• Thursday , 18 January 2018

Philly Wine Week Kicks Off With Non-Arsenic Filled Wines

Photos, story by Cassie Hepler

What’s better than drinking wine? Drinking wine without arsenic. Just kidding (well, kind of…)

The real answer is drinking non-arsenic filled wine while looking at all the amazing art at PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts). The second annual Philly Wine Week “Opening Corks” Gala featured premium sparkling whites and rosés Sunday. Spirits were high and heads were happily tipsy while guests donned their Spring attire (with winter jacket at coat check of course… as it’s still chilly in Philly).

A not so hidden gem and mini Philadelphia Art Museum if you will, PAFA sits near City Hall on North Broad Street with glorious renaissance marble sculptures, baroque architecture, European design and delightful oil paintings of art nudes lounging in grass. Now add some light wines, bubbles and some tasty hors d’oeuvres (like goat cheese with pickled figs and raw salmon on kettle chips!) and you have what can be described best as a multi-sensory smorgasbord of awesomeness.

And that’s just the opening gala for Philly Wine Week!

Guests “tasted” (OK, more like had hearty pours) of exceptional vintages while also enjoying unlimited tastes from Alla Spina, Jet Wine Bar, Panorama, Tria Café and more (see below) in PAFA’s Frank Furness landmark building.

From March 22-29, the citywide festival turns Philadelphians into fun-loving winos for eight days and blurry nights. Some of the city’s best restaurants, bars and other venues are on board as well as fun, casual nightly Wine at Nine soirees.

Participants include Alla Spina, A.Kitchen, Amada, Barbuzzo, COOK, Jamonera, Jake’s, Jet Wine Bar, Osteria, Panorama, Paradiso Restaurant & Wine Bar, The Good King Tavern, Sassafras, Tinto, Tria, Townsend, Vedge, Vetri, Volver, The Restaurant School at Walnut Street College and Zavino. For a complete list of this year’s participants, go here.

The entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a museum and art school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the beginning of Philly Wine Week's "Opening Corks" gala.

The entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a museum and art school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the beginning of Philly Wine Week’s “Opening Corks” gala.

Looking down the entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the beginning of Philly Wine Week's "Opening Corks" gala.

Looking down the entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the beginning of Philly Wine Week’s “Opening Corks” gala.

Looking straight up the entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the beginning of Philly Wine Week's "Opening Corks" gala.

Looking straight up the entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the beginning of Philly Wine Week’s “Opening Corks” gala.

Looking to the right of the entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the beginning of Philly Wine Week's "Opening Corks" gala.

Looking to the right of the entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the beginning of Philly Wine Week’s “Opening Corks” gala.

Looking to the left of the entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the beginning of Philly Wine Week's "Opening Corks" gala.

Looking to the left of the entrance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the beginning of Philly Wine Week’s “Opening Corks” gala.

Starting at this table, we overheard a fellow PSU alum.

Starting at this table, we overheard a fellow PSU alum.

PSU alumni Brian Perfilio carefully uncorks a bottle of bubbles so as not to ruin the precious artwork behind him.

PSU alumni Brian Perfilio carefully uncorks a bottle of bubbles so as not to ruin the precious artwork behind him.

Of course, our taste gears toward to pricey - and tastiest options on the tasting table.

Of course, our taste gears toward to pricey – and tastiest options on the tasting table.

A charming couple of wine lovers who live in East Falls were enjoying themselves and learning some camera tips and tricks from Explore Philly.

A charming couple of wine lovers who live in East Falls were enjoying themselves and learning some camera tips and tricks from Explore Philly.

A nice display of the wines Vintage had to offer - with a delicious snack of course.

A nice display of the wines Vintage had to offer – with a delicious snack of course.

Vintage Imports fills the glasses of Elspeth Misiaszek, EMarketing Copywriter, and Philly Wine Week's co-creator Kate Moroney (and not pictured is her other half, Bill Eccleston.)

Vintage Imports fills the glasses of Elspeth Misiaszek, EMarketing Copywriter, and Los Angeles actress Brea Bee who flew in just for the gala. (Not pictured, Philly Wine Week’s co-creators Kate Moroney and Bee’s partner, Bill Eccleston.)

The fellas from Vintage Imports were loving giving out copious (and tasty) samples.

The fellas from Vintage Imports were loving giving out copious (and tasty) samples.

Deutsch Family Wine had this delicious Enza prosecco.

Deutsch Family Wine had this delicious Enza prosecco.

Deutsch Family Wine had some stunners at the end of the night.

Deutsch Family Wine had some stunners at the end of the night.

This marble statue seems as if she is going to have a nap after indulging in wine.

This marble statue seems as if she is going to have a nap after indulging in wine.

This amazing goat cheese was made in the shape of the pyramid, however the top was chopped off when height became an issue.

This amazing goat cheese was made in the shape of the pyramid, however the top was chopped off when height became an issue.

Guests could not take the glassware to the restrooms down the two flights of giant stairs and got creative with their name tags.

Guests could not take the glassware to the restrooms down the two flights of giant stairs and got creative with their name tags.

Representing the Aussies out of the bunch was Hugo Wine with some simple bubbles.

Representing the Aussies out of the bunch was Hugo Wine with some simple bubbles.

These lovely ladies from Chadds Ford, Pa. were the proud owners of that delicious blue-bottled bouquet riesling.

These lovely ladies from Chadds Ford, Pa. were the proud owners of that delicious blue-bottled bouquet riesling.

This flowery riesling deserves its own bouquet of awards.

This flowery riesling deserves its own bouquet of awards.

Vine Street Imports poured a French rose from a keg! No joke! Not sold in stores unfortunately, it cuts down on production costs.

Vine Street Imports poured a French rose from a keg! No joke! Not sold in stores unfortunately, it cuts down on production costs.

The David Bowler Wine offered a can't miss - and can't miss the taste of this Brut.

The David Bowler Wine offered a can’t miss – and can’t miss the taste of this Brut.

The David Bowler Wine offered an eclectic mix of areas.

The David Bowler Wine offered an eclectic mix of areas.

St. Michelle Wine Estate had another winning brut, coming in second after the Vins De Liore.

St. Michelle Wine Estate had another winning brut, coming in second after the Vins De Liore.

We fell in amour (love) with the Brut and not just for its bubbles (we swear!)

We fell in amour (love) with the Brut and not just for its bubbles (we swear!)

An enthusiastic couple tries every single bottle and who can blame them?

An enthusiastic couple tries every single bottle and who can blame them?

Wines of Loire valley in France.

Wines of Loire valley in France.

The French always know how to make an excellent bottle of... well, anything really.

The French always know how to make an excellent bottle of… well, anything really.

And some roasted red peppers to help soak up all the wine.

And some roasted red peppers to help soak up all the wine.

Red and yellow beet salad on endive was so delightfully light and yet satisfying.

Red and yellow beet salad on endive was so delightfully light and yet satisfying.

These salmon bites are simply amazing - and simple to make.

These salmon bites are simply amazing – and simple to make.

Panorama was another hit of the the event.

Panorama was another hit of the the event.

And it's sister, a very clean and simple chardonnay.

And it’s sister, a very clean and simple chardonnay.

A very clean, straight forward white.

A very clean, straight forward white.

The Rosa bottle and label are as beautiful as the flavor.

The Rosa bottle and label are as beautiful as the flavor.

The South Italy Imports owners offered this amazing Rosa sparkling wine.

The South Italy Imports owners offered this amazing Rosa sparkling wine.

Photography was allowed (with flash) at PAFA.

Photography was allowed (with flash) at PAFA.

Marble statues watching patrons and getting a lot of selfies as well.

Marble statues watching patrons and getting a lot of selfies as well.

An amazing view for a lovely wine tasting gala.

An amazing view for a lovely wine tasting gala.

Greg Moore from Moore Brothers Wine Company shows the marking from each bottle being hand turned to keep sediments from settling.

Greg Moore from Moore Brothers Wine Company shows the marking from each bottle being hand turned to keep sediments from settling.

The bubbly from Ratzenberger was our favorite pick of the night - and comes with an amazing story.

The bubbly from Ratzenberger was our favorite pick of the night – and comes with an amazing story.

This marble empress sat in the middle while wine enthusiasts circled around her.

This marble empress sat in the middle while wine enthusiasts circled around her.

This marble statue seemed so serious compared to all the wine revelry happening.

This marble statue seemed so serious compared to all the wine revelry happening.

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Tria also offering more of a savory, creamy meat with a hint of fresh greens.

Tria also offering more of a savory, creamy meat with a hint of fresh greens.

Tria offering some creamy, sweet nibbles.

Tria offering some creamy, sweet nibbles.

Savory puff pastries.

Savory puff pastries.

What is good wine without delicious cheese? This table was never empty all night long.

What is good wine without delicious cheese? This table was never empty all night long.

A slew of restaurants from 13th Street in Philadelphia offered tasty (and meaty) treats. Not pictured, a vegetarian option.

A slew of restaurants from 13th Street in Philadelphia offered tasty (and meaty) treats. Not pictured, a vegetarian option.

A wine lovers dream right here!

A wine lovers dream right here!

Who doesn't love Italian... bubbles? Refreshing and light, we could drink this anytime of the day.

Who doesn’t love Italian… bubbles? Refreshing and light, we could drink this anytime of the day.

CBL Wine Company offered a stellar pinot.

CBL Wine Company offered a stellar pinot.

Emotional, loving and adoring marble statue at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Emotional, loving and adoring marble statue at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

A whole bunch of shenanigans going on here as you walk through rooms filled with art.

A whole bunch of shenanigans going on here as you walk through rooms filled with art.

Art glitters more wine a wine buzz at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a museum and art school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Art glitters more wine a wine buzz at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a museum and art school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Don't let this little piggy fool you. That's not potato salad - it's cauliflower salad with cranberries and pretzel bites from Alla Spina to help soak up the booze.

Don’t let this little piggy fool you. That’s not potato salad – it’s cauliflower salad with cranberries and pretzel bites from Alla Spina to help soak up the booze.

Deviled eggs with crab from Alla Spina.

Deviled eggs with crab from Alla Spina.

“For our first year, we focused on throwing a few great parties. This year we’re taking Philly Wine Week to the next level with expanded events and many more participants,” said PWW co-founder, Kate Moroney.

We think Philly just got phancy!

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