Meet Up Virginia: Piola Again

The Virginia Wine Club Meet-Up is having a gathering again at Piola in Rosslyn. April 30, from 5:30 pm on. Last time we all stayed for dinner and made a night out of it.

Matt and I are closing on our house that day, or else we’d be there for sure. I loved the last happy hour we had and it was great to see many new wine club members. Happy Hour runs from 4 pm through 7 pm and includes a variety of great (free!) appetizers. Last time we got pasta salad, pizza, various bruschettas, cheeses, crackers….lots of stuff and it was all tasty. You could pretty much make a meal on all the appetizers the restaurant provides. Also, their house red is pretty tasty and is half price by the glass during Happy Hour.

If you haven’t gone to a VA Wine Club event, I urge you to check it out. For the events I have attended, there’s been a great turn-out and each time it seems that more people come!

We’ll attempt to make it, but I can’t make any promises. I have no idea how long a house closing takes to be honest and I fear I am going to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off that day. (Who knew that you don’t find out the exact amount of your closing costs until the morning of your closing?? What a pain, it means I have to dash to the bank to get a certified check right before the closing.)

Meetup VA at Piola

Both of our fearless leaders, Allan of Cellarblog and Leah of DcGastronome, were in attendance at the wine club happy hour! It was great to see Leah again and to meet Allan for the first. And I must say, Leah picked a fabulous place for the event.

Piola is in Rosslyn and specializes in thin crust pizzas of every possible variety. They also have an awesome happy hour where wines by the glass are half price and appetizers are free and plentiful.

I arrived just after 5:30 and already there were at least 6 wine club members in attendance. Over the course of the evening we had about 20 members attend, including several new people. It’s always great to et the chance to meet more wine lovers! I started out with a glass of the house white, which is literally, the house’s. Piola offers both a white and a red house wine, produced and blended in Italy with their name. The white Blanco Piola was light and fruity with notes of lemon and spice. On first taste I thought it had Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc in it. It had those and Garganego and Seprino. It came in at $3.50 a glass with the special, which I thought was a decent value for an easy to drink white.

I moved on from there to the Rosso Piola, also $3.50 with the discount. The wine was 12.5% alcohol by volume and more complex than the white. It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. This one had all spice and cherry on the nose. In the mouth there were cherries, raspberries and raisins, plus a bit of an earthy quality. I liked this one better than the white, and over the course of the evening our group consummed several bottles.

The free appetizers at happy hour were great! When I came in there were cheese trays out on the bar and the wine club had taken over the couch area for the evening. Soon, trays of hot appetizers came around and the servers were incredibly attentive to us, bringing us full trays of everything! My favorite was the gorgonzola and prosciutto bruschetta, followed by a a prosciutto sandwhich on nice salty flat bread. Then they came around with full plates of pasta salad that was done with fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and olive oil. It was great. I also saw pizza and they put an entire appetizer of toasted pita triangles and eggplant dip on our table. You could really have made a meal on all the free appetizers, and I was really impressed with the service and variety.

Ten wine club members decided to stay for dinner after happy hour and we were seated very quickly at a big table that was easily able to accomodate our party. Many different pizzas were ordered and enjoyed by the group. Matt had the Pizza Carbonara, which literally had bacon, eggs, cheese, etc. on it. It looked great. I believe Leah and Jeff also had one of these. It looked like Allan enjoyed his prosciutto pizza and I had a pizza with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and brie which was delicious. I just finished eating some of the leftovers for lunch.

I think everyone had a great time and I am looking forward to our next event. Piola was a great choice and I would definitely return. The appetizers alone made it fantastic, but that combined with low prices on the pizza, good service and good food pushed it over the top. The wine list does need help, but everything else was up to snuff.

Happy Hour at Piola!

On Wednesday, April 4th, starting at 5:30, the Virginia Meetup Wine Club is meeting at Piola in Rosslyn for Happy Hour.

Piola is located at 1550 Wilson Boulevard, a mere 3 blocks from the Rosslyn Metro, so very easy to get to for those without cars or who prefer the Metro. Barring snow (please no, it’s supposed to be 80 out today, I don’t think I can take any more changes back to winter weather!), Matt and I will actually be there this time and I am much looking forward to attending as I enjoyed the first event we attended several months ago.

Happy Hour runs from 4pm-7pm (I always wondered why it was called Happy Hour if it ran for several hours….) and includes some great specials. Wine is half-price during Happy Hour and free snacks are provided, yum. The menu looks great, I am all about wood-fired pizza and inexpensive. I think the most expensive entree is $16.95, with most much less than that. The wine list is a little short, at least what is listed online, only about 10 wines total, so we shall see.

Please join me and our lovely leader Leah of DcGastronome at Happy Hour! Hope to see you there! I don’t know which suit yet, but I’ll be the blonde with bad roots (yes, still, havea n appointment next week) in a suit.

Virginia Wine Club Meetup Tonight

ETA: We are going to have change our answer here, the weather will be keeping us at home. I hope everyone has a great time and we will catch you at the next one!

The most recent email for the Virginia Wine Club Meetup event managed to get lost in my inbox. Possibly due to the fact that my once spam-free email has in recent months become home to all varieties of spam, which saddens me greatly. (No, really, I don’t need cheap Xantax or whatever else you are peddling….)

However, our kind assistant organizer Leah, of DcGastronome, sent out a reminder email last night which caught my eye.

Tonight there are around 20 of us who have rsvp’d “yes” to attend the Meetup at Cafe Saint Ex in DC at 6:00pm. It’s close to the U Street Metro, so easily accessible by both Metro or car if you are so inclined to brave driving into DC (a task I try to avoid at all costs, really people, the car manufacturers installed turn signals on your vehicle for a reason, not just so you could watch pretty blinking lights on your dashboard, learn to use them!).

Happy hour specials run from 4:00pm through 7:00pm which includes $4 glasses of house wine, and I’m not sure what else since the happy hour section of the website is unpopulated. The wine list looks interesting, though I wish there were a larger selection of wines by the glass. It appears a bit unbalanced with only 5 reds by the glass and 7 whites. Hear that DC area restaurants? Offering wines by the glass (and not just plonk!) in greater variety would be an appreciated factor when composing your wine lists! Or how about flights of wine? Maybe I’m not looking hard enough, but I think I”ve only been to one restaurant with that option!

So come join us! I’ll be there at 6 and Matt will be joining me shortly thereafter. Last month’s Meetup was a blast and it was great to get out and meet new people, I hope to see some familiar faces and some new ones this time. I’m the brownish-blonde with bad roots (help, I need a new salon!) wearing a chocolate brown suit. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday Wine Down

Leah of DC Gastronome told me a few weeks ago that she and some friends were hosting a wine happy hour today. I had said I could probably make it, and Matt and I made plans to attend. Now, come to find out, Leah is the new co-host of Meetup DC’s Wine Group! (I was slightly confused when the second invite showed up in my non-blog email, but quickly figured it out.) And, tonight’s activity is her happy hour.

I have yet to attend a Meetup event, so this will be my first. And it looks good. It will be held at David Greggory in DC, with I gather is on the corner of 21st and M. Happy hour starts at 4:30pm and goes until 10:00pm. The Meetup group is scheduled to gather at 6ish. I’ll be there, with Matt in tow and I’d love to meet some new people in the area…I just moved here in September and don’t know a lot of folks yet (especially any that really enjoy wine!).

Looks like the specials are $4.75 wines by the glass (doesn’t say which wines though), $4.25 Microbrew Drafts, Smirnoff vodka drinks $5.00 and Sangira for $3.75. Some good looking appetizer specials, all at $5.00 and a small but tasty looking regular menu. Fairly decent wine menu, though a bit lacking in bottles under the $30 mark….oh well, hopefully the wine by the glass specials will be interesting!

So come on out! I’ll be the one in a gray suit and I now have kind of blonde hair (my picture up in the corner was taken in October when I decided to be auburn for the fall/winter until I got bored of it last week.) Hope to see you there!

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