Category Archives: Wine dinners

Nathan Toubia on the mend, back at work

It’s been more than six weeks since the Labor Day weekend motorcycle accident that seriously injured Bocconcini Italian Eatery chef and owner Nathan Toubia and his manager/friend Abby Brookshire.

Both are on the mend, and Nathan — who broke both ankles, crushed his pelvis, and fractured his legs in the accident — is back on his feet. Though he’s on crutches and moving slowly, he’s been able to return to the restaurant in a limited capacity. He expedited service last weekend, and he’ll also be helping with prep work at Sunday’s wine dinner at Bocconcini. (You can see the menu below.)

I ran into Nathan at Dillons last night, and he looked good. He won’t be able to put weight on his right leg until early November but says he has “every intention of showing my face as long as the pain is tolerable.”

Abby, meanwhile, also is making progress, according to a Facebook page set up and maintained by her family called “Love for Abby.” She’s also back on her feet and has returned home to Texas with her family to continue her rehab.

Bocconcini’s next wine dinner is at 6 p.m. Sunday and costs $65 a person. Nathan has created a fabulous fall menu that includes lamb shank, apple crumble and something called “wedding pillow ravioli.” Keep reading for the menu. Reservations can be made by calling 316-613-2523.

Read More »

Question of the week: Favorite wine?

With all the wine tastings and wine dinners and Winefests Wichita has, we all ought to be grape experts by now.

My question this week: What’s your favorite variety of wine? And what food do you like to pair it with?

I’m a Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon girl when it comes to red, although I also appreciate Pinot Noir. I love to drink all of the above with rare steak and with dark chocolate. As for white, I’m addicted to Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlbourough region, and I’m always on the hunt for bottles on sale in local liquor stores for $9 or less, so if you see a Cupcake, Nimbus, Nobilo, Starborough or Monkey Bay bottle on sale in this price range anywhere locally, you’d better call me. Ya hear?

What are your nominees? Answer in the comments section below.

Raise a glass: It’s Winefest week

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the spring: WINEFEST WEEKEND!!!

I don’t like to miss the Grand Tasting, which this year is on Saturday. It fills Century II with around 350 different wines to sample along with food from several of Wichita’s best restaurants. (I’ll have a full story about the event up on by Wednesday and in the paper on Friday.)

But Winefest isn’t just the Grand Tasting. It also includes several pre-events, but it’s hard to get tickets for them. (The sold-out-in-seconds Walkabout is a good example.)

The Winefest schedule also includes several wine dinners the day before the tasting. Two of them already are sold out, but tickets for a third one are still available. It features Sean Roney, son of Pat Roney, who is the owner of Gerard Winery & Windsor Sonoma Winery.

The dinner is at 7 p.m. Friday at the Marriott Wichita, 9100 Corporate Hills Drive. Tickets are $125 a person, and part of the proceeds for the dinner benefit the Guadalupe Clinic and are a 2012 tax deduction.

The multi-course meal’s entree will be a pan seared tenderloin of beef with horseradish chips and grilled multi-colored Swiss chard.

Reservations are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday by calling 316-682-5502.

A full week of Scotch, wine and courses

Several local restaurants are doing their part to help you get your stomach expanded and your tolerance increased just in time for Thanksgiving.

During the next few days, three wine events and a Scotch tasting are planned at local restaurants. Here are some of your choices:

Chapada Chop House, 2142 N. Tyler Road: The new restaurant is putting on a single malt Scotch tasting with guest speaker Robert Sickler at 6:30 p.m. tonight. The event will feature five Scotch whiskeys and heavy appetizers. Admission is $35 a person. Make reservations at 316-201-4694.

Hangar One, 5925 W. Kellogg: The restaurants monthly Wine Flight Dinner is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday and will feature five courses with wine. Admission is $39.99 a person. Make reservations at 316-941-4900.

Carrabba’s, 3409 N. Rock Road: Carrabba’s monthly wine tasting also is on Wednesday. It’s at  6:30 p.m. and will include five to six wines paired with five to six small plates. It’s $35 a person. Call 316-315-0777 for reservations.

Luca Italian Kitchen, 301 N. Mead: The restaurant’s “Terra” dinner is at 7 p.m.  on Thursday and will feature four courses paired with wines. Tickets $65 a person at 316-262-3232.

Know of any others coming up? Let me know and I”ll put them on my wine and beer events page.

Three October wine dinners

Now that we’ve had our fill of beer, it’s time to turn our attention to wine.

Thank goodness three October wine dinners are on the horizon.

Auburn Spirits, the liquor store at 13303 W. Maple, is putting on a Spanish wine dinner at 7 p.m. Friday at Rolling Hills Country Club. Tickets are $70 a person, and reservations must be made by Wednesday by calling 316-440-1111. You can see the full menu, which includes a four-course meal with five wine parings, right here.

Newport Grill’s Iron Sommelier Dinner is scheduled for Monday and will include nine courses and 16 wines. It’s $125 a person and pits local food and wine experts, including Newport Grill’s Alicia Elleman and Jacob Liquor’s Jamie Stratton, against each other to find out who can pair wine and food best. It starts with a reception at 6 p.m., the the battle begins at 6:30 p.m. To make a reservation, call  316-636-9555.

Oeno at 330 N. Mead has whimsically titled its October 29 Wine Dinner”The Grape Pumpkin.” It will feature four courses paired with three wines, and each course includes pumpkin as an ingredient. It’s $35 a person. For a reservation, call 316-440-5000.

Bocconcini’s first wine dinner

Bocconcini Italian Eatery, the popular neighborhood restaurant at 4811 E. Central owned by Nathan Toubia, is putting on its first wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

It’s $65 a person and will feature a five-course meal, each course paired with a wine. Among the dishes: a cured salmon salad with shaved fennel and orange, and braised short ribs on a bed of fresh spaetzle.

Advance credit card payments are required by calling 316-613-2523. If you think you can handle it, you can drool over the full menu here.

Wine and beer lovers: This is for you

Today, I’m launching a new feature on this blog that’s aimed at local fans of wine, beer and spirits.

It’s a new “page” where I’ll track local wine and beer tastings, charity events and more. (Look up there! Just to the left of my menu! Where it says “Wine and beer events.” Now click.)

I’ve started with some listings of events coming up over the next several months, and I’d like to add more features in the near future. A reader has already suggested that I have a section that lists bottle discounts at local restaurants. (Bella Luna, for example, offers half price bottles on Mondays and Wednesdays.)

Take a look and let me know what I’m missing.

Wanted: Wine news

Wichita loves its wine. So much so that I’m in the planning stages of adding a wine feature to this blog. (Let me know if you have any ideas.)

In the meantime, there’s a wine tasting coming up this week.

Carrabba’s at 3409 N. Rock Road, which puts on monthly wine samplings, will offer the June installment at  6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the restaurant. It will feature samples of five wines paired with food, and proprietor Joe Parten is planning a sneak preview of some menu items he plans to roll out in July, including Sicilian ribs, chicken speidini and mixed berry crostata. It’s $35 and will be limited to the first 50 people who RSVP at 316-315-0777.

Know of any other wine tastings/dinners/events? Send them my way.

Wine and beer and food

Wichitans will have three opportunities over the next week to educate themselves on wine and beer and the food that makes them sing.

The first is tonight’s Gusto Social Wine Tasting, a monthly event at Gaslamp Grille and Lounge, 550 N. Rock Road. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and is $25 a person. Participants will be able to sample four different wines and have access to some light appetizers. Credit card reservations are required in advance by calling 316-260-1432.

Then, on Tuesday, Yia Yia’s Eurobistro at 8115 W. 21st will offer a $65-a-person wine dinner featuring the wares of the Paraiso winery. It’s a four-course dinner, and each course is paired with a Paraiso wine. It starts at 6:30 p.m. Call 316-634-1000 for reservations.

Wednesday is the day for Newport Grill’s Tallgrass Beer Dinner. The restaurant at 1900 N. Rock Road will charge $50 a person for the five-course meal, which will pair Tallgrass beers with dishes such as butter-poached halibut and cocoa-glazed beef tenderloin. The dinner starts at 7 p.m. Call 316-636-9555 for reservations.

So much wine, so little time

Wine lovers will want to know about a few cork-tastic events coming up in Wichita.

One is a fundraiser this weekend, and I’ll be there helping out my friend (and the event co-chair) Bonnie Bing.It’s called Palette to Palate, and it will feature food, wine and lots of art. (I’ll be serving as a wine pourer or live auction spotter or both. We’ll see.)  The event is at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Wichita Scottish Rite, and tickets are $60 or $50 if purchased by Wednesday by calling 316-383-8889 or by visiting the web site. Money raised benefits Ketch.

Also coming up: An event put on by a new venture called WineTastingWichita, who will put on a wine tasting called A Taste of Italy at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Corporate Caterer’s space in the former Olive Tree, 2949 N. Rock Road.

The event will feature seven reds selected by local wine expert Jamie Stratton, each of which will be paired with food created by chef Jeremy Wade.

Admission is $30 a person, and reservations are required by Friday by emailing