Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beer. Wine. Food. What More Could Next Monday Offer?

If I had the ability to be in two places at once, this coming Monday would present a no-brainer of an excuse to exercise the power. Trappist beers in Philly and Piemontese wines in Wilmington – two of my favorite things, one in the town I call home and one in the town where I work. Since I can’t be in both places at once, work will most likely win out. But you have a choice….

The last time I attended a beer tasting at Philly's own Chick’s Café & Wine Bar, importer Dan Shelton was pouring French farmhouse ales. The evening was a blast. And I was introduced to some new brews that have since entered regular rotation, like Gavroche and Thiriez Extra. Mr. Shelton will be back at Chick’s on Monday, May 19th. The proceedings kick off at 6:30 PM. This time around, he’ll be expounding on the history of monastic brewing in Belgium and pouring examples from every single one of the country’s true trappist breweries, including Westmalle, Chimay and Orval. Between Dan and the crack staff at Chick’s, I’m sure there will be some other goodies in store. In spite of Shelton’s predilection for beer, there may even be a taste of wine thrown into the mix. Sound like your speed? Check out the details.

At the same time, not much more than 25 miles to the south, Wilmington’s own Toscana Kitchen + Bar will be hosting a Piemontese wine dinner featuring the Monforte d’Alba wines of Elio Grasso. Gianluca Grasso, son of Elio and co-winemaker at the family estate, will be in the house greeting the guests, expounding upon the vinous wonders of Piedmont and pouring some of his own wines along with those from a friend or two. The full write-up of my visit with the Grasso family in February of 2006 has yet to see the light of day. To whet your fancy though, please do check out my old post on the virtues of Elio and Gianluca’s Baroli from the difficult 2003 vintage. (That’s the beautiful Grasso estate and their Rüncot vineyard in my profile picture, by the way.) The event, also on Monday, May 19, begins at 6:00 PM. Check out the menu. Or just dive right in and make a reservation.

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