Three-fourths of the way through the year feels like a good time to sit and reflect on all that has happened, and all that is to come. This week, we’re trying something new. We’re hitting you with local fun things that happened that you should know about, things going on right now that you need to take advantage of, as well as things coming up that you want to get in on before it’s too late. So sit with me and let us collectively gaze into the crystal ball of local food and drink to get you involved in the latest and greatest things happening near you.
Don’t Wine About the Past
In 1629, vine clippings of Spanish grapes were smuggled to the New World by a Franciscan friar and a Capuchin monk. They were planted here in the Rio Grande Valley and have been grown and harvested here to this day. Vara Winery (315 Alameda Blvd. NE) took that history and those heirloom grapes and created the Viña Cardinal. This wine was pressed and fermented off the skins, but prior to completely drying, they halted fermentation using grape spirits to fortify the wine up to 17 percent ABV. What was created was a wine quite unlike anything I have ever tried before. A slightly off-dry light aperitif wine, it’s hard to believe it has such a high alcohol content considering how easy it is to drink. Want to find out what the fuss is all about? Head down to Vara to get the now officially released bottle.
We’ll All Float On, Okay?
Quarter Celtic Brewpub (1100 San Mateo Blvd. NE #50, 1930 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE) has arguably some of the best Celtic food you can find in the city, and their beer is nothing to scoff at either. What happens when they both come together to create a fall dessert that turns away from pumpkin spice in favor of something more bold? You get the Maple Bourbon Mac Lomas Stout Float. A glass of their Mac Lomas Irish Dry Stout with a scoop of Smoked Maple Bourbon ice cream with Praline Pecans, this is just the ultimate dessert for this time of year. The cooler weather allows you to feel better about drinking a darker, heavier beer, but it’s still warm enough to enjoy ice cream. You can opt out of the beer and just have the ice cream on its own or with any of their house desserts, but I highly recommend you try the float. This treat is only around until they run out, so get it while the getting is good.
Fiesta For the Riesta Us
In your future, I see a lengthy wine and chile fiesta, located a little north of here in Santa Fe. With tastings, luncheons, seminars and more, you’ll find no shortage of things to occupy your time, tummy and mind from Sept. 25 to 29. There are so many different things going on that I would struggle to adequately tell you where to start. Tickets range anywhere from $30 to $350, depending on the specific event you want to get involved in, so your best bet is to clear your calendar, scroll through the website’s event listings (found conveniently at santafewineandchile.org/tickets) and set up plans with those you love for wining and dining and taking time and do something special.