Wine Pairing at Home in Philly


The perfect wine pairing is an art! With delectable vintages from its many world-class wineries, Philadelphia is a city where it’s easy to match an assortment of great local wines with tasty appetizers for a super spring party.


The perfect wine pairing is like the perfect party — an art! Philadelphians love to entertain in their homes. It’s a tradition dating back to the years when public restaurants were scarce, and Philly folks ate at home or in private clubs (The Union League and The Locust Club, to name just two).

Nowadays, the City of Brotherly Love is on the map of the nation’s very finest culinary destinations, with fabulous restaurants in nearly every neighborhood. But dining at home with friends remains incredibly popular in this city. Hosting these get-togethers poses some questions: what wines should be served? And what are the appetizers that best enhance the wine choices? Luckily, local wines pair beautifully with all kinds of great starters!

In recent years, the Philadelphia area has seen the development of dozens of small, top-quality wineries. These Pennsylvania vintages rival the best of California’s boutique wineries. Philadelphia and environs are ideally suited for winemaking: the area boasts a temperate climate, with rolling hills and large bodies of water, making for warmer soil (a soil rich with limestone and gravel) and a long growing season.

Warp Drive and Ribs

A rising “star” in the field is Coatesville’s Stargazers Winery and Vineyard. On a hill above the Brandywine Creek, Stargazers Vineyard has an environment and microclimate all its own (“terroir” to the French). The weather varies yearly so that each vintage has its own unique character. For a very special spring “Starry Night” party, why not have a wine pairing of their robust Warp Drive Red with an appetizer of succulent orange-soy baby back ribs, and a glass of their sweet and luscious Vidal White with a platter of fruits, nuts, and cheeses?

Wine, Flatbreads, and the Big Game

Also in scenic Chester County, Chaddsford Winery has been producing delectable whites and reds for a generation. Pick up a bottle or two of Chaddsford Flyers White and Phillies Club Red, match them with goat cheese and carmelized onion flatbreads, and turn on the big game for a fun and classy Philly sports bash!

Bubbly at Brunch

Wine pairing is also apropos at brunch time! Champagne, such as the delightful bubbly from J. Maki Winery in Elverson, makes a perfect companion to succulent and spicy mini-crabcakes. Keep the champagne flowing as you serve eggs any way you please; your guests will never want to “brunch” anywhere else!

More Pennsylvania Pairings

Other Pennsylvania wine standouts include the Silk Rose from tiny Va La Vineyards in Avondale (a natural counterpart to melt-in-your-mouth black pepper and blue cheese gougeres), lush red Cabernet Franc produced by Bucks County’s Rushland Ridge Vineyards (amazing with appetizers featuring spinach, peppers, and fresh herbs) and Seyval Blanc (a dry white) from Buckingham Valley Vineyards, which blends beautifully with a charcuterie selection.

With all this Philadelphia wine goodness, plus an assortment of homemade hors d’ouevres, throwing the perfect wine pairing party is a cinch. As the weather starts getting warmer, take a weekend drive to any of these wonderful local wineries, and stock up on a case of extraordinary vino for your next springtime gathering of food and wine-loving friends. And if you think our wines are out-of-this-world, just imagine living close to the sources and enjoying them often!

Image Source: Flickr/Maureen Didde


Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at

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