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Philly and Fine Wine!

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by Stu Leventhal
Philly wine country? Who is laughing? Do not knock the City of Brotherly Love when it comes to vino! Yes Philadelphians love our brews but sometimes the celebration calls for a little bit more sophistication! Sophisticates and pallet challenged unite and raise your glasses you are all invited to tag along on a journey through Philadelphia's fine wine scene! In honor of the 'Three Stooges' Pinkies out and to the side everyone!

Here is few tips to help you tailgaters appear like old pro wine tasters.
1. When the wine steward pours your sample, hold the glass over a white area like a white napkin or table cloth then take a moment to make it appear as if you are studying the color of the vino to see if it is dark enough or light enough depending on whether it is a white, red or other colored wine. Of course if you have enjoyed this bottle before and you know what it is supposed to look like and it seems too dark or light then don't hesitate to send it back!
2. Swirl the sample of wine around in your glass. This releases the wine bouquet. Small slow circles! Nothing exposes a rookie taster more than splashing wine onto your new blouse, or carelessly staining your power tie while showing off your overzealous swirl.
3. Stop swirling then stare at the wine as if you are studying the length and width of the streaks running down the sides of your goblet. Did you know, Connoisseurs claim they can tell how much alcohol the wine contains by how her streaks appear?
4. Smell gently and do not be afraid to close your eyes and savor! Even mutter what you smell to the rest of the table. "Ah...roses, fruity, evergreens, almonds, a damp forest."
5. Take a sip but hold it in your mouth. Let the wine warm and the bouquet travel into your nasal passages then slowly move it around in your mouth. The idea is you are allowing all your different taste buds to engage. If you concentrate you will find your taste buds on your tongue will deliver a different response than the ones on the sides, back and other areas of your mouth.
6. Swallow slow, do not gulp! Enjoy the taste traveling down your throat. Savor for a moment then share your verdict with the server and the rest of the table.

*So where are the best wine selections in Philadelphia? Where should we go? In all honesty, it depends. A large selection of vino does not always assure an enjoyable wine experience!

The wine Steward's knowledge is often the biggest determining factor. Part of the appeal for ordering a bottle of fine wine is all the attention you receive from a professional staff when they bring and serve your wine. Great Stewards put on a fantastic show. The really good ones know entertaining stories about the vineyards the wines come from or at least some fascinating tidbits about the history of the region of the world where the wine is from. Knowledgeable wine stewards can give tasty selection advice, pairing certain wine tastes they know will be enjoyed with certain dishes you order. A good bottle of Wine can be very expensive and choosing the correct bottle can make or break the occasion you are celebrating!

Ambience is certainly important when choosing your wine bar or restaurant, especially for romantic events! I always advise one to Plan their outing to match the occasion being celebrated! Remember, in Philly you can find plenty of places where you can enjoy a nice bottle of wine without having to dress up in a tuxedo and evening gown.
For the above reasons alone, when you research Philadelphia wine serving establishments online, it is important to remember that in this instance customer reviews really count!

Philadelphians do have a number of options to choose from, when looking to take a journey into Philly's wine country, there are a number of important factors that you will first want to take into consideration. One of those factors is costs. If you are on a budget it is important to price compare your options before you officially make any spontaneous or rash decisions. Plenty of places are just silly expensive. Again, this is where reviews and reading between the lines of other customers' comments and opinions can be very valuable indeed. And yes, you can often find great deals and coupons online? In fact, many of the top Philly restaurants offer moneysaving meal and wine package deals. Many of Philadelphia's fine dining, wine highlighting restaurants also host a number of wine tastings and wine theme activities for you to enjoy! So, do your research and call ahead to see if you have to make a reservation!

Here is just a small selection of some top Philadelphia places where even a wine connoisseur can really enjoy a fine bottle of vino!...
• Bistro Romano situated at 120 Lombard Street, Society Hill, Philadelphia.
• Lacroix Restaurant at The Rittenhouse, 210 West Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.
• The romantic wine cellar at the Penn's View Hotel! Located at Front & Market Streets, 14 N. Front Street, Philadelphia.
• You will love the cozy wine room at Osteria with a clear view into their wine cellar. Osteria is located at 640 North Broad Street, Philadelphia.
• Estia Restaurant brings you a taste of Greece. They have a wine cellar themed private dining room downstairs which can seat 16 comfortably, complete with walls lined with wine bottles and wine barrels and designed with a breath taking, domed stone ceiling! 1405-07 Locust St., Philadelphia

Weigh in Philadelphians. Where do you like to go hang when you are in the mood for a good bottle of vino?

This week’s Philadelphia culinary dining term:
Lumache – pronounced [loo-mah-chay] Lumache is an Italian term referring to the snail. The term is used in kitchens and cooking to describe those delicious large pasta shells that are ready for stuffing!


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