Category Archives: Wine

A cheesy report from the Midwest Winefest

Just look at all that cheesy goodness. Photo by Douglas Avenue Chop Shop.

Just look at all that cheesy goodness. Photo by Douglas Avenue Chop Shop.

I survived another Midwest Winefest, and it was a good one.

The event’s Grand Tasting on Saturday night filled two big halls at Century II with an abundance of wine and good food from local restaurants.

The most popular newcomer award definitely goes to the Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, whose booth had the longest line all evening. I kept going back hoping it would get shorter, but it never did.IMG_0328

Owner Schane Gross and head butcher Josh Rathbun also served an impressive spread of gourmet cheeses from its cheese case.

They also had samples of beautifully grilled meats throughout the evening. Rathbun ran back and forth like a crazy person from a grill set up just outside Century II.

Among the other memorable foods I sampled: Delicious oysters on the half shell from the Lakeside Club, a giant bacon-wrapped shrimp from Abuelo’s, a butterscotch pudding creation from the Marriott, some salted chocolates from Dean & DeLuca and a wonderful bite of flour-less chocolate cake from Il Vicino.

It’s Midwest Winefest weekend in Wichita

SOMMELIERSThe big weekend for Wichita wine fans has arrived.

The 19th annual Midwest Winefest, a fundraiser for Guadalupe Health Foundation, starts tonight with the Old Town Walkabout, an event that invites ticket holders to roam from restaurant to restaurant in the downtown entertainment district, sampling wine and food at every stop. I have somehow never managed to attend this event. The 400 or so available tickets always sell out within a day, and they did again this year.

Also sold out: The fancy Friday-night wine dinners planned at Chester’s Chophouse, Wichita Country Club and DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport.

But there are still tickets available to what I consider to be the can’t-miss part of the event: Saturday evening’s Grand Tasting at Century II. The tickets are only $60, and attendees can sample food from local restaurants and more than 350 different wines. And if you have some extra pocket change, you can bid on some expensive bottles of wine, a trip to Napa Valley or even a live puppy.

Read more about the event in my story, which will be printed int he Go! section on Friday but already is available for Internet savvy readers such as you.

Two approaching wine events

1554581_10151958331917675_1336795804_nLike wine? Of course you do. Here are two opportunities coming up to drink it:

1. Capricorn tasting at Oeno, 3oo N. Mead: Oeno’s monthly wine tasting, which costs $35 a person, is at 7 p.m. on Saturday. It’ll feature three courses and three wine pairings plus a dessert. Among the items on the menu — sesame crusted ahi tuna paired with Chime Pinot Noir from California. For reservations, call 316-440-5000.

2. Dining for Friends, 6 p.m. Jan. 27, Taste & See, 255 N. Washington: Positive Directions is putting on a fundraising event that will feature five courses with two wine pairings per course. The doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. It’ll cost $65 a person and reservations are required by calling 316-263-2214, extension 105.

Newport Grill’s wine dinner: Eight courses, 16 wines, lots of competition

Newport Grill’s Iron Sommelier dinner will feature four local wine experts battling to see who can create the best wine pairings. The dinner will feature eight courses and 16 wines.

I’m told that Aaron Whitcomb, Newport Grill’s Denver-based executive chef, will be in town for the event.

Attendees will vote on the best pairings. The event is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Newport Grill, 1900 N. Rock Road, and costs $125 a person. For reservations, call 316-636-9555.

Check out the menu for the evening… but only if you can handle getting very, very hungry.

Read More »

Wichita wine lovers: Get out your calendars

Wichita loves its wine, and in coming weeks, Wichita will have several chances to demonstrate that love.

The Wichita Center for the Arts at 9112 E. Central is is putting on three wine classes through October and November. The first is from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and will feature wine expert Whitney Post talking about grape varieties, wine vocabulary and more. Attendees also will be able to sample six wines. Post will offer the same class from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 19.

And on Oct. 22, a class from 6 to 8 p.m. called Entertaining with Wine will include tips about planning parties that include wine. It’ll also include six samples. Tickets to the classes are $45 for Wichita  Center for the Arts members and $55 for nonmembers. Enroll on the Wichita Center for the Arts website.

Also on Oct. 8, Larkspur Bistro & Bar at 904 E. Douglas will be putting on a wine dinner featuring Foley Family Wines. It’ll offer five courses and four wines and will cost $65 a person. It’s a 7 p.m. For reservations, call 316 262-5275.

Later this month, on Oct. 24, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will put on its annual fundraiser. The fourth annual Wichita Wine Opener will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Abode Venue and will feature wine tasting and food from several Wichita restaurants, including Larkspur, Freddy’s, Oeno, YaYa’s Euribostro and more. Tickets are $60 per person at this website.

The Hill Bar & Grill has wine on tap

I’ve been to The Hill Bar & Grill, the new restaurant at 4800 E. Douglas opened by Mike”s Wine Dive owners, brothers Brad and Brent Steven, a couple of times — and I like it. I particularly like the restaurant’s wedge salad, which is topped with some of best bacon and dressing I’ve ever had.

And the restaurant recently added something I also like — wine on tap. The Hill serves two wines, both a red and a white, from a tap system, sort of like beer. It’s not carbonated, but the wine comes is dispensed from a keg like beer is, meaning that each glass is fresh and hasn’t been exposed to air at all. (They also serve a couple of wines from bottles.)

Wine from a tap is new for Wichita. It’s popular on the west coast, but only The Hill and Chester’s Chophouse do it locally. It’s expensive to set the system up, Brad said, and it also takes up a lot of prime bar real estate. But it’s worth it on many levels, he said, including that it’s more earth friendly because there’s no bottle or container waste.

So far, Brad said, his customers are loving the wine, which costs $7 a glass. The white is a Riesling/Chardonnay blend, and the red is a Merlot/Cabernet/Shiraz blend.

“I love it so much, I wish I could set it up in my house,” he said.

The Hill is open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Lots of wine events coming up for Wichita

This weekend is the Midwest Beerfest, but wine lovers have lots of options too.

Following are a few wine events scheduled at various venues in the area.

Hangar One Steakhouse Wine Flight Dinner: Radio personalities Brett Harris and Anita Cochran will be among the guests at this dinner, scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday. It’ll feature four courses, each one paired with wine. The main course is beef Wellington with grilled asparagus and potato souffle. The cost is $39.99 a person, and RSVPs are required at 316-941-4900.

Grace Hill Winery’s Fall Release Party: The winery at 6310 S. Grace Hill Road in Whitewater will premiere several wines, some reformulated and some brand new, at its release party from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday. The winery will also be serving buffalo meatballs, sweet potato hummus, turkey/cheese wraps, quinoa salad and chocolate balls. Admission is $20 a person, and RSVPs are required at 316-799-2511.

Mike’s Wine Dive Wine & Cheese Pairing: This event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 24, will feature five wines paired with five high-end cheeses. Admission is $30 a person, and credit card reservation are required at mikeswinedive.com.

Bordeaux Wine Tasting at aVenue Banquet Hall: This wine tasting, put on by Auburn Spirits, is at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at 13303 W. Maple and will feature seven Bordeaux wines plus snacks  plus a Riedel wine glass to keep.  Admission is $35 a person. Reservations are required by calling 316-440-1111.

Old Cowtown overflowing with food, drink

Old Cowtown Museum will be full of food and drink lovers this weekend. The venue at 1865 W. Museum Blvd. has two big food events scheduled.

Local restaurants will be competing for these beautiful burger trophies this weekend.

On Saturday, a new fundraiser called Battle of the Burger will fill the grounds.  The event, a fundraiser for KETCH, starts at 6 p.m. Saturday and will have six local restaurants serving samples of their burgers, trying to claim the title of best burger maker.

The participating restaurants all have good burgers, so competition should be fierce: Fizz Burgers & Bottles, Mooyah, The Anchor, Public at the Brickyard, the Hyatt’s Harvest Kitchen/Bar and Heroes Sports Bar & Grill.

In addition to sampling the burgers, attendees also get a beer, dessert, chips and access to  car show, wagon rides and live music by the band Turnback Creek. I’m a judge at the event, so I’ll see you there.

Tickets are $35, available at the door or by visiting ictburgerbattle.com or by calling 316-383-8889.

Just look at these folks, moseying with their wine.

Then, on Sunday, the fifth annual Wine Mosey will move in.  It’s scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. and will feature hors d’oeuvres provided by the Double Tree by Hilton Airport and a barbecue dinner by Wichita Wagonmasters. It also will feature stagecoach rides, saloon girls, antique bowling and gunfights plus a live auction and music by the Diamond Wranglers. Admission is $40 a person at www.wichitatix.com or by calling 316-350-3323.

Three wine and beer events this month

Wine and beer fans will have several more opportunities this month to demonstrate their preferences in public. Several dinners centered around adult beverages are planned. Among them:

Firkin Beer and BBQ at Oeno, 330 N. Mead on July 19:  Oeno’s a classy wine bar, but on July 19, it’ll be more of a beer and barbecue place. The bar will put on an event called Firkin Beer and BBQ, which for $25 a person will offer two beer tickets, access to a barbecue buffet and live classic rock from the band Back Roads. For reservations, call 316-440-5000.

Picnic Day at Grace Hill Winery on July 21: The Kansas winery at 6310 S. Grace Hill Road in Whitewater is putting on a picnic day, which will feature a menu of pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, cherry tomato salad and homemade brownies. Those who attend will buy picnic baskets, which are $15 apiece and include the recipes for the dishes plus a glass of Grace Hill wine. RSVPs for the event should be sent to info@gracehillwinery.com.

The Pink Party by Auburn Spirits on July 30: The liquor store is putting on a rose wine tasting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on July 30. The event will be at Rolling Hills Country Club, 223 S. Westlink, and will include samples of six still and sparkling dry roses paired with rose-inspired hors d’oeuvres. Pink attire is encouraged. For reservations, call 316-440-1111.

Eat a pig, have a beer, meet a chef

November, the most delicious month of the year, is starting off deliciously with several interesting dining events.

I love the logo Oeno Wine Bar, 330 N. Mead, came up with for its Pig Out Swine & Wine dinner, scheduled for 7 p.m Saturday.  will feature all the best parts of the big, including a pig ear salad, crisp pork belly and bacon and maple gelato. It costs $35 a person, a three of the courses will be paired with wine. It starts at 7 p.m. For reservations and information, call 316-440-5000.

A few days later, Oeno’s sister restaurant — Caffe Moderne, which sits across the plaza at 300 N. Mead, is putting on a Tallgrass Beer Dinner featuring beer from Tallgrass Brewing Company. It’s $35 a person and starts at 7 p.m. Thursday For information, and reservations, call 316-260-1199.

Chef Aaron Whitcomb during his last class at Cooking at Bonnie’s Place

Also, I’d recommend the Nov. 15 cooking class being put on at Cooking At Bonnie’s Place,  9747 E. 21st St., by Chef Aaron Whitcomb of Denver, who is the executive chef for Newport Grill. I attended his last class this summer so I could write a story, and I learned tips from him I still use today. Plus, the food was delicious.

This one will start at  6:30 p.m., and attendees get to see Whitcomb prepare a meal and then sample it for themselves. They also get the recipes. He’ll post the menu soon. Admission is $55 a person. Make reservations at www.cookingatbonnies.com.