D.C. venues offer eclectic, original opportunities for wine, beer and cocktail lovers.
By Kelly A. Magyarics
Looking for something fun to do with a drink in your hand? How about a class where you can learn a popular technique? Or a weekly happy hour where wine and pork rule? We’ve listed four fabulous experiences for the beverage lover, so grab some friends and head out to any of these spectacular sipping events:
Flicks and Sips at Wisdom
Last week, Wisdom started its “Rock on the Rocks” series. Each Sunday starting at 7 p.m., their bartenders mix up custom cocktails to complement the film being shown that evening — and each flick has a musical theme. On September 16, “Beats, Rhymes & Life” accompanied glasses of Sky Pager ($10), made with Hendrick’s Gin, Chambord, cranberry and tonic. “The Filth and the Fury” is scheduled for September 23. That night, guests can sip the Jack Daniels, Lairds and lemon-based Jacked Up ($10). And September 30 pairs the classic “Singin’ in the Rain” with the gin-based house favorite cocktail Purple Rain ($10).
Fat-Washing Mixology Class at Ripple
On Saturday, October 13 and Saturday, October 20 from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m., Ripple mixologist Josh Berner will walk guests through the process of fat-washing spirits, creating sesame oil-infused gin, bacon-infused Mezcal and olive oil-washed vodka. Using these ingredients, Berner will show attendees how to create three flavorful cocktails from Ripple’s menu. The Play It Sam mixes the gin with aquavit and a date reduction; Chile Manteca y Dulce (aka a “Little of Everything”) uses cayenne-toasted pecan along with the Mezcal; and United Colors of Basilton combines the vodka with green Chartreuse, white wine and basil. During the session, attendees get to sample all three cocktails, as well as bar snacks. After class, attendees can experience Ripple’s grilled cheese bar until 6:30 p.m. The cost is $45 per person all-inclusive, and advance reservations are required. Call Ripple at 202-244-7995 to secure a spot.
Swine and Wine Happy Hour at Society Fair
Meat Free Monday? Not at Society Fair. Every Monday from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., the Fair holds its “Swine and Wine Happy Hour.” Guests who purchase wine to enjoy in the wine bar can sample the pig dish of the week — anything from a whole roasted pig, to pulled pork and porky bits. Staff, including Wine Director John Wabeck, are on hand to help you find the perfect pork wine pairing, from Alsace Riesling to Oregon Pinot Noir.
Snallygaster Beer Festival
On Saturday, October 13 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. at Yards Park (3rd and Water St. SE), beer lovers can enjoy no less than 100 unique crafted beers all handpicked by Neighborhood Restaurant Group Beer Director Greg Engert, at the Snallygaster Beer Festival, an event that benefits Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture. Beer enthusiasts can sip Oktoberfest-style beers, seasonal brews, international finds, cask ales, barrel-aged brews and gravity-poured, rubber-clad kegs, which are hardly seen in the states. Inspired festival fare from Red Apron Butchery, Rustico, ChurchKey / Birch & Barley, Arcadia and Buzz Bakery will pair with the eclectic suds, with live music, games and a kid zone rounding out the inaugural event. Children under age 21 accompanied by a parent are admitted at no cost; food and beverage tickets ($1 each) are sold separately, with items costing about four to nine tickets. For more information and advance ticket packages, visit the festival website, and check out this You Tube video where Engert describes the festival.
Kelly Magyarics is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer and wine educator in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on www.twitter.com/kmagyarics.