Blue Mountain Vineyards Tasting Room – Philadelphia, PA 4/3/2011

City Hall, Philadelphia, PAI’m glad that spring is finally here, especially after an exceptionally brutal winter here in the Delaware Valley. In celebration of our 11th anniversary on Friday, my wife & I decided to spend the day casually taking in the sights around Center City. I wasn’t originally planning to participate in any retail wine activity this weekend. But I remembered that there was a tasting room at the farmer’s market and we decided to integrate it into the day. Fran & I hopped off the train at Market East and headed over there.

Blue Mountain Tasting Room @ Reading Terminal MarketReading Terminal Market at 12th & Arch is a staple of downtown Philadelphia. It encompasses fresh food and produce vendors, a beer garden, multi-cultural food stands, coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants. Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars opened a satellite location here and business seems to be going pretty well.

There was a bustling crowd downtown today which was probably a consequence of the beautiful weather. A lot of sports activity going on also as the Phillies were closing out opening weekend at home and there were visiting New Yorkers milling around for the Flyers-Rangers contest later in the day.

Side note … no matter what your opinion about sports fans in Philly is, you can’t say we aren’t passionate.

Spataro's @ Reading terminal MarketWe wanted some food before trying Blue Mountain’s wine and elected to have lunch at the market. I have to admit that I’m waaaaaay more adept at evaluating cheesesteaks than wine. The sandwiches that we got from Spataro’s were so-so. Not bad by any means but they didn’t offer wiz and the rolls were sub-par. Even though I had to settle for American cheese, it was still pretty good. It’s very difficult to find a BAD cheesesteak anywhere in the 5 county area … but leave a comment if you want my opinion on where the best is hahaha.

After lunch … vino. The pourer was Dallas, who works the satellite tasting rooms for Blue Mountain. The main winery is in New Tripoli near Allentown (about an hour and a half northwest of Philly). Dallas from Blue Mountain VineyardsHe explained that the wines at Blue Mountain had more of a French feel in the respect that the climate and terroir in the Lehigh Valley is very reminiscent of Europe. The Pinot Noir was definitely drier than say a California Pinot. The Reading Terminal locale doesn’t offer a structured tasting of their current selections but Fran and I tried the Chambourcin and the Pinot Noir, both 2005 vintage. We splurged on a couple glasses of the Pinot and people-watched on this Sunday afternoon.

2005 Pinot NoirBlue Mountain is a member of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail which I eagerly plan to explore in the future. Please stay tuned.

Oh, in case you’re wondering … Phils won, Flyers lost.

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