Category Archives: Calendar of Events

Party Wines

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

It makes me wonder why everyone is always in such a terrible mood. Christmas should be a wonderful time of year! The whole family will be together, food will be overflowing from refrigerator to ovens, making the house smell wonderful and laughter all the way through. However, what if we need help getting to the laughter part, or what of all the parties and Christmassy get-togethers? Eating and drinking turns into an all out free-for-all, turning potentially normal Wednesdays into… PARTY DAY!! Being good party goers as we are, host(ess) gifts are a must. Believe it or not, I always go with wine. (Shocker…)

I’m aware that the wine racks in any store can be daunting. Which one? What is my price point? Why is that Malbec wearing a grin, is it mocking me? Hey, no judgment here. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had a staring contest between two bottles of wine, unable to make a decision. I’m here to make your life easier with a list of terrific winter wines, perfect for parties or presents.

But first, this short anecdote: I was invited to a birthday party dinner. I didn’t really know anyone, save my friend who had invited me. Even though it was a family affair, I wanted to bring something. I felt bad just bringing myself – so I went to my go to wine store and picked 14 Hands, “Hot to Trot.” This wine is not only delicious, but it’s a red blend, therefore able to please just about anyone. It’s also a fabulous re-gifting wine. I snagged it, purchased it and was on the road, already late due to having to get the wine in the first place. I arrived at the restaurant, told my friend about my wine gift for the birthday girl; thirty seconds later I was informed this was her 20th birthday (Insert sound effects of a bomb exploding).

I handed it to my friend. Re-gifted. Boom.

So a list for when you’re strapped for time and don’t fancy imagined banter with inanimate objects, these are sure to please:

Price Point ($5 – $12)
14 Hands, “Hot to Trot,” Red Blend
MGM, Pinot Noir
Chariot, “Gypsy,” Red Blend
Chateau St. Michelle, Reisling
Monogamy, “Truly Madly Deeply,” Cabernet Sauvignon

Price Point ($13 – $25)
Chatham Hill Winery, Cabernet Franc
Don Gascon, Malbec
Ruffino, Chianti
Prosecco, Champagne

Price Point ($26 – $40)
Caymus, “Conundrum,” Viognier Blend
d’Arenberg, “The Dead Arm,” Shiraz
Frei Brothers, Zinfandel
Boordy Vineyards, Port


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Information Overload! Calendar of Events

Phew! Talk about having a lot of stuff going on. And this isn’t even half of what is going on in the Cary/Raleigh/Durham area! Either way, gives us all a good place to start.

March  12 at 8pm – Uncorked – “Live Music with Jo Gore and the Alternative” (Music and wine tasting) Free. (More info

March 14 at 6:30pm – Rockfish Seafood Grill – “Rockfish Grill beer Dinner w/ Fullsteam Brewery” (4 course dinner) $30 per person. { to reserve}

March 17 at 3pm – Big Boss Brewing Company – “Who’s Your Paddy?” (Beer, music and Food) Free.

March 17 at 9pm – 606 Lounge – “Midnight Irish Cookout for St. Patty’s Day” (Food, Drinks, Fun) No cover as far as I can tell, don’t hold me to that, call ahead.

March 18 at 4pm & March 19 at 12pm – Total Wine in NC – “Tour of Bordeaux” (Wine Tasting) Free.

March 19 at 11am – Lucky 32 in Cary – “Cooking Class” (Chef Jay’s Masterpieces and appropriate drink pairings) $39 {Reservations 919.233.1632}

March 19 at 12pm – Wine Merchant in Cary – “Cali Wines with Jana from Millenium Beverage Distributors” (Wine Tasting) Free. {}

March 19 at 2pm – Wine Merchant in Raleigh – “Fresh and Delightful Wines” (Wine Tasting) Free.}

March 25 at 4pm & March 26 at 12pm – Total Wine in NC – “Selections from Spain to Portugal” (Wine Tasting) Free.

March 25 at 7pm – Martins Curry Rice – “Wine Dinner” (German wine and Indian cuisine) $20 per person { 919.380.7799 for reservations}

March 26 at 12pm – Wine Merchant in Cary – “Springtime Wines with Haw River Wine Woman” (Wine Tasting) Free. {}

March 26 at 2pm – Wine Merchant in Raleigh – “Wines from Jen and The Country Vintners Distributors” (Wine Tasting) Free.}

March 27 at 12pm – Fullsteam Brewery – “Whole Planet Rhythm & Eats & Beats” (Fundraiser with music, beer and food for The Whole Planet Foundation) $10 Donation requested.

March 31 at 7pm – Lucky 32 in Cary – “Fullsteam Beer Dinner” (Lucky’s food, Fullsteam’s brew) $40 {Reservations 919.233.1632)

April 1 at 5pm – Sip…a wine store – “Spring Beer Celebration with Bells Oberon” (New beer selection tasting) $5 includes pint glass {Reserve a spot 919.467.7880}

April 9 at 12pm & 6pm – Moore Square – “2011 World Beer Festival” (Yea… a beer festival) $40 {}

April 13-17 – Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival {}

April 16 at 11am – Koka Booth Amphitheatre – “Great Grapes!” (Wine, arts & food festival) $20 {to buy tickets}

April 27 – May 1 – Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend {}

Free weekly wine tastings on Fridays and Saturdays at Great Grapes. {}


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