Jet Wine Bar

Philly's Global Vineyard.
We specialize in wines from emerging and lesser-known regions, as well as uncommon varietals.

We also have a selection of craft beers and a full bar.

Come see why we think we are Philly’s friendliest bar!


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    212 posts tagged Jet Wine Bar

    Leyda Sauvignon Blanc vines: Ken Forrester Vineyards Bodegas Catena Zapata

    Tasting Re-Cap: Wines of the Southern Hemisphere

                On Tuesday, September 10th, Bob Barrett led us through a tasting of Wines of the Southern Hemisphere as part of Jet’s Global Vineyard Passport Tasting series.  Many people are familiar with the wine-producing countries that were highlighted - Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina – as those countries have produced some popular wines over the last decade. However, partly as a result of that popularity, the Southern Hemisphere currently suffers from the perception of it as a producer of lower-quality, mass-market wines.  As New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Argentine Malbec, and Australia’s mega brands obtained ever-larger shares of the wine market, that market was saturated with lower-quality, lower-priced bottlings.  As a result, wines of the southern hemisphere are often expected to be decent wines offered at bargain prices – but not to overwhelm with high-quality.  Moreover, the countries and wine regions found in the southern hemisphere are classified as “New World”, implying they do not have as long of a grape growing and winemaking tradition and heritage as many “Old World” European countries.  They remain in the shadow of many “classic” Old World wine regions, whose wines have long and storied pedigrees.  Yet many countries south of the equator also have significant winemaking history.  For example, wine production in South Africa dates back at least to the 17th century .  Its Constantia, or Vin de Constance dessert wine, was widely exported in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was considered to be one of the best wines in the world. 

                Wine-production in many European countries is generally much older, often dating back to the Greek or Roman periods.  Yet, their “modern” (but still pre-phylloxera) emergence dates closer to the South African example, spurred in both cases by burgeoning avenues for maritime trade.  The Dutch – responsible for plantings around Cape Town in the 17 century – drained the marshlands of France’s Medoc around the same time. 

                 Other than particular histories, are there any systemic differences to be found between Northern- and Southern- hemisphere wines?  There are obvious differences in months of growing and harvesting, whereby countries below the equator commonly harvest between February and April, while above the equator harvest is typically between August and October.   That means that the new-vintage wines from the Southern Hemisphere are always released first.  But, wine growing regions are generally governed by a common set of limitations of climate and terrain.  Most vineyards are found between 30 – 50 degrees latitude – whether above or below the equator.  The Northern-most commercial winery is Lerkekåsa Vineyard found in Telemark, Norway, at a latitude of 59 degrees North.  However, the Lerkekasa winery has yet to release a vintage, and Telemark cannot yet be discussed as a “wine region”.   But the southernmost wine growing region of Central Otago in New Zealand - at latitude 45 degrees south - has already been very successful and is   well-known for its Pinot Noir.

                So, are there “natural” differences in quality between wines of the Southern- and Northern- Hemispheres?  This tasting wasn’t structured to test that – in that we have all Southern.  Instead, it was meant to highlight some of the best mid-priced wines from south of the equator, both in the areas’ “classic” grapes, as well as up-and-comers.


    Leyda Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Garuma Vineyard, Leyda Valley, Chile

    Sauvignon Blanc has long been associated with the Southern Hemisphere, but more closely with New Zealand than with Chile. Leyda’s vineyards are placed in rolling hills of Chile’s coastal mountain range, 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  Winters are moderate and rainy, while summers are dry.  Proximity to the ocean promotes weather patterns that keep summer temperatures cooler with low humidity.  These characteristics, coupled with the Garuma Vineyards location on a south-west facing slope (Southern Hemisphere! Away from the sun!), enable slower grape-ripening, aiding development of aroma, fruit flavors, and sugar/acid balance.  Grapes were harvested in March.

    This wine has nice depth of flavor and complexity.  It starts off with a characteristic green-pepper nose, then moves to a melon-y mouth with lemon and lime zest.  It has a pleasant mineral component, and a noticeable lack of “grassiness”.  This wine was well-liked, even by our tasters who do not typically like Sauvignon Blanc.



    Ken Forrester Reserve Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012, Stellenbosch, South Africa

    Chenin Blanc is justly famous in the Loire Valley of France, but, its status in South Africa – where it is known as “Steen” – is equally exceptional.  The Ken Forrester vineyard situation is similar to Leyda’s (above); the grapes are grown on the southwest facing slopes of the Helderberg foothills in Stellenbosch,  cooled by winds from the ocean lying roughly 4 miles.  The chenin grapes come from 37 year-old vines that are organically farmed, unirrigated, and have controlled yields.  The grapes undergo natural fermentation, and the wine is aged on-the-lees.

                This is a fuller-bodied wine with concentrated flavors – consistent with the slow-ripening, older-vines, and lees-aging.  The full mouth has tropical fruits (a bit of pineapple?), some honey and nuts, and wild herbs and spices.  Evan tasted a bit of pine resin, but no one else did.  There is enough acid to balance all the fullness, and this wine just tastes incredibly good and rich, with a long finish.  Again, this was enjoyed by all. Oh, and we serve this by-the-glass at Jet, so come give it a try!


    Coopers Creek Pinot Noir 2008, Central Otago, New Zealand

    As mentioned above, Central Otago is the world’s southernmost winemaking region, and Pinot Noir is one of its stars.  The region is alpine, and the vineyards – at 200 - 400 meters above sea level – are the highest in New Zealand.  Central Otago has enjoyed much success over the last decade, with subsequent rapid growth;  the number of wineries increased between the mid-1990’s and mid-2000’s from 11 to over 80.  The majority of that growth is in Pinot Noir production, which constitutes over 80% of grapes grown in Central Otago.

    This Pinot Noir has a medium-body with relatively light acid – especially for a Pinot.  The fruits are tart but bright, and include pomegranate and cranberry.  This is an easy-drinking wine, with a very smooth finish.  Our tasters liked this wine, but many, including Goldie, found it to be a bit too neutral. 


    Catena Malbec 2011, Vista Flores, Mendoza, Argentina

    Catena is a 3rd generation, Argentine, family-run winery that was first planted in 1902. The Vista Flores wine-growing area is in Mendoza’s Uco Valley.  The vineyards are at the edge of Andes Mountains, between 3117 – 3281 feet in elevation. These vineyards do not lie near the ocean, but the Tunuyan River is found  just south. Malbec has become nearly-synonymous with Argentine reds – particularly in Mendoza.  This particular Malbec is from a specific region – Vista Flores – that is notable as a growing region (like an appellation), which distinguishes it from the bulk of Malbec bottlings.

                This wine immediately impresses with its deep, rich color.  It is a lively red in the mouth with gritty tannins (what Bob refers to as “fuzzy”, and Catherine called “interstitial”).  The tannins are well-balanced with an acid component on the dark, red fruits.  Evan noted a bit of mintiness to the wine.  This wine is quite elegant and expressive, and just nice to drink.  It was enjoyed by everyone.



    Langmeil Three Gardens Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2011, Barossa Valley, Australia

    Mataro is Australian for Mourvedre.  It certainly isn’t as prominent as Shiraz in Aussie reds, but it has a traditional use blended  with lesser-quality varietals to make Tawny Port-style wine. In Barossa, winemakers also have a history of using it in their G/S/M blends.  Its benefit to that blend comes from Mataro’s thick skin; it grows well in hot climates and its natural tannins help prevent oxidation.  The grapes come from three different areas of varying soils, with lower and flatter vineyards than the other wines tasted. In this case, delayed-ripening was a result of cooler-than-normal temperatures in the Barossa Valley.

    Like the Malbec, the Langmeil wine is deep, dark, and rich.  It has notes of tobacco, white pepper, and mint, or eucalyptus.  It has a bit of dustiness and some cocoa, too.  This was definitely the “biggest” wine of the night, but it also retained some elegance.  It was also enjoyed by everyone.


    This tasting really showed the diversity of Southern Hemisphere grapes and styles. We tasted whites and reds from across a broad expanse of the globe, which makes comparing the wines a little difficult.  Nonetheless, people had their favorites – and they were fairly evenly spread out across the different wines, although several people voted twice!  Overall, the Sauvignon Blanc was the favorite of 2 tasters, the Chenin also of 2 tasters, the Malbec of 4 tasters, and the Langmeil of 4 tasters.  The Pinot Noir did not register any votes for favorite.  It is a nice wine, just less memorable.


    Join us for our next tasting on October 1st!

    Updated Beer List

    On the Bus!  with Stouts Transportation Our group in Blair's tasting room. Live Music at Blair! ...and expert Open space... 1850's farmhouse at Pinnacle Ridge Pinnacle Ridge Barrels and bottles at Pinnacle Ridge Our group at Pinnacle Ridge

    Blair Vineyards and Pinnacle Ridge Tasting Trip

    Thanks to both Blair Vineyards and Pinnacle Ridge for accommodating us on an excellent trip to the PA wine countryside.  The great wine was enhanced by live music at Blair, the beautiful old barn at Pinnacle Ridge, and very pretty settings at both.

    Thanks to all who came out and we’ll plan another trip soon!

    Jill & Phill - Vinho Verde & Languedoc Rose

    Jill and Phill taste and chat Vinho Verde and Rose.  Both wines are excellent and Phill is a bit inappropriately in love with Languedoc…!

    Tango! with Damian Labato and Sarah Chung

    Sunday Social in Pictures!

    We had a great time at the Tango and Wine Social.  

    Tango lessons by Damian Labato and Sarah Chung at Major Moment Studio.

    Tilia Bonarda and Torrontes wines at Jet, plus Beef Chimichurri & Mushroom Mozzarella Montadillos.

    Looking forward to our next Social!

    Santorini harvest Yiannis Paraskevopoulos and Leon Karatsalos    Domaine Spiropoulos Porto Carras

    Greek Wine Tasting

    If you don’t know your Moschofilero from your Agiorgitiko – or even what the heck those are(!) – now is a great time to start sampling Greek wines.  Greece enjoys a long and rich history of grape cultivation and wine-making, which dates back thousands of years.

    In ancient Greece, wine was a major part of daily life. Whole cults were devoted to Dionysus, the God of wine.  Wine was a must at any symposium, and it was likely healthier than water. Hippocrates used wine for medicinal purposes, and, in an aphorism that surely pleases many academics and heavy readers, noted that “drinking undiluted wine” was a cure for eye pains (aphormisms, #46)   

    From this history comes many indigenous grape varieties, such as Athiri, Savatiano, Xinomavro, Mavrodaphne, and Malagousia. Through their active maritime trade, they helped spread many grapes to other Mediterranean countries and also disseminate their knowledge of-  and techniques for- viticulture and winemaking.

    Wine making in Greece suffered in more modern times due to wars, politics, and general economic woes.  However, in recent years the efforts of wine-making families and maverick individuals to modernize production and, at the same time, pay homage to the roots of Greek wines are paying dividends.  Many producers are making high-quality wines with Greece’s unique terroir and numerous in indigenous grapes. 

    For our latest tasting in the Global Vineyard Passport Series, Bob Barrett – our Certified Expert of Wine – chose only wines made from indigenous grapes. 

    Here is what we tasted:

    Gai’a Ritinitis Nobilis Retsina

    Gai’a Wines was founded in 1994 by Yiannis Paraskevopoulos and Leon Karatsalos.  Both men are Agriculturalists and Yiannis also has an Enology Phd.  Their goal to show the world the potential of indigenous grape-varietals is well-met through their locations in Nemea in the Peloponnese and Santorini.

    Retsina is wine to which pine resin (from the Pinus halapensis) has been added during fermentation.  This tradition grew out of the practice of closing ancient amphorae with such resin, which would lend its flavor to the wine.  Gai’a makes its Retsina with the Roditis grape – instead of the traditional Savatiano. 

    Gai’a makes one of the best Retsinas I have ever tasted.  It definitely requires a few sips to show its full flavor-profile, which at first is entirely dominated by the lemony-pine notes of the pine resin.  Once past the Pinesol-shock, you are rewarded with great, fresh, citrus flavors, lemon zest, a hint of oiliness and a bit of a tingle.  The wine changes noticeably with a fresh cheese – the lemon and pine are subdued.

    I would say that all of our tasters were rather shocked by this wine, and all but one enjoyed it.                                              

    Domaine Argyros Assyrtiko, Santorini

    The Argyros Estate in Santorini was founded in 1903 by Georgios Argyros.  It’s vineyards are among the oldest on the island, with parts more than 150 years old.  The indigenous, Assyrtiko grapes grow vines trained to the traditional “crown”.

    Assyrtiko is becoming better-known in the States for good reason:  it’s grapes produce dry, bright, acidic wines that are easy to drink.  This one is no exception.  In addition to those characteristics, this wine has some notes of apple, mineral from the volcanic soil, and an oily brininess from the sea.  It has a fuller-body and can be described as “racy” – sort of lean and acidic. This wine is also excellent with food, and it tasted great with our marinated olives.  All of our tasters liked this Assyrtiko. 

    Domaine Spiropoulos Mantinia, Peloponese

    The Spiropoulos family has been making wine since 1860.  More recently, since 1993, they have been pioneers in organic viticulture and wine making.  They have vineyards in the Peloponnese in Nemea, and on the Mantinia Plateau 650m above sea level.  Apostolos Spiropoulos is a UC-Davis trained enologist who oversees production. 

    This wine is made from the Moschofilero grape; it is a pink-skinned variety known for its floral aroma, and used to produce white wines and rose.  It also produces wines that are quite varied in style, and this one was a surprise – especially to Bob!  It is a much richer, fuller-bodied expression of Moschofilero.  The almond-flower nose is in contrast to some herbal, bitter notes in the mouth.  Our taster, Cynthia, noted that the bitter was subdued by eating an apple slice.  This wine – like all the other whites – has a very distinctive flavor and character.  It was liked by many, but definitely was not liked by all of our tasters.  It was possibly my favorite of the evening, and was also well-liked by Milton and Goldie.

    Gai’a Notios Red, Peloponnese

    Gai’a (see above) makes this Agiorgitiko from its vineyards in the Nemea region of the Peloponnese.  Grapes here are mature low-yield, and un-irrigated.  It is the most widely-planted red variety in Greece, and produces very drinkable wines.

    This wine is juicy and light, and drinks much like a Beaujolais.  It has a very pretty, red color and definite fruity notes of cherry.  Tannins are low and soft. The Notios was probably the most easy-going wine of the night, and probably also the least distinctive.  It was enjoyed by the majority of the group – even those who said they do not normally drink Beaujolais.  It was a bit too light for Milton.  

    Domaine Porto Carras Limnio, Côtes de Meliton

    The Domaine Porto Carras was established in 1967 in Chaldiki, Central Macedonia.  It has one of the largest vineyards in Europe, with over 475 hectares planted with 27 Greek and international varieties.

    It is difficult to prove the very ancient pedigree of grapes, but many wine experts – including Jancis Robinson – believe that “Limnio” can be equated to “Lemnia”, which is described by Aristotle as a specialty of the island of Limnos.  There is also reference to “Limnia”, by Hesiod and Polydeuctes. 

    The Limnio is full-bodied and muscular.  It has an earthy nose with some vegetal characteristics.  The tannins are strong and round.  This was an excellent red on which to end as it really promotes lingering and sipping. 

    This was very well-liked – especially by our “red wine drinkers”: Milton, Goldie, Rodney, Catherine, and Rachael.  In fact, Rachael revealed that it was the promise of tasting Limnio that drew her to the class!


    The favorites?  Well, the Limnio pretty much blew people away with its richness and depth.  As for the whites, I think sentiment was pretty well divided.  All of the whites were found to be very distinctive and full of unique flavor.  The Assyrtiko is the easiest to drink, while the Retsina and this particular Moschofilero are a bit more challenging.  After the full tasting, though, the Retsina was the most-requested cup-filler.  For some red-wine drinkers, like Catherine, the Greek whites were enjoyed because of their fuller body and flavoring.  

    More information on all these wines - and Greek wines, in general - can be found here.

    Nick and Athena Karabots, Karamoor Estate Gino Razzi and daughter, Carley, Penns Woods. Alice and John Weygandt, Stargazers

    Summer of I-76

    This summer, explore local wines!  All summer long, Jet Wine Bar will be celebrating wines and wineries of Pennsylvania in our “Summer of I-76”

    Why local? Wine not?

    Our local farmers grow fantastic produce that is celebrated in Philadelphia’s best restaurants. Grapes from local vineyards are part of that same tradition, and our local vintners create many excellent wines.

    Come taste for yourself at Jet.

    From June 14th through Labor Day, we will feature 3 local wines at all times, available individually by-the-glass, or as a flight.

    Our first selection is for chardonnay from wineries all within 50 miles of Jet.
    Why 3 chardonnays from vineyards in close proximity to each other? Chardonnay done well is an excellent expression of terroir. Consider this an exploration of terroir from Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County. 

              Bottle fermented, mouth-filling, fine bubbles, crisp flavor.  Try with Deviled Eggs.

              Medium/light, vibrant body with light acidity and flavors of green apple and mineral.  Try with Guacamole.

              Fuller body with lighter acidity, flavors of pear, tropical fruit and some butterscotch.  Try with our Aleppo Pita.

    Future PA wineries will include Galer Estate, Waltz Vineyards, the Vineyards at Hershey, Blair Vineyards, and many more! 

    Watch for events featuring these wines, their winemakers, and local foods.

    Do you have a favorite wine or winery that you would like us to feature?  Let us know!

    Jill & Phill - Bot River & the Finger Lakes!

    Jill and Phill chat about more wines!  We sip Sauvignon Blanc and Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon, and the FemBots from the Bionic Woman (sort of) make an appearance!

    Two new wines to enjoy this weekend!  Massaya Rosé from Lebanon, and Casa l’Angel Ecologic from Spain

    The Rosé is a blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Cabernet. It has a pale, pink color with light, red berries, minerals, and spice.  Very refreshing.  Drink it before Milton does!  Curious?  read more here.

    The Casa l’Angel with the neat, blue label is a blend of Syrah and Tempranillo.  It has very bold flavors of deep, red fruits, beef, and smoke.  Curious?  come drink it.


    Grape Harvest at Massaya Alain Pascal, winemaker at Domaine du Gros Nore Some of our Tasters More or our tasters

    Think Pink!  Dry Rosé of the Mediterranean recap.

    Summertime is fast approaching and warmer weather is finally here.  While rosé is great all year round, it definitely gains in popularity in the spring and summer when it seems that most everyone is ready to “think pink”. That is what we asked our class to do in our tasting of Dry Rosé from the Mediterranean.  The weather was perfect: a clear, warm night with a light breeze.

    As always, this session in our Global Vineyard Passport Series was led by Bob Barrett, certified expert of wine.  The class was sold out and we had a great group on hand to taste Bob’s 5 selections.

    The drinking of rosé brings up some fairly universal questions:  How is it made?  Where does the color come from?  Is it a blend of white and red grapes?

    The basic answer is that rosé typically comes from red-grapes, from whose skins color and tannin are derived. “Blending” is also done, but it is less common and is not a legal method in all countries.

    One method of vinification is through the act of “maceration”, or contact between the skins and juice of crushed grapes. When grape juice is in contact with the skins, their chemicals and flavor compounds get separated from the skin solid and incorporated into the juice; this is referred to as “maceration”.  The time of contact with those skins determines the resulting color and structure of the wine.  Once the desired amount of color and tannin are incorporated, the juice is separated from the skins.  Saignee” is the method whereby juice is drained off the mixture, leaving the remainder to macerate further.  Long maceration times can result in relatively dark and tannic rosé wines.

    An alternative method is “direct press”.  In this case, the grapes are pressed to extract the juice, which then does not undergo maceration.  This method can result in very, very, pale pink wines.

    Our 5 wines all underwent either limited skin-contact or direct press vinification.  All of the wines come from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and are influenced by “Mediterranean” climates; warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.   They differ in the grape varietals used, and in the length of contact with the skins.  Those differences resulted in wines of very different color, structure, and taste.

    Massaya Rosé 2012, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

              40% Cinsault, 30% Syrah; 30% Cabernet, grown above 3,000 ft in Tanaïl, Bekaa Valley. Grapes were de-stemmed and crushed, then macerated for a few hours.  It was then bled from the must and transferred to concrete. 

                This wine has a very pale color – as expected from such a short maceration time.  It has mineral and light strawberry on the nose.  The mouth featured a light red fruit, but also a bit of currant and spice.  Nice acid, great mineral content, relatively light-bodied. Just for fun, here is an excerpt of wine notes from the 2011 vintage we tasted in last year’s rose class:Tart raspberry, some subtle spice and minerals round out the flavors.”

                  A lot of people enjoyed in this wine, liking its softness and lightness.  Tasting this wine prompted our taster, Alex, to plan a party in which everyone wears white and drinks rose.  Dave, however, found it a bit flat. 

    Gai’a 14-18h Rosé 2012, Nemea, Greece

    100% Agiorgitiko (AKA St. George) grapes grown at an altitude just under 3000 ft in Nemea in the Peloponnese.  Grapes are crushed and cold macerated for 14 to 18 hours – thus the name.

    This wine was macerated longer than the Massaya and, consequently, had a darker, richer color and more tannins.  Notes of cherry and rose petals are on the nose, and it has some herbaceous and savory notes, as well.  The moderate to slightly high acidity was read as “sparkle” to some. 

    This “sparkle” proved to be a characteristic that was liked by about half the class, and disliked by the other half. 

    Argiolas Serra Lori Rosato 2012, Sardinia, Italy

    Blend of traditional Sardinian varietals Cannonau, Monica, Carignano, and Bovale Sardo grown at an altitude of ca. 3,000 ft. in soils with significant limestone near Cagliari.  After harvesting and maceration for 3-4 hours, the juice is bled from the must and cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks.

    Despite the short maceration, this wine has a darker color and strong tannin.  It has a “sweet” nose to some, and a “sour” nose to others.  I found it sweet.  Stormy likened the nose to the smell of Luden’s cough drops – though that faded away.  The wine has a lot of mineral and red fruits.  It is pretty complex and evolving.  People’s descriptions varied widely, but I found myself agreeing with everyone. The tannic structure was a detraction for about half the tasters, a boon for the other half.

    Viña Bujanda Rosado 2012, Rioja, Spain

                100% Tempranillo from vines between 20 – 60 years old in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa of the Rioja D.O. Both Atlantic and Mediterranean climates influenced grape production in clay/calcareous soils. Maceration and fermentation were completed over 13 days in stainless steel tanks.

                This wine has a pretty, fuschia/berry color with light tannins.  It has moderate mineral and acid, and a smooth finish.  In addition to a mouth full of cherry and red berries, a lot of people tasted some candy/candied notes.  I thought it smelled of cherry lifesavers, Rahm felt a dusty cocoa, and Holly detected a caramel quality.  Harris and Iris really liked this one. 

    Domaine du Gros ‘Noré Rosé 2011, Bandol, France

    40% Mourvèdre, 40% Cinsault and 20% Grenache harvested at full maturity from clay and limestone soils on hillsides around La Cadière d’Azur. After harvesting, the grapes were directly pressed and put into the fermentation tank.

    The wine has a very, very pale pink color.  The wine has ample acid and a long, smooth finish.  The nose is funky!  It has earth, dung, and straw, as well as red berry and some vegetal notes.  Nice mineral.

    Bandol Rosé is well known for its high-quality and excellence and, indeed, it was the overwhelming favorite of the evening.  It also costs 2-3 times more than any of the other wines we tasted!  It was not everyone’s favorite, as Harris preferred the Viña Bujanda.  And, for the better value, Milton named Massaya’s excellent product his favorite.


    Other than the Bandol, there was no single bottle that was wholly liked or disliked by our group. In general, those who enjoyed the Massaya also liked the Viña Bujanda; both were a bit softer, with rounder tannins.  By contrast, those who liked the Gai’a also enjoyed the Argiolas; both had sharper tannins.

    Maybe you, like Bob, will now be asking yourself how for long had the grapes in that rosé been macerated…?

    Join us for next tasting on June 25th:  Bordeaux

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