Mar 29 2013

Tasty sweet wines from Fabbioli Cellars, and a great event space at Vida U Street

Tasty sweet wines from Fabbioli Cellars, and a great event space at Vida U Street

Originally posted on March 13, 2013 at firstvine

When we started this blog we thought we’d be doing some short posts on things going on in DC along with posts about wine and recipes. That certainly fell by the wayside, didn’t it? Part of the problem is that we can’t bring ourselves to write about places we eat because we’re not very good at it, and let’s face it, we’re kinda old now and don’t get out that much anyway.

But we should make the effort, particularly when we come across something good. Cy and I got invited to a wine tasting by Fabbioli Cellars, a Leesburg, Virginia winery, that was held at Vida Fitness on U St. NW back in January. The tasting and the event space were interesting, so here’s a recap of both.

We met Doug Fabbioli, the winery owner, back in 2010 at the DC International Food and Wine Festival, but hadn’t tried his wines since then. There were seven on offer at the tasting, and four were paired with little bites of food — kind of like the experience you’d get at a well-run tasting room.

Fabbioli makes both sweet and dry wines and the tasting order had us try two so-called “off-dry” wines first, then three dry wines, then two that I’d classify as sweet. I’m not sure that was the best way to do it, going from a lightly sweet wine to a dry one without resetting your taste buds a little makes the first dry wine seem a little bitter, at least to me. I think this put the 2010 Cabernet Franc at a disadvantage. By the time we got to the second one I think our palates had reset a bit.

Still, on balance the sweeter wines showed better this tasting. Una Pera, a 100% pear wine, was really delightful ($16/bottle). The Raspberry Merlot is one of Fabbioli’s best known selections, but it’s still very good, especially with the dark chocolate they served alongside it ($22/375 ml, $39/750 ml). The Rosa Nera, a fortified black raspberry wine, is a nice alternative for dessert, it has more body than dessert wine but not quite the kick you get from port ($36/500 ml). I’d recommend any of them as a good dessert wine. Among the dry wines, I liked the 2010 Tannat best, it has the earthiness I like in French wines and should keep for easily a few years if you want to put it away ($45/bottle).

Now for the space — the tasting was held in the Innerspace Studio, which is used for yoga and pilates. I was told that this was the kind of thing that Vida would like to have out by the rooftop pool, but this was January so it was inside. But the studio is a great event space. It can easily hold 60 people and, since it’s on the fourth floor, looks out over U Street to the north and east, a good view. Brick walls, high ceiling, dark wood floor. I can easily see it being used for summer events. Around here, a good-looking, mosquito-free zone is a must for evening events. (And since it’s used as a fitness studio, we can be pretty sure the air conditioning can handle a crowd.)

I asked James Kameen, the Marketing Manager, for some details about renting the studio and he told me that it’s available Friday nights from 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 4 pm. There are still some details to work out. The studio rental fee is based on food and beverage minimum charges, but hasn’t been set yet. All food and beverage served have to be purchased from Vida. This is the way Vida currently handles its pool club event rentals, but the pool food and drink menu is geared toward poolside parties rather than nicer events. Mr. Kameen told me the catering menu will be available in April, and, as a wine merchant, I hope it includes more than the “house” red and white wines currently on offer poolside, or the minimal list of wines by the bottle.

So, a couple of things worth checking out! Now the trick is going to be for us to post more of these. Who knows, perhaps it’ll be the thing that gets us out of the house…



Mar 13 2013

Lauren Jacobs talks about her upcoming Yoga for Athletes workshop

From the March 12th blog of Active Life DC

Athletes – curious about how you can supplement your training with yoga? Lauren Jacobs will lead a Yoga for Athletes workshop this Sunday (March 17th) at Vida Metropole.

Check out this short interview with Lauren to learn more about the workshop and what you can expect to learn by attending.

1. Do participants need previous yoga experience? Will mats be available to rent?
Lauren: While previous yoga experience may be helpful, allowing students to more deeply and fluidly into and between postures, it is absolutely not needed for this workshop! We will utilize the mirrors in the space to investigate the proper alignment in each posture and provide modifications and props to help make this practice accessible to new(er) students.

Mats, blocks, straps, and towels will be available to participants free of charge!

2. What is power yoga?
Lauren: Power Yoga is a fitness-based approach to vinyasa-style, flow, yoga. Heavily influenced by the Ashtanga yoga method, Power Yoga attempts to make Ashtanga-style asanas more accessible to the average, everyday individual through the use of plain language and a larger focus on strength and flexibility than on spirituality. It is not only a great way to build strength and flexibility but also connect body and mind AND get a good workout in for the day!

Click the image for a larger version.

3. Is there a particular group of athletes that will benefit the most from the workshop?
Lauren: No, this workshop will have something for everyone. I really wanted this workshop to be accessible and useful to all athletes and designed it to benefit everyone from a child gymnast to a twenty-year-old baseball player or a sixty-year-old marathon runner. The most common sports related injuries, whether occuring in the bodies of recreational athletes or professionals, in soccer players or softball players, usually arise when athletes disconnect to, overuse or abuse their bodies. This workshop will focus on learning to be in tune with what is going on throughout the body at every moment, something from which all athletes will benefit . In addition, it will focus on a range of common sports related injuries — from hip pain to hamstring pulls, knee injuries to wrist problems, shoulder injuries, ankle sprains, and so on — and postures to avoid each of them.

4. Will participants learn techniques they can use independently after the workshop, to help avoid future injuries?
Lauren: Absolutely! In fact, I plan to e-mail a master list of common injuries and postures to avoid them to the participants after the workshop. In addition, Yoga Journal has a free database of postures and step-by-step instructions for each available online; participants can always refer to this directory if they forget the correct alignment or benefits of the postures.

For more information on registering and transportation options, check out our Yoga for Athletes event listing.

Vida Fitness
City Vista 45 K Street, NW Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 289-8432 Facebook Twitter Instagram

City Vista

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Phone: (202) 289-8432

$ 45 K Street, NW Washington D.C. 20001
Vida Fitness
Metropole 1517 15th Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005
(202) 588-5559 Facebook Twitter Instagram


Phone: (202) 588-5559

$ 1517 15th Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
Renaissance Hotel 999 9th Street, NW, 3rd Floor Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 742-1940 Facebook Twitter Instagram

Renaissance Hotel

Phone: (202) 742-1940

$ 999 9th Street, NW, 3rd Floor Washington D.C. 20001

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:30am – 10:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 6:00 am – 10:00pm

Vida Fitness
U Street 1612 U Street, NW Washington D.C. 20009
(202) 939-2577 Facebook Twitter Instagram

U Street

Phone: (202) 939-2577

$ 1612 U Street, NW Washington D.C. 20009

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
Verizon 601 F Street, NW Washington D.C. 20004
(202) 393-8432 Facebook Twitter Instagram


Phone: (202) 393-8432

$ 601 F Street, NW Washington D.C. 20004

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
The Yards 1212 4th Street, SE Washington D.C, 20003
(202) 554-0444 Facebook Twitter Instagram

The Yards

Phone: (202) 554-0444

$ 1212 4th Street, SE Washington D.C, 20003

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm