Drink all the French Bubbles at DC’s First Champagne Week

DC Champagne WeekIf you missed Champagne Day on October 21, don’t worry! Champagne shouldn’t be celebrated in a day anyway, it clearly deserves its own week! At least that’s what my friends Jess and Alison thought. These two wine pros are throwing DC’s first ever Champagne Week, from Sunday November 6 to Thursday November 12.

The idea for DC Champagne Week started off small. Jess runs Young Winos of DC, a group that connects people in the District with wine tastings and events. She reached out to Alison, who runs her own wine consulting business Bon Vivant DC, to partner up on a champagne focused event. Jess jokes that Alison took a small idea and blew it up, but Alison retorts that Jess never would’ve reached out to her if she wanted something low key 😉 Before long, Alison was in Champagne attending le Printemps des Champagnes, the weeklong industry festival (you can read more about her trip to Paris and Champagne here). While there, she was able to meet producers, other champagne event producers and came back with a better understanding of what a champagne week might look like in DC. Right away, Alison had a vision of a grand tasting like the ones she just experienced at the Printemps des Champagnes and everything grew from there…

Champagne Week DCSo what can you expect from DC Champagne Week? Here’s a run-down of the events:

The event will feature an elite lineup of champagne houses including Pol Roger, Gosset, Pierre Paillard, Charles Heidsieck, A.R. Lenoble, Canard-Duchêne, J de Telmont, Heucq Pere & Fils, and selections from the Terry Theise champagne portfolio. Select cuvées will be available for purchase throughout DC Champagne Week at Calvert Woodley, a fabulous wine shop and the event retail partner. You can find out more about DC Champagne Week right here and I definitely hope I’ll be seeing you at some of the events!!

Santé!! 

What’s the Best Baguette in Washington, DC?

I’ve lived in the District for over 10 years now and as the French expat one of the top question I usually get asked is “where can I find good bread?” Usually it’s recent transplants from France asking… The answer partially depend on where you live I guess. I mean, Bread Furst probably makes the best baguette in the city. But I live in Shaw. It’s bad enough I have to spend close to $3 for bread, I’m not trekking all the way across town on top of it. So I get my baguette mostly at A Baked Joint now, and occasionally at Paul or Le Pain Quotidien. Two places where I would never buy bread back home…but hey, I have limited options here 😉
The best Baguette in DC

Of course, Parisians take their bread very seriously. It is like 20% of our diet… It’s so important that we have a trade association for bread and the bakers that make it, la Chambre professionnelle des artisans boulangers du Grand Paris. And since 1994, they’ve teamed up with the City of Paris to throw an annual baguette show-done to select the best loaf in town: la meilleure baguette de Paris. In addition to 4,000 euros, mad bragging rights and a guaranteed line outside your bakery for a few weeks, the winning boulangerie also becomes the official bread supplier of the French President and his residence. Yes, obviously, that’s a thing too.  

This year, the French Embassy to the United States has decided to organize its very own “best baguette” contest for the Washington, D.C. area. After polling district residents online to see what their favourite bread-spots were, the top 4 bakers are facing off for a carb-filled finale at La Maison Française September 29th. 

The bakeries competing for the Best Capital Baguette title are: 

A jury of chefs and other DC-food personalities will decide the winner that evening but guests are also invited to join and will get the opportunity to try the different baguette along with charcuteries, cheese and jam. Bonne Maman, D’Artagnan and President are partners, so you know there’s gonna be some good stuff there! No wine sponsor though, so that’ll be cash bar and at $25 for a ticket (which you can buy here), that seems fair.

My money is on Fresh Baguette or Bread Furst, but I guess we’ll have to wait until September 29th to find out and see who will become the official bread supplier of the French Ambassador’s Residence… and the 2016 Best Capital Baguette!

ps: New York hosted its own competition earlier this year… so if you’re looking for some the best bread in Manhattan, just head to one of Eric Kayser‘s many bakeries. And good news, it won’t be too long before we have our very own Maison Eric Kayser here in DC. CANNOT WAIT! 

Catch These French Films at Filmfest DC

FilmFest DC 2016

In the winter months, I try to cram in as many oscar-nominated films as I can before the awards are given out. After that movie-binge, I typically take a needed break from the cinemas. Until April and Filmfest DC

Filmfest is the District’s first, largest and only international film festival. Between April 14 and 24, 2016 Filmfest DC will celebrate 30 years of delighting Washington cinephiles with a really impressive line-up of 75 movies from 45 different countries. As always, that includes a number of films from France and Belgium. Here are some of the French(-ish) or French-language films you can look forward to this year. 

THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENTLe tout nouveau testament

The poster claims that “G-d exist… and he lives in Brussels.” Colour me intrigued, especially since the film is directed by Jaco Van Dormael who has made such great films as Toto the Hero or The Eight Day. In the story, G-d (Benoit Poelvoorde — catch him in Romantics Anonymous available on DVD on Netflix!) is alive and grumpy in the Belgian capital, where he controls the universe from his computer and torments his family, including his wife the amazing Yolande Moreau and 10 year old daughter, Ea. To get back at her dad, Ea sends everyone their death dates via SMS… and that’s just the beginning. Intrigued? You should be! The film was Belgium’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist of nine films, but falling just short of being nominated (it was nominated but didn’t win at France’s Cesars.) Watch the trailer here and catch The New Testament at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 21 at 6:30PM or April 22 at 6:30PM. (In French with English subtitles.)

BELGIAN RHAPSODY 

Belgian rhapsody

Belgian Rhapsody illustrates the competition between the small country’s two linguistic groups – the French-speaking Walloons and the Flemish –  through the fierce battle of two brass bands vying for a European championship. The exuberant Wallo-Flemish musical comedy will be shown at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 18 at 8:45PM and April 23 at 5PM. (In Dutch and French with English subtitles.)

THE MEASURE OF A MANla loi du marche

I just saw posters for this film in new York City, which makes me think it has the best chance out of all the movies on this list to actually make it to theater in Washington, DC. Vincent Lindon is always superb and won awards for his performance both at Cannes and at the Cesars. This terrific drama echoes the Dardenne brothers’ “Two Days, One Night” in its exploration of what people are willing to do to keep their jobs. Here, Lindon portrays a fifty-something former factory worker, who after being unemployed for 20 months, finally accepts a soul-destroying job as a security guard for a megastore.  The movie is co-presented by the French Embassy where it will show on April 22 at 7PM. It will also show at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 16 at 5PM. (In French with English subtitles.) The French Embassy will be screening another film, Anne Fontaine’s The Innocents, immediately following The measure of a man, at 9PM on April 22 if you feel like a French double feature. Details here

MY KING

Speaking of acting awards at Cannes, its director Emmanuelle Bercot, who also plays the tittle character in this movie (called Maiwenn in French), won that last year. Her film focuses on Maiween who tears up her knee cap skiing in the opening sequence. As her therapist hints that the whole thing was more of a cry for help than an accident she looks back at her life with her man-child partner Giorgio (swoon worthy Vincent Cassel) and remembers the highs and lows of their life together. My King is showing at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 15 at 6:30PM and at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 17 at 5:30PM. (In French with English subtitles.)

My King

 

THE WHITE KNIGHTS

But back to Vincent Lindon. He leads the Move For Kids organization in this provocative Franco-Belgian drama that looks at the darker side of humanitarian assistance. Directly inspired by real events (the highly suspect story of French NGO Zoe’s Ark whose members were arrested in 2007 for illegally trafficking children they claimed to be orphans from war-torn Darfur) The White Knight raises many questions and offers no easy answers about what is wrong and what is right… what my husband would dub an excellent but infuriatingly French film 😉 Catch The White Knight at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 15 at 9PM or at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 22 at 6:30PM. (In French with English Subtitles.)

The White Knights

 

LOVE & FRIENDSHIPLove and Friendship

What is this very British love satire based on Jane Austen’s never-previously-filmed novella in letters Lady Susan doing in a list of French film you ask? Well, it’s co-produced by France, the Netherlands and Ireland. So there, French enough-ish! Plus it looks really good (I always love a good period film!) Brit Kate Beckinsale plays a widow who seeks refuge with her in-laws. As rumours about her private life begin to circulate, she sets out to find a husband for a herself, and a father for her daughter, the reluctant debutante Frederica. There’s only one showing at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 19 at 6:30PM so don’t miss it. (In English… no subtitles.)

3000 NIGHTS

Saying that I loved Room doesn’t feel quite right because the topic the film/book dealt with is so dark. 3000 Nights feels almost like Room and is also partially based on true stories, that of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons. In the film, Layla is unaccountably thrown into a police van and convicted. She ends up pregnant and in jail and is allowed to keep the child who grows up in a grim cell, knowing nothing of the outside world, but surrounded by love from his mother and her five Palestinian cell mates. Palestinian director Mai Masri is initially a documentary filmmaker and 3000 Nights concludes with a powerful documentary.

3000 Nights

A Palestine/France/Qatar/Jordan/UAE coproduction, the film is co-presented by the Embassy of Qatar and showing at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 21 at 8:30PM and AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 23 at 9:30PM. That last screening will be attended by the director too. (In Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles.)

MY INTERNSHIP IN CANADA

The festival saved the best for last with its closing film! Academy award nominated director Philippe Falardeau, of Monsieur Balthazar and The Good Lie fame, returns with a political satire featuring Starbuck’s Patrick Huard (one of my absolute favourite in-French film currently streaming on Netflix… watch it!!) as a former pro-hockey player whose career never took off because he was afraid to get on planes. Now an independent MP and the last honest man in office, his vote can decide the fate of legislation that could send the country to war. The PM relies heavily on guidance from his Haitian intern Souverain, who seems to know more about the ins and outs of Canadian politics than he does.

My Internship in Canada

While reviews agree that My Internship in Canada (watch the trailer here) doesn’t quite live up to its potential, you won’t want to miss this screening at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 24th, the closing night of the festival, because it will be attended by director Philippe Falardeau and followed by a reception sponsored by the Office of Quebec. (In French, Creole, with some English dialogue and English subtitles.)

Are you looking forward to Filmfest DC this year? The list above is by no means exhaustive, just some French-ish movies that I would like to see during the festival. You can see a full list of all the films shown through April 24th right here. Let me know if you see anything good!  

Life Goes On~Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau in Washington, DC

I’m not exactly in a celebratory mood these days, but life goes on. Paris is about life, about being at a terrasse right now etc. Life has to go on and this week life includes the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau, which always takes place on the third Thursday of November (or midnight that Wednesday!) Here are a few, selected spots where you can partake in some Gamay-drinking in Washington, D.C.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

BITRO DU COIN    Still THE place to be at midnight when Beaujolais Nouveau is released. It’s probably too late to get reservations for dinner, but show up around 10PM when they start  clearing out the tables. The Beaujolais typically starts pouring 11PM, which technically is well past midnight in France anyways 😉 More details here.

CAFE DU PARC Get a complimentary glass of George Duboeuf Beaujolais at the bar between 6-9PM, with additional ones and small bites available for purchase too. If you like it, stay for the prix-fixe Beaujolais dinner ($55 diner only, $80 with George Duboeuf wine pairing).

CENTRAL   Michel Richard’s Pennsylvania Avenue restaurant will keep the party going from Thursday November 19 through Saturday, November 23. Rather than serve the Duboeuf Beaujolais you’ll find pretty much everywhere else, they’ll be pouring a Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 for $11 a glass, or $42 bottle. Executive Chef David Deshaies has also created a classically French 3-course prix fixe menu ($55) to pair with the grapes, featuring gougeres, escargot Fricasse, Filet mignon with syrah-shallot sauce, and winter vegetables; and a seasonal Apple-cranberry cobbler for dessert.  

SLATE   For those who want to try some of the finer vintages of Beaujolais, Slate’s owner/Sommelier Danny Lledo will be leading private at-the-table tastings of the 2014 Nouveau and three choice Beaujolais for guests on Thursday, November 19th from 5-8 pm.  The cost of the tasting is $15 and choices include: George Duboeuf Beaujolais “Nouveau” 2015, George Duboeuf Flower Label Beaujolais 2014, Jean Paul Champagnon Fleurie, Beaujolais 2013 andDomaine Laurent Martray Brouilly, Beaujolais 2013.

TABLE Who wants to cook the day before Thanksgiving? Nobody, that’s who. For $150, Table invites you to give thanks for Gamay wine with  masterfully prepared local cuisine paired beautifully with Cru Beaujolais on Wednesday November 25. Check out the full menu and book your spot here

 

Beaujolais Nouveau

 

BEAUJOLAIS FOR A CAUSE    The DC Center is hosting a Beaujolais-themed fundraiser at the Human Rights Campaign on November 19th to benefit its Women Center. Tickets are $20. L’Alliance Française and the French-American Chamber of Commerce are also hosting a “Beaujolais and Beyond” “fun”raiser celebration at La Maison Française. Beaujolais Nouveau and other red wines will be free-flowing and proceeds benefit causes dear to both francophone organizations. 

ENO Wine Bar in Georgetown is dedicating its Beaujolais celebrations to the 129 victims who lost their lives during the Paris attacks on November 13. On Thursday, November 19, the bar will be illuminated with France’s national colours blue, white and red. ENO will be pouring a Dupeuble 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau (same wine as Le Diplomate though it’ll be $9/a glass and $35/bottle at the 14th street bistro) for $10 a glass and $40 a bottle. Guests are encouraged to share prayers and messages over social media using hash tag #ENOPrayersforParis. These messages will be displayed on a loop on Thursday evening at the wine bar. I’m not a huge fan of the #prayforParis hashtag, though I really appreciate the sentiment. Consider adding a #Parisisaboutlife or . Paris may get tossed by the waves but she will not sink, even in a pool of Beaujolais.

Beaujolais Nouveau

 

Finally if you’re like me and your favourite way of “enjoying” a glass (or five) of Beaujolais Nouveau is at home with some friends, here are a couple of wine shop I recommend:

WEYGANDT WINES is carrying 3 unique cuvées of Pierre-Marie Chermette’s Beaujolais Primeur 2015: Cuvée Pierre Chermette ($12/bottle), Beaujolais Primeur Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2015 and Chermette’s Beaujolais Primeur Rosé 2015 (OMD Beaujolais Rosé!! Game changer!! That one is exteremely limited so go snag a bottle right now!!) ($12/bottle).

DCANTER carries a Domaine Descroix Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 priced at $13. This is a pretty decent Beaujolais option that would pair really well with your Thanksgiving meal, so you might want to reserve a few bottle since the Capitol Hill shop will most likely sell out pretty quickly. 

CORK & FORK is where I usually pick up my Beaujolais Nouveau every year. Dominque Landragin typically selects a couple of interesting bottles that you won’t find in most stores. Like DCanter, he’s offering the Domaine Descroix Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 as well as a Domaine Anoir du Carra Beaujolais Village Nouveau. My recommendation when it comes to Beaujolais is always go for the village if you can… 

Last Friday, terrorists sought to attack France’s way of life… what better way to show them that our spirit will never be defeated than with some headache inducing Beaujolais Nouveau. Or something like that 😉 Cheers!

 

 

 

Gad Elmaleh in DC – Part Trois, Now All In English


Le revoici, le revoilà! Gad Elmaleh repasse au Birchmere, avec un petit changement qui n’est pas négligeable: le comedien fait son show en Anglais!! 

It’s hard enough being funny in your native language, let alone in a foreign one. Seinfeld, for example, was notoriously bad when dubbed in French, and the humour didn’t quite translate. And yet, that’s exactly the personal challenge that French funnyman (and Seinfeld BFF) Gad Elmaleh has set for himself. After performing sold-out shows in Washington, DC twice in 2013 (in April and September – you can read my recap from the September show right here), the comedien is back for a third time. This fall, he’ll try to branch out of the French-speaking and expat crowd by performing en anglais in 17 cities across the US and Canada.

Gad Elmaleh al in English

I thought he was absolutely hilarious when he performed at the Birchmere in Alexandria two years ago. The running joke throughout the performance was Cathy, the lone non-French speaker in the audience whom Gad picked on repeatedly. Good news for her, she can go back to the Birchmere on December 13 and finally be in on the jokes. I, for one, would rather see the comedien in v.o. (version originale). But I’m excited at the prospect of bringing my husband to the show this time, or some of my other friends here who appreciate French but may not speak it well enough to follow an entire stand-up routine in it (maybe they should do like at the opera and have surtitles!). 

You can get your tics for the DC, Montreal and Vancouver shows here. You can also catch one of his film, Capital, on Netflix right now. Or you can get a sneak peek of his English show on YouTube, with a short segment where he comments on two very American things French expats in the US don’t get: air conditioning and over-zealous wait staff at restaurants 😉 Don’t worry, it’s not all US bashing during his routine. The French definitely get picked on too! 

*** note: it appears the DC show is already sold out… womp womp for those who didn’t purchase tickets soon enough, like me! But wow, that was quick!!*** 

Save the Date~Two Fabulous Champagne Lanson Events Coming September 15th

Just last weekend I was dressed in white from head to toe and appropriately sipping some Champagne Lanson Brut White Label NV at Washington’s second annual Diner en Blanc. 

Champagne Lanson Diner en BlancDiner en blanc dc


Champagne Lanson Diner en Blanc

You can read more about DC’s 2015 Diner en Blanc here (and here and here and here.) If you missed Diner en Blanc or you just want to relive a part of this magical evening, the House of Lanson is coming to town and hosting two events in the District.

The first, more casual, is a tasting of the entire champagne house portfolio at one of my go-to wine shop Cork and Fork (always trust a wine shop owner whose grandfather ran the Champagne Veuve Clicquot vineyards) between 6-8PM on September 15 (Tickets $20).

Champagne Lanson, Cork and ForkThe second is a wine pairing diner at 701 near the National Archives/Navy Memorial also on September 15 (starting at 7:30PM, $100 not including tax and gratuity). Executive Chef Benjamin Lambert will prepare a five-course feast while Enguerrand Baijot, the director of Champagne Lanson North America, will orchestrate pairings of Champagne Lanson, including Black Label Brut NV, Rose Label Brut, the White Label that was served at Diner en Blanc and a “Gold Label” Vintage Brut 2002. The Young Winos of DC have complete menu for you here and you can book your spot for dinner by calling the restaurant at 202-393-0701. 

Cheers!! 

ps: all pictures from Diner en Blanc included in this post were taken by my very good friend Cecile. You can read her take on Diner en Blanc right here.

Museum Open Houses in Old Town for Lafayette in Alexandria Day + Tour the Hermione

Photo David COMPAIN-Ville de Rochefort via La Fregate Hermione Lafayette

Photo David COMPAIN-Ville de Rochefort via La Fregate Hermione Lafayette

In a previous post, I wrote about the return voyage of l’Hermione, the Frigate of Freedom, that delivered the young Marquis de Lafayette in 1780 to General Washington with full French aid. Well… it’s not exactly a return voyage since the ship is a replica, but it’s an authentically reconstructed one, 17 years in the re-making. After sailing 3,819 miles across the Atlantic, she’s about to land in Yorktown, just like Lafayette did 235 years.  Her next stop after that is Mount Vernon and Alexandria, both in Virginia. While she isn’t docking in Old Town until June 10th, the city is already rolling out the red carpet and building up the excitement with a Lafayette in Alexandria Day May 31st. From 1-5PM,  Alexandria museums will be open to the public free of charge, including: the Carlyle House Historic Park, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, Alexandria’s  Archaeology Museum, the Lyceum, Alexandria History Museum, the Friendship Firehouse Museum, Alexandria’s Black History Museum and Lee-Fendall House Museum. Lafayette himself, well, at least a replica, will be visiting guests throughout the day too!

In addition to Lafayette in Alexandria Day, there’s a couple of other events and cultural happenings going on in both Alexandria and Washington to celebrate Lafayette and the Hermione. 

While the French Ambassador’s residence was undergoing renovations, the ambassador would often host event at the Anderson House of the Society of Cincinnati.  From April 3 to September 6, 2015, the Dupont Circle area mansion will host an exhibition that explores Lafayette’s contributions to American independence as well as the history of the Hermione and French naval architecture of the eighteenth century.

 

FRENCFrench Movie NightH MOVIE NIGHT AT FONTAINE CAFFE & CREPERIE

The adorable creperie Fontaine Caffe (119 South Royal Street) will screen the hilarious French film La Chevre on June 11 at 7PM. The screening is actually part of their ongoing French movie night every Thursday which includes the following awesome films: Chinese Puzzle on 6/4, L’Auberge Espagnole on 6/25 and the Dinner Game on 7/23. Try their gluten free buckwheat flour crepes when you’re there. 

 TOUR THE TALL SHIP

The tall ship will be docked at the Alexandria Marina and open for tour Wednesday from 11AM-4PM, Thursday from 9AM to 4PM and Friday from 9AM to 7PM. Unfortunately, all the tickets for the tours have sold out already, though you might be able to grab one of a limited number of tickets that will be distributed on a first come first serve basis at 8:30Am and noon each day at the dock. Even if you can’t board the ship, there will be pier side activities like costumed characters, musical performances by l’Opera Lafayette, interpretive stations with the 1st Virginia Regiment and Alexandria Seaport Foundation, and a traveling photographic exhibition that tells the story of Hermione, its reconstruction, and Lafayette’s role in the American Revolution.

 

E868E0D4766262C43763758950705241LAFAYETTE IN ALEXANDRIA EXHIBIT @ ARCHEOLOGY MUSEUM

From May 31 to June 14 the Topedo Factory Art Center is hosting an exhibition of archeological materials from Lafayette’s return trip to the United State as the “nation’s guest.”  Items on display will include commemorative and decorative items like portraits, ribbons and plates that were created especially for the occasion.

 

 

Hermione & the Spirit of Lafayette Back in the US


Nope, I’m not talking about a Hermione Granger, the Harry Potter character, but Hermione, the Frigate of Freedom, a ship. The replica of the ship that brought the Marquis de Lafayette to the United State some 235 years ago to carry the message from King Louis XVI that France was going to aid the colonies. In 1997, a group of people came up with the idea of reconstructing the frigate using the same building methods applied in the original. Some 17 years later, on April 18, 2015, she left Rochefort in France to set sail for Virginia and retrace a journey through American history. For the past month, L’Hermione plied across the Atlantic, retracing Lafayette’s journey. She’s set to arrive in Yorktown, Virginia, this week and then sail up the Coast to 11 additional ports. If you’re hoping to catch the ship, here’s her schedule:

11044588_331276043728780_4448991414628043060_n

  • Yorktown, Virginia (June 5-7)
  • Mount Vernon, Virginia (June 9 – not docking)
  • Alexandria, Virginia (June 10-12)
  • Annapolis, Maryland (June 16-17)
  • Baltimore, Maryland (June 19-21)
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (June 25-28)
  • New York, New York (July 1-4)
  • Greenport, New York (July 6-7)
  • Newport, Rhode Island (July 8-9)
  • Boston, Massachusetts (July 11-12)
  • Castine, Maine (July 14-15)
  • Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (July 18)

At each stops, there will be a traveling photography exhibit covering the 17 years of the ship’s reconstruction and visitors will be able to tour the ship and enjoy other pier-side cultural activities. As always, New York gets the best stop of all, the one on July 4th, with a whole parade of boats that will accompany the Hermione as she sails from the Verrazano Bridge to the Statue of Liberty. Then of course, there’ll be fireworks, but I think those would have happened regardless 😉 I wish I could make it to that, but I’m hoping to catch the ship in Philadelphia since I’ll be out of town on a work trip pretty much the entire time it’s going to be in the DC-area. 

For more information on L’Hermione and her transatlantic trip, check out the website Hermione Voyage or follow her journey on instagram and twitter. The photograph used in this post was courtesy of L’Hermione.

Retail’s Night Out @ City Center DC

The National Retail Federation knows a thing or two about shopping, and in an effort to highlight retail’s entrepreneurial spirit, the trade association is hosting Retail’s Night Out at City Center DC on May 6, 2015. The one night only event featuring pop-up shops from local merchants and national brands is part of Small Business Week (May 4-8, 2015) and will also feature live music, local food trucks and a red carpet.

 

11082534_10152777500748344_268794658027426916_n

 

Participating retailers include: ALEX AND ANI, ArtJamz, Bull and Moose, JRINK Juicery, Salt & Sundry, stubble & ‘stache, Hugh & Crye, Potomac River Running Store, proper topper, Milk Cult, Ah Love Oil and Vinegar, LiLi The First, UrbanStems and more. Food will be available for purchase from Pepe Food Truck, Ball or Nothing and CapMac. Music will be provided by Levi Stephens.This event is free and open to the public.

Learn more here and here.  Need another reason to head to City Center DC? I’ve got you covered with this list of five (French) reasons you should go

VinoFest DC: Music, Wine, Food, Charity

My! How Vinolovers has grown? It feels like not too long ago, I was attending the D.C. startup’s launch party at 1776 (see pictures below) and now they’re throwing VinoFest DC, a huge wine and music festival at a venue so cool I haven’t even heard of it yet.

IMG_3788 IMG_3770

Let me backtrack… Vinolovers is a DC-based personalized wine subscription and delivery service and this is their second year hosting VinoFest DC actually. Last year’s event was held at Union Market, and on Saturday, May 9, wine producers, musicians, DJs and of course, vinolovers, will take over Storey Park in NoMa. If you’ve been in the city for a while like I have you may remember that place as the former Greyhound bus station. Right now it’s an empty lot and until it transforms into a mixed use commercial office building it’s set to host NoMa’s Summer Screen Series, more awesome festival-type events like VinoFest DC and possibly a temporary dog park.

vinofest dc

This year’s VinoFest DC will bring to the empty lot a full day of live music, headlined by QuestLove, of Roots and Jimmy Fallon fame, and featuring awesome local acts like 90s band White Ford Bronco and one of my faves: DJ Neekola. On the wine side, the $59.99 GA ticket (buy them here) grants you the chance to taste a variety of wines, including local vintages made in neighboring Virginia, classic wines from regions like France and California, and few lesser known places, like Romania. There’ll be some food trucks present as well, of course, like Puddin’, Timber Pizza, MilkCult, and the amazing Chaia Farm to Taco. Best of all, you can toast to doing a good deed by attending: proceeds from VinoFest DC benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation Mid-Atlantic, DC Central Kitchen, and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Well done Vinolovers!

Get your tickets now–general admission, VIP tickets (think two more hours to party, more wine, more food), and specially-priced options for designated drivers are still available.