If you haven’t yet attended some sort of drinking festival at a ski resort this winter, this is the weekend to do so, and the Taos Winter Wine Festival is the place. Or, if beer is more your scene, head to the West Coast for SF Beer Week where you can learn what brew to pair with enchiladas and sample beer-flavored doughnuts. If you're a sweets person, The American Club and Inn on Woodlake’s In Celebration of Chocolate festival will you give you the chance to turn every meal into dessert.
Taos Winter Wine Festival
Santa Fe, NM
Jan. 29-Feb. 2
The Winter Wine Festival at the Taos Ski Valley Resort Center offers a variety of tasting events and seminars to get the color back in your cheeks as you head in from a long day on the slopes. Master Sommelier Joe Spellman will host an Old World vs. New World Blind Tasting as well as a master class in identifying various Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons. The weekend culminates in a Super Sunday Champagne Brunch — because there’s no better prelude to game night than starting off the day with four varieties of bubbly paired with dishes from El Monte Sagrado’s Executive Chef Ray Naranjo.
In Celebration of Chocolate
Just because Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks away doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump start on chocolate-consumption. The American Club and Inn on Woodlake’s In Celebration of Chocolate Weekend celebrates the ingredient by slipping it into every meal in both traditional and unexpected ways. Enjoy White Chocolate Parsnip Soup and Duck with Torke Coffee and Chocolate Mole at Chef Alexander Glass’ sweet and savory cooking demo. Learn to drink your chocolate properly at Choc-tail Mixing with Sommelier and Mixologist Jason Van Auken.
SF Beer Week
San Francisco, CA
Sponsored by the San Francisco Brewer’s Guild, SF Beer Week is a celebration of the Bay Area’s brewing heritage and craft beer scene. Over a ten-day period, the festival will host over 500 events including a Mexican Cuisine and Craft Beer Pairing seminar (tacos and a Corona is a no-brainer, but what to pair with a sweet-and-smoky chocolate mole crepe?) and a Brew It Yourself—Beer Making at Home Workshop. All this, plus beer doughnuts from Almanac Beer Co. and Dynamo Donut.
Winter Wine Festival
New York, NY
The NYC Winter Wine Festival is back in its fifth year, turning the Best Buy Theater in Times Square at into a makeshift vineyard. Guests can enjoy 3 hours of tasting over 200 wine varietals, a selection of hors d’oeuvres and specialty food samplings, and live contemporary jazz music from Brian Simpson. Sign up for additional blind-tasting classes to enhance your sampling experience and impress at your next dinner party.
Washington D.C. International Wine & Food Festival
Named one of “Washington’s Top Events 2013” by BizBash Event Planning, the International Wine & Food Festival is back for another weekend of tastings, food pairings, seminars and winemaker meet and greets. The festival kicks off with Thursday night’s main event where guests can jam to the sounds of live music entertainment while sampling wine, beer and artisanal spirits. The weekend continues with seminars in Pinot Noir tasting from of MacPhail Winery’s local expert Doug Mason and a cocktail crafting class sponsored by Hendricks Gin.