On Saturday night we were guests at a wine tasting presented by Yelp at Lala’s Wine Bar + Pizzeria located at 410 E. 7th Avenue in Capitol Hill. We have frequented Lala’s (previously Sparrow) since they opened. We have been for brunch, dinner and most recently their late happy hour. The same team that operates Govnr’s Park Tavern around the corner opened Lala’s in September of 2008. I have enjoyed witnessing their progression over the past year into a fun place that is often packed and serves good food at reasonable prices.
The room quickly filled up but there was never too long of a wait at the bar or the two wine tasting stations. Our first passed appetizer that we sampled was “Roaring 40’s blue cheese and strawberries wrapped with a chive” which was a nice way to begin. We tried the Lunetta Prosecco from Italy as our first wine. It was clean, fresh and something I would serve at a brunch or party at home. Next we tried the Matua Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand which was hands down my favorite - it was more on the fruity side (grapefruit and grass with good acidity) than others I have tried.
Next we sat down at the bar to sample a new cocktail called “For the love of Root” which was smooth and not too sweet. Root is a new liqueur that is only available in Philadelphia - they brought in a couple of cases for the event. They combined muddled orange, cardamom seeds, lemon zest and Root with splash of soda and served it on the rocks. As the evening progressed we got to try “Crispy Speck topped with sweet potato puree, toasted pepitas and balsamic drizzle” and “Smoked salmon stuffed pinwheels with arugula pesto mascarpone with black sea salt.”
We also tried the Delas Cote du Rhone from France, Filus Malbec from Argentina and Mas de la Dame Grenache Syrah from France. For dessert there was an assortment of bite sized truffles; Ancho chili cocoa, amaretto cookie crumb and lavender sugar (totally awesome). They have a large front patio and the weather was nice enough to hang out and enjoy our wine. We had a great time and it was fun to experience Lala’s in a party atmosphere like this.