Wine is an effective cure for ailments such as boredom, conversationitis, and pasta-mouth. At Dry Comal Creek, you’ll imbibe a wide range of home-bred, adult grape beverages that are complex and stimulating in a way that makes grape-juice boxes flush with jealousy. You and a friend will taste an array of 10 wines, from dry whites and reds to demi-sweet wines. The Mongrel Bastardo offers a tongueful of sweetness laced with pineapple and lemon, and Comal Red IX pairs perfectly with barbecue, lending its powerful bouquet of blackberry, cherry, and chocolate. With 10 educational palate-pleasers in your repertoire, you'll get one non-reserve bottle to take home.
A crackling fire warms guests perched at white-draped tables in the candlelit wine cellar. Upstairs, diners marvel at the picturesque views of the vineyard and rose garden filling the glass-enclosed patio's windows or deeply inhale the aroma of wildflowers drifting onto the vine-covered porch. It's against these intimate backdrops that servers at The Vineyards Restaurant deliver steak, seafood, and other upscale dishes to tables, which come aglow with candlelight as dusk falls.
The chefs work hard to make each bite as special as the surroundings. They age beef-tenderloin fillets for 45 days before plating them atop garlic-and-mushroom sauce and slowly marinate chicken in a spicy chipotle-garlic oil before nestling it in a bed of pasta covered in cilantro cream sauce.
With such food in such a setting, a regular night out at The Vineyards is one to remember, but a special occasion there is truly magical. For marriage proposals, anniversaries, and the reunions of long-lost pairs of socks, staffers lead guests down a candle-strewn path to a private table set for dessert among the vineyard's rows of grapevines. The Vineyards has held more than 500 weddings in its open-air pavilion, and its on-staff wedding coordinator and floral designer help plan picture-perfect ceremonies.
NOLA Tropical Winery's stock brims with unique cork complements that range from utilitarian koozies to artsy cork cages. The shop's arsenal of accessories lets fermentation fans pour their choice of nectar into a Rednek wine glass ($19.99), a classic mason jar affixed with a chalice stem and screw-on lid for mess-free inebriation and appropriate accompaniment to black-tie hog-wrasslin' parties. Bottles become objets de beauté on a stainless steel double-arc wine balance ($13.99). For wine-inspired olfactory enjoyment or a wine-inspired way to burn junk mail, Tropical Wine soy-blend candles ($17.99), including bosky Florida Fever and sweet and grassy King Kiwi, abound in scents to match NOLA's fruit-based libations.
More than 30 wineries dot the idyllic Texas Hill Country, the historically rich backdrop for ARC’s Wine Plus’s tours. The company’s signature excursion, the wine tour, makes stops at three or more wineries, where guests can swig samples as guides share facts about wines, specifically those born in Texas. Brew tours, on the other hand, showcase Texan beer and its history. During tours of local breweries, groups can soak up the guide’s exhaustive knowledge with their brain sponges while sampling local suds.
Led by a professional artist and New Orleans native, the classes at Creole Canvas are designed to be engaging for those with painting experience as well as welcoming for beginners, with no previous experience required. Students sit down in front of a provided canvas and munch on snacks and beverages they've brought along while the teacher guides them through the steps of creating a work of art. Once they've brushed, daubed, and passionately splattered their pieces to completion, students can take them home to show off.
The wine experts at Water 2 Wine ferment their own varietals onsite and please oenophiles' palates with more than 100 wines from 13 countries. Visitors may sample their diverse offerings by the glass or bottle or learn about winemaking in edifying classes. Water 2 Wine also assists wine aficionados in creating their own custom-labeled batches of wine onsite.