chic or geek

a mildly aspirational blog of my life, times, and taste


a different Wednesday wine down

foodAnna KellerComment

Wednesday Wine Down (WWD) has been an integral part of my week for years. and I'm not even exaggerating.  

it all started with Drink's WWD, which gives you 4 wine samples, cheese, and bread, and includes a cupcake on the first Wednesday of the month, all for $12.

sometimes, me and different coworkers do WWD at our houses.  it's cheaper than doing it at a bar and we often drink and eat our little hearts out until we realize that it's 9 pm and we should probably go home to our kids/man (them) and cat (me).

this week, though, I got to do something new.  my friend purchased a Living Social deal (or something along those lines) for East Shore Vineyard, which has a tasting room on Church St in Burlington.  for $12, we each got a wine tasting trio and a bounty of tasty treats, which included a cheese of our choice.  it was a lot more food than we normally get at Drink, and I think the non-coupon cost is about $10 a person.  I'll definitely keep this in mind for future WWD opportunities - or any day of the week, really. I'm always down for some wine.

East Shore Vineyard Tasting Room

28 Church Street, Burlington VT 05401

life lessons from this week

photography, lifestyleAnna KellerComment

I like a savory brunch, but I sure do like taking pictures of sweet treats.

@ chef's corners 

birthday weeks of bffs mean going out for lots of dlicious drinks.

@ drink

so that beer that everyone always raves about?  Heady Topper, you know?  totally worth tracking down and paying $$$ for.

@ a single pebble

my cat likes to destroy and then eat pretty flowers.

there is such a thing as a free, um, cupcake. thank you facebook for clueing me in to a great deal!

@ my little cupcake


have a wonderful weekend! 

places to drink on a Wednesday night

food, lifestyleAnna KellerComment

I'll admit it: I've had trouble getting acquainted with the city in which I live.  I don't love it. I know that this is partly because I don't know it too well.  it's a very different place than it was 10 years ago, when I used to roam Church St as a window shopping pre-teen.  Burlington is a college town, a place where people will pay a premium for local beers and mediocre Mexican food.  it's a place where pretty much anything goes, but at the same time, very little seems to be happening.  this is especially the case when it is 5* outside and hibernation seems like a very appealing option.  I've been extremely busy, too, working around 60 hours a week and spending too much time keeping an eye on my dwindling bank account.  plus my cat demands to be fed on a fairly regular basis, and once I'm home it's so hard to convince myself to go try and not face-plant on an icy sidewalk.

last Wednesday, I decided to stop making excuses and get a little local culture in my life.  my coworkers rave about 2 Wednesday night activities: Wednesday Wine Down at Drink and 1/2 Priced Burger Night at Ri Ra.  


at Drink, $12 got you 4 solid wine pours, each paired with a cheese, bread, olive oil, or dessert.  I may not be a wine connoisseur (yet, at least), but I can definitely appreciate the wonderful combination of prosecco and Lake Champlain chocolate.  Wednesday is also $4 mojito night at Drink, but we decided to finish our night somewhere we could eat more than a few pieces of cheese as our meal.

our second stop for the night was at Ri Ra, an Irish pub on Church St.  after spending a few days in Dublin, I was very interested to compare this American take on an traditional Irish restaurant.  most importantly, I wanted to test the claim that Guinness tastes horrible this side of the pond.  to conduct this study, I ordered a flight of 4 5 oz. Irish beer samples ($6): 1 Guinness, 1 Southwicks, 1 Harp, and 1 1/2 Southwicks, 1/2 Harp.  I will say that the Guinness did not have quite the smoothness or chocolaty flavor it possessed when I drank plenty of it in Ireland, but it was still quite good.  the Half & Half mix was my next favorite.  the Irish know good beer, and at Ri Ra they also know a good burger.  normally priced between $9 and $11, the half-priced offerings seemed like a steal with their brioche buns and hand cut fries.  I normally avoid red meat, but this meal was worth ingesting a little extra cholesterol for.  my sister had their white bean veggie burger, which she said was delicious as well.

I went home that night feeling extra sleepy but also a little more satisfied with the fact that I call this city my home.  there is a lot to eat and do, and it does not all involve eating $1 pizza slices or forking out an Andrew Jackson every time you want a good burger*.


Drink 135 St Paul St Burlington VT


Ri Ra 123 Church St Burlington VT


*on that note, I had an even more amazing burger at The Shopping Bag, a small & seemingly sketchy convenience store in the Old North End here in Burlington.  for just over $5, you can get their classic Sizzler (or mini Sizzler, as I did) which will keep you full for approximately 3 days.  as a former vegan, I can safely say that this burger will rock your world in every possible way as it made me wonder why I had sworn off meat and cheese for so many years.