Episode 372 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently and features Mariel Wega, the Wine Director of a.kitchen + bar in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square.
Pennsylvania has notoriously prohibitive laws when it comes to wine distribution, and those have led to a strong beer culture in Philadelphia, as well as a vibrant BYO scene there. But when it comes to excellent restaurant wine lists in that city, they are few on the ground. a.kitchen + bar is one of the exceptions, and it manages to provide a wine selection more like what you would likely find in New York or San Francisco. Mariel Wega, the Wine Director of a.kitchen, manages to make it happen for wine, even in a challenging state for it. Natural Wine is something that you would be unlikely to find much of in the Pennsylvania state wine stores, for instance, but for Mariel they are a priority. This interview discusses what Mariel has accomplished with a good attitude and some quiet determination.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine