Sipping & Swirling with CITYPEEK

June 7, 2013
BY Amy Landsman

Baltimore’s CITYPEEK now features a new wine education club called Sip & Swirl, which spotlights social get-togethers organized online.

CITYPEEK is an online source for hospitality, food, wine and social-media trends. Sip & Swirl grew from CITYPEEK founder and CEO Patti Neumann’s desire to share her own enthusiasm for wines and spirits.

Neumann hosted a champagne and sparkling wine tasting in December. It went so well that she has teamed with certified wine educator Mariam Raz Vazavi and chef Sarah Mogol of The Bountiful Experience for a wine tasting with food pairing on a city roof deck in May.

“This is all social-media driven. I put an event listing up on Facebook. This happened because I love what I do, and I wanted to share it with people,” Neumann said. Sessions cost around $49.

Neumann is a huge promoter of social-media events and activities. In 2002, she founded CITYPEEK, and today she has more than 50,000 friends, fans and connections on CITYPEEK, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Foodspotting.

Neumann, who lives in Federal Hill, will keep her followers up to date, as she travels to Aspen’s Food & Wine Classic in mid-June, and over the next few months to Israel, Paris and London.

“There’s so much fun to be had in the food and wine business — and to make it approachable in a very nonpompous atmosphere,” she said. “That’s what I really want to bring to people.”

Describing herself as a connector between the brand and the consumer, Neumann hopes to host future Sip & Swirl events with sponsors such as Jim Beam Global and E&J Gallo, which represent hundreds of brands.

The next Sip & Swirl is June 26. Details are still being finalized.

Future Sip & Swirl events may even take place in the afternoon, giving moms and dads a chance — while the kids are in school or at camp — to peek into the kitchens of the best regional chefs and learn about pairing food with cocktails.

“This is a very unassuming, come-as-you-are kind of thing,” she said.

In addition to CITYPEEK, Neumann is active with a variety of philanthropic groups including The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and CHANA: Counseling Helpline and Network for Abused Women and several cancer-related charities. To connect with Sip & Swirl, go to CITYPEEKpatti on Facebook and Twitter.