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Upcoming Event: Vinyasa to Vino

19 Aug
Take two things that people in DC love to do, and put them together. What do you get?

No, not a Ben’s Chili Bowl at the top of the Washington monument. You get a yoga class followed by a wine tasting.

Not sure how much of a downward facing dog you can be? No problem, DC yoga blog Grip The Mat‘s got you covered, all skill levels are welcome. Not too confident about your wine tasting abilities? Well unless you’re missing taste buds you shouldn’t be. Vino Lovers will be on call to hold your hand through it all and teach you a thing or two about reds and whites.

Here’s what the event organizers have to say:

Bringing to you the best of both worlds: alcohol and girls in yoga pants. But actually. This Thursday new DC yoga blog Grip The Mat is hosting Vinyasa to Vino – a yoga class followed by a wine tasting sponsored by Vino Lovers. Never done yoga before? No problem. The event is tailored to all levels and is perfect for anyone who hasn’t seen much success in the typically stuffy bar scene and would like to meet cool new interesting people who value fitness and health.

Still not sold? Research shows that practicing yoga reduces stress and cortisol levels, and what did Men’s Health magazine report…? Women are more attracted to men with lower stress and levels of cortisol. Additionally, regular yoga practice strengthens pelvic muscle control. Finally, polyphenols in wine is reported to improve circulation “down below.”

Yoga + wine = health and wellness jackpot. Not to mention Vinyasa to Vino offers a chance to meet like-minded active friends who are just down to have a good time.

Please RSVP via EventBrite

When: Thursday, August 21 7pm to 9pm
How much: $20 +  tax

DC Beer Week

18 Aug

This week is the 6th annual DC Beer Week!  This celebration of beer extends throughout the DC area, with tastings, tap takeovers, beer dinners, seminars, and other events featuring lots of good beer.

 

Plan your week of beer by checking out the full list of events on the DC Beer Week website, or go with some of our picks:

DC Brau’s Crab Fest at Quarterdeck has the ultimate pairing of all you can eat steamed crabs and $1 drafts / $5 pitchers of craft beer.

Blind and Bitter at Scion has participants taking part in a blind taste test of 24 extra hoppy IPAs competing for a permanent line at Scion.

Devil’s Backbone Total Tap Takeover at Meridian Pint will feature 20 Devil’s Backbone drafts including the release of Pumpkin Hunter Pumpkin Ale.

Breweries on the Block at Union Market gives you a chance to discuss beer with experts from local breweries in DC with more local craft beer and great food.

August 16th is National Rum Day

14 Aug

Image courtesy of http://rumshopryan.com/

I love how there’s days for everything now. Commercialization at its best? Yes. An excuse to learn about rum? Definitely. Here’s all you need to know about National Rum Day.

IT’S TIME TO RELEASE THE KRAKEN!

First a little intro on Rum (content from Liquor.com)

Rum lovers around the world owe a great debt to a simple plant: sugar cane. Hundreds of years ago, there was a sugar craze in Europe, and colonies were established around the Caribbean to make the sweet commodity. But the production of sugar creates a lot of byproduct—namely, molasses. There wasn’t much use for the thick, sticky, sweet substance until it was discovered that molasses could be fermented and then distilled. The alcohol quickly became popular with pirates, sailors and America’s founders.

Rum also became a key element in the infamous “slavery triangle.” The Brits shipped molasses to New England, where it was transformed into rum, proceeds from the sales of which purchased slaves in West Africa, who were subsequently taken to the sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean and South America.

While the rules for rum production vary greatly from country to country, there are two main types: light and dark. The color of the spirit is primarily determined by the amount of time it has spent aging in oak barrels. The longer it’s been aged, the more color and flavor it picks up from the wood. Some experts say that the Caribbean’s high heat and humidity help speed up the alcohol’s maturation. No matter the color, most rum is still made from molasses, but some brands do use fresh sugar cane juice.

National Rum Day 2014 in DC (Originally reported by DrinkDC)

Here are the best places to go on Saturday in honor of one of the first liquors most of us are introduced to in our lives:

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar: It’s no surprise that a dedicated rum bar would want to make the most of the holiday, so Cuba Libre is running specials all throughout the month of August. Mojitos and rum flights are specially priced all month long, and look for special events like the Mojito, Ceviche and Rum tasting class. And, on August 15 and 16, all of their 90+ rums will be half off between 5–7 PM. (801 9th St. NW; 202-408-1600)

The Observatory at The Graham Georgetown Hotel: Kick off your weekend of rum on August 14 at the trendy rooftop at the Graham Hotel, which will be hosting an evening of rum flights and signature aged rum cocktails from 6–9 PM. Georgetown Tobacco will also be on hand to provide complimentary cigars—life is good. (1075 Thomas Jefferson St. NW; 855-341-1292)

Jack Rose Dining Saloon: From 1 PM – 5 PM on the big day, you can enjoy BBQ from an open pit fire at this Adam’s Morgan cocktail bar, which will be featuring signature rum cocktails and special rum punches to celebrate. Try the 18th Street Twizzle (Gosling’s Dark Rum, lime, simple syrup, angostura, mint) or cool down your spicy BBQ with the Cold-Lada (Bacardi Rum, lime, hibiscus syrup, coconut creme). (2007 18th St. NW; 202-588-7388)

Cork Wine Bar: Yes, it’s a wine bar, but Cork knows quality liquor and will help you celebrate Rum Day with true class. They offer two 15-year rums, aged to perfection: the rich and toasty Ron Matusalem from the Dominican Republic and Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti. (1720 14th St. NW; 202-265-2675)

Patty Boom Boom: This U St. reggae hall offers up three different tasty rum punches that are crazy strong but only $8. The Wild Ting (Ting Jamaican grapefruit soda and light rum), and classic Dark and Stormy (Gosling’s dark rum, ginger beer, and lime) will keep you dancing into the wee hours. (1359 U St. NW; 202-629-1712)

Zengo: Hit up this Latin fusion joint in Chinatown to try three different takes on the classic mojito: the Mojito Cuzco is a refreshing blend of Bacardi Castillo rum, melon, cucumber, mint, lime and soda; the Mojito Oro uses Patron Pyrat rum and plenty of brown sugar, or go fruity with the Mango Mojito, a tropical mix of Parrot Bay mango rum, mango puree, mint and soda. (781 7th St. NW; 202-393-2929)

The Rum Runner Bus Tour: If rum is your drink of choice, why not go all out? Hop on the Rum Runner Bus to enjoy special Rum Day DC Punch and hit bars like Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Lincoln, and Smith Public Trust, each featuring their own specialty rum cocktails and appetizers. The Rum Bus journeys from 5:30–10:30 PM on August 15.

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Guess what opened on Connecticut Ave yesterday! (Hint: H&M)

8 Aug

The Gentleman Clinic

31 Jul

Ummmm… free wine and whiskey. Also, seems like an awesome men’s lifestyle event. And that’s right up our alley! Register here for free.

You may know your way around DC, but do you know how to show up in style?  How about the best wine to pair with that cheese plate you just ordered? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
 
We believe that with a little training and helpful advice, all DC men can be versed in the fine art of being a gentleman. Thats why several local startups are holding a series of clinics, starting with getting you through that big date you have coming up.  
We have the following three District-based companies speaking at the first Gentleman Clinic, all ready to help you make a great impression:
UrbanStems – Bringing flowers to a date may seem antiquated, but in fact it’s one of the longest running traditions (and all-around classy move) for starting your evening on the right foot. UrbanStems will be on hand to discuss the basics on flowers — what to give, care and arrangement, and how to make you look like the smartest, most thoughtful guy in town.  
State of Affairs – How you present yourself at a dinner party in terms clothing selection is pivotal to making the right impressions. The devil is in the details, down from the shirt you choose to the shoes you wear, and the team from State of Affairs will be on deck to ensure you show up to any dinner party looking your very best.
 
VinoLovers – A picture may say a thousand words, but the right kind of wine can also speak volumes. The founder of Vinolovers will be giving a breakdown of wine pairings, unique blends, and all things regardingoneology (hint: stop ordering the second cheapest bottle on the menu).
 
Join us at UberOffices Dupont Circle (1200 18th St NW, 7th Floor) on Wednesday, August 6th from 6:30-9pm. 
We encourage both men and ladies to attend, as the female perspective on the modern gentlemen is a critical view point for constructive dialogue.
In addition to the clinics, we’ll have free wine and whiskey, as well as floral arrangements to give away.

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.

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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.

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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.

IMAG0643~2

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.

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See-I sharing their reggae tunes with the crowd

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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 http://washington.org/

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.

Enjoy!

<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.

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