The Boston Wine Expo’s Grand Tasting event unites varietals from nearly 200 wineries around the world with cuisine from more than 40 local eateries during four hours of culinary harmony. Attendees can sip more than 1,000 red and white elixirs culled from the grape-producing and wild-cork-taming regions of North America, Europe, the Southern Hemisphere, and the Mediterranean. Samples from Boston-area restaurants such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Sandrine’s Bistro complement each swig as vintners enlighten enophiles on current winemaking trends. Throughout the afternoon, top gastronomic maestros tread two stages during live demonstrations that divulge recipes and directions for finding the secret compartment hidden inside every wine bottle. Lifestyle exhibits and a full schedule of seminars enlighten guests on topics ranging from cheese-and-wine matching to the diversity of Italian varietals (not included with this Groupon). A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit local charities.
Tours take guests through the Bully Boy Distillers to see how Will and Dave Willis make small batches of white rum, Boston rum, organic vodka, and organic white and wheat whiskey. Visitors might also learn about how the family farm that now houses the distillery was once home to a stash of Prohibition-era spirits, and how the brothers named their enterprise after a much-loved workhorse from that farm—which in turn was named after a term coined by their great-grandfather's college roommate, Teddy Roosevelt.
The food at Shays Pub & Wine Bar ranges from Tex-Mex feasts to light servings of hummus, but all the dishes are united by one common thread: almost everything is made in-house from scratch. One example: the homemade enchilada sauce, which is smothered atop burritos bursting with melted cheese, rice, jalapeños, and onions. The fries are likewise homemade and hand cut, and make a perfect accomplice to the cheddar cheeseburger and the turkey and bacon sandwich. The wines on the menu, however, were not made in-house; even better, they hail from Italy, France, and New Zealand. Shays Pub also features 10 brews on tap and a list of bottled beers that includes Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Sam Smith’s Nut Brown Ale.
Growing up across the street from the historical North End building where Villa Francesca now stands, Guglielmo Ranauro never guessed that he'd open a restaurant in 1976 and name it after his beloved mother. Ranauro was inspired by her traditional cooking and wanted to create a place where other people could get an authentic taste of Italy.
Today, Ranauro has handed over the family legacy to longtime manager and protégé Tomas Salmeron. Salmeron and his culinary team continue to follow those classic recipes, turning fresh-caught fruits of the sea into a daily seafood prix fixe menu. Furthermore, they transform chicken, lamb, steak, and veal into dishes you might find while strolling through a Tuscan piazza or steering a one-person submarine down a Venetian canal. The eatery’s extensive wine list, which includes 140 Italian and international varieties, earned a 2012 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Even the ambiance points diners in the direction of Italy: tin ceilings and stained-glass accents add Old-World nostalgia, and the exposed-brick walls are anchored by Romanesque archways and paintings of bustling village scenes.
Thousands of fashionistas flock to StyleFixx Premier Shopping Events to meet up-and-coming independent fashion designers and browse the latest styles. This year’s displays include the 2012 lines of Hivernage NYC, Bling Boutique, and Cimber Designs. In between shopping sprees, attendees may relax with complimentary beauty treatments such as hair services by Dellaria Salons, makeovers by Virginn Pure Mineral Makeup, and body wraps by good-natured mummies. Once pampered, refreshed guests mingle while sipping free cocktails and munching on samples from Finale Desserts and Haru Sushi, and each partygoer receives a StyleFixx Swag Bag loaded with product samples.
In 1995, Jeff Popkin was tired of hearing about parties only after they happened. Being a fan of parties, he did not appreciate this, and he imagined other people shared his sentiment. He started Boston Event Guide, a website that aggregates upcoming bashes in one place including some of the top booze cruises in Boston such as the Summer Party Cruise. In addition to posting events such as fashion shows at the Liberty Hotel, party cruises, and beer-and-chocolate tours, he and his staff send out a weekly newsletter that highlights top events that are ideal for company outings, birthdays, or group parties.