DC Jazz Festival starts tomorrow

23 Jun

The DC Jazz Festival is back again this summer, with over 125 events around the city celebrating the legacy of jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, here in DC.  Festival events include Jazz in the ‘Hoods at venues around town and Jazz at the Capitol Riverfront this weekend (with free performances on Friday the 27th).  Check out the full list of events on their calendar or use this festival guide from DCist.



Wine Classes at Flight

12 Jun

If choosing the right wine for the meal (or for your taste) always seems a bit complicated, Flight Wine Bar recently started a series of Monday night classes that can help simplify everything wine-related.  Each $35 class includes a sparkling wine and 3 half-pours of wine, all paired with food.   Class themes vary by the week, with this Monday’s class covering “Tasting, Contrasting, and Pairing Red Wines.”  For information on how to register and to check out topics for future classes, here’s their Monday class website.

Summertime in the city…

11 Jun

Image courtesy of

Its easy to get stuck in your weekly grind of working, sleeping and eating – but with DC offering tons of fun stuff this summer, there is no reason to not be out and about with friends enjoying a variety of events.

Accordingly, I have picked out some of my favorite activities I am looking forward to this summer that I think you will enjoy too:

Fun Festivals

Union BBQ – June 14
The Union BBQ is being held at Union Market and is filled with a variety of BBQ vendors, and a great music lineup from the people at U street Music Hall. Although the name says BBQ there will be vendors like Toki and Dolcezza to mix things up.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival – June 25-29 and July 2-6
This annual festival is all about cultural traditions from around the world. Each year the Smitsonian has a new theme, and have selected China and Kenya to be their key focus for the festival. This year’s schedule includes a variety of demonstrations, music, cooking, art, and games. Definitely a must see!

Crab and Beer Festival – Aug 16
Word on the street is that they are bringing in over 50,000 crabs to this festival so you can get your grub on for the full four hour duration of unlimited crab cracking. Additionally they will have more than 50 beers and wines throughout the day to wash down those crabs with.

Truckeroo – June 13, July 11, Aug 8, and Sept 12
This once a month food truck festival is becoming one of my go to events with visiting friends. Your favorite DC food trucks alongside some trucks you probably have never tried (but definitely should) will be there. Admission and the music is free and you just pay for what you eat and drink. Definitely a good time whether you go during the day or in the evening (the event runs 11am-11pm).

Cool Concerts
Jazz in the Garden – ​Fridays from May through August
This weekly concert series offers a variety of jazz musicians and a great place to unwind after a long work week. Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the music until the sun sets.​

Kaiser Chiefs – June 18
The English indie rock band is coming to the 9:30 club along with Streets of Laredo-sure to be a great show!

Lemaitre – ​July 22
This Norwegian electro group is a great change from the every day pop scene and they are playing at a small but fun venue (DC9)​.

​And the Rest…
The Anecdote – June 17
This event which is at Room and Board (yes the furniture store off 14th), is being described as modern storytelling. The stories will be focused on the theme of the supporting organization, So Others May Eat (SOME). Although the event is free, school supply donations are requested. Space is usually pretty limited, so reserve early!

Bourbon Bash – June 21
Who doesn’t love bourbon? This bar crawl involves jumping from bar to bar trying eight premium pours of “Kentucky’s sweet elixir.” There will also be live bluegrass music and specials on food and beer.

Brew at the Zoo – July 17
Drink some beer, save some animals…try up to 60 different craft and microbrewery beers on zoo grounds with proceeds going towards the care of the animals. Additionally food trucks will be serving up food for the evening. Tickets for members go on sale May 29th and tickets for non-members go on sale June 5th.


<3 Naya

VinoFestDC 2014

3 Jun

Hey Washington DC,

I heard you like wine! I heard you REALLY like wine!!! Well VinoFestDC is a thing, and it’s a DC thing, and it’s a Union Market thing! Pretty awesome thing right?

There’ll be music (Eric Hilton from Thievery Corp!), food, art, and of course lots’o’vino. Tickets start at $50 for the concert pass, but I’d definitely upgrade to the $75 pass so you can get tastings, tastings, and more tastings.

Here’s some more info:

Each guest with be treated to complementary glass of sparkling wine in addition, to a four-hour wine tasting from 2-6pm, with eight generous 2oz pours. Sip and enjoy an artistic spin with an art installment presented by DC’s No King Collective – details to be announced in the coming weeks.

 Confirmed 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, and Bonnie Rash. Jesse Boykins III recently dropped his brand new album Love Appartus, which further adds to the anticipation of his performance at VinoFestDC. “I love the city of Washington DC so to be a part of the inaugural VinoFest will truly be a special experience,” says Jesse Boykins III. “I’m looking forward to it!”

A portion of proceeds benefit two national charities with DC roots – Bike2TheBeach and Dreams for Kids DC. VinoFest’s mission is to blend philanthropy, entrepreneurs, tech, art, music, and food all in one explosive summer party! Tickets will sell out; get yours today! 

In case you’re a hermit and have never been to Union Market, here it is in all its glory

“VinoFestDC is Washington DC first infusion of Art, Wine, Food with Philanthropy, Tech Entrepreneurship into one explosive event. VinoFest is an experience you won’t want to miss” - Justin Harrison

“VinofestDC demonstrates the creative energy of the Vinolovers brand, bringing good friends, great wine and food together in exciting and interesting spaces.” - Justin Harrison

“VinoFest is the vision of two fifth generation native Washingtonians. With all the changes occuring Washington DC, VinoFest showcases some of DC music icones,Thievery Corporation and Sugar Bear, EU. Celebrating VinoFestDC at Union Market is a perfect blending of the old and new DC at the ultimate block party” – Justin Harrison & Justin Maddox, VinoFest Founders

Dreams for Kids DC(DFKDC) spokesperson Ray Heisler, who has Cerebral Palsy and is wheelchair bound will be performing alongside Bonnie Rash. Ray says “VINOFEST is a celebration of all Washingtonians from all backgrounds — being brought together through the universal languages of culture, food, wine, and music!”

DFKDC Executive Director Glenda Fu adds, “It is because of empowering opportunities like VINOFEST that these children learn to look past their disabilities and realize their own potential to succeed–thereby, becoming an entrepreneur in their own right.”

VinoFestDC is the perfect blend of celebration and partying while making a differences in the lives of Washington DC’s Autistic community. Bike to the Beach is pleased to join forces with VinoLovers and VinoFest DC 2014. – Ben Dalley, Board Member of Bike2TheBeach

This video doesn’t add much value or information, but it’s flashy and loungey.

VINOFEST 2014 from Michael Spillane on Vimeo.

Come meet some DC menswear startups for happy hour

14 May

We’ll be there on Friday… hopefully you will too. Free to register and attend.

Attendees include:

It’s from 5 to 7 at the Huxley (1730 M St NW Washington, DC 20036).



Metro bar crawl anyone?

7 May

Tailored Man’s charity suit drive for veterans

7 Apr


Previous coverage for Tailored Man by MLDC

The Tailored Man is helping prepare returning soldiers for their next career by collecting gently worn suits and sports jackets to donate to the organization Suiting Warriors.On April 15th, Northern Virginia veterans are invited to come pick out one of the donated suits during a full day event at the shop with representatives from Suiting Warriors.

Event details:
April 15th, 2014
10 am – 5 pm

The Tailored Man: Tysons Corner
1750 Tysons Blvd, Suite 130
McLean, VA 22102

At the end of the day, there will be a small reception to thank those that have donated, participated, and volunteered.

What vets need to know

  • Bring your veteran ID card.
  • All vets are welcome, regardless of age or separation date.
  • Suiting Warriors has more men’s clothing than women’s, but women’s suits will be available too.
  • A wide range of sizes will be available.

How to donate clothing

  • Please have donated suit recently dry cleaned.
  • Donate clothing by April 15th.
  • Anyone who donates a suit or sport jacket will receive a $50 gift card toward a custom suit from The Tailored Man (max: two gift cards per client).

The Tailored Man is a family owned and operated custom tailor shop with over four decades of experience in the Greater Washington DC area.  We specialize in men’s and women’s custom made suits, shirts, sport jackets, vests, and trousers.

The Suiting Warriors Foundation supports and empowers veterans transitioning into civilian life by providing them with professional attire essential for competing in today’s job market.

For questions please contact:

Jason Elias
Cell: 917-747-1357

If you liked then you shoulda put a stamp on it

19 Mar





Tired of signing your name? Put a stamp on it. Friends can’t read? Put a stamp on it. Wanna tag small objects to claim them as your own? Put a stamp on it.

Turn your relationship into a loveable custom stamp creation. After you order this package we’ll reach out to you for inspiration. By sending in your favorite photo we’ll get started drawing your faces and transforming you both into a memorable rubber creation. Each stamp design is hand-drawn, digitized, and professionally produced to last. As an added bonus, you’ll also receive:

Original Hand-Drawn Portrait
Digital File of Portrait
Black Ink Pad

Also comes in singlepet, pre-made, or quote bubble.


Bacon and Beer Festival comes to DC

6 Mar

The 2014 DC Bacon and Beer Festival will be held at Penn Social from 2:30-5:00 pm on Saturday, April 12th, where you can enjoy unlimited samples of bacon related food and regional craft beer from local restaurants and breweries.  Highlights from the list include: Bar Pilar, Boundary Stone, Bourbon Steak, Menu MBK, The Pig, DC Brau, Dogfish Head, 3Stars, and Union Brewing.

You can also get this awesome poster on a T-shirt

Tickets are $45 and go on sale March 13th at 11 am here.  That 11 am time is actually important, because past Bacon and Beer festivals sold out in minutes!  It’s also for a good cause – the event will benefit DC area charity Food & Friends.


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