The 1.5–2-hour event, which starts at 7 p.m. on a Friday of your choosing, takes place in the wine-tasting room. Set in a French Country House, the tastery features Nebraska vintages from sweet to dry, beer, food, and a wine troll. While sipping sips at the special after-hours event, you'll learn wine lessons from the vineyard's owner's daughter, who is studying to be a sommelier. The unintimidating course includes tips on how to rate, taste, and judge a wine, so you'll leave with the ability to determine if a wine has oaky undertones or hints of tire iron.
Froth-topped glasses of house-made beer welcome patrons to Rock Bottom Brewery, where chefs prolong the flavor fun with creative American dishes made from scratch. To pique the interest of coy appetites, kitchen artists toss firecracker shrimp in sweet thai chili sauce and pair ale-brushed giant ballpark pretzels with spicy spinach-cheese dip. Stomachs ready for main fare can request a plate of short rib, braised overnight and dished with white-cheddar mashed potatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, pearl onions, and mushroom sauce. Half a roasted hunter’s chicken lounges in a wild mushroom and tomato demi-glace, and the creole jambalaya’s jumbo shrimp parades into mouths atop a float of andouille sausage, roasted chicken, tomato sauce, and white rice. The pizza selection sends toppings to tables via flatbread rafts, and Bourbonzola burgers bombard mouths with a combination of Jim Beam glaze, creamy gorgonzola cheese, and crisp onion straws—the same mixture that Kentucky gentlemen use as shaving cream.
Bob Curttright knew that wine tasted better when it's enjoyed in a scenic setting. That's why he set out on a search for the perfect setting before opening his winery, Whiskey Run Creek. He found the setting he dreamed of in a century-old barn owned by Julius Bergmann and moved the historic structure—which was built from oak and walnut beams without a single nail—more than 18 miles to a creekside property.
Now owned by Ron and Sherry Heskett, they fill visitors' glasses with wine made from Nebraska-grown ingredients. In addition to varietals, such as Chambourcin and Edelweiss, their winery produces seasonal fruit wines made with apples and cherries from local farms. Guests can relax with their wine on an expansive deck or explore renovated brick caves built in 1866.
Jasper's Bar & Grill utilizes delectable pub grub and varied entertainment to satisfy diners' desires for a great night out. Grilled to order fare includes the handcut rib eye steak ($15.99), a lightly seasoned, 14-ounce mountain of meat. Sweet teeth sing the hallelujah chorus after getting a whiff of sweet potato fries, served with house-made cinnamon butter ($3.99). Hot roast-beef sandwiches showcase thin-sliced protein pieces piled on Texas toast and arrive at the table with mashed potatoes and gravy ($6.99). For mushroom-munching mandibles, the pub offers a feast of fungi, such as the marinated portabella stewed in tomato-basil sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese and accompanied by a slew of side options ($8.99). Complement any meal with a whistle-wetting beverage from the full bar or a sincere observation about how attractive it looks slathered in ketchup.
The young crew behind ONEHOPE Wine believes wine can do more than dance with flavor and stain frocks fashioned from fine white camel hair. Each bottle has been instilled with a rich taste and beauty to complement its selflessness. One ONEHOPE box yields one bottle each of California merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, zinfandel, sauvignon blanc, and an exclusive summer white (an $18.99 value per bottle). The 2008 merlot uses grapes grown in the Lodi and Paso Robles regions, where a cool Pacific fog maintains grape acidity, creating a full flavor that complements its black cherries, plums, and figs.
Perhaps one of the best words to sum up winemaker Orville A. Gertsch's method is patience. In 1996, he decided to turn his winemaking hobby into a profession, and planted his first vines the following year. And yet it wasn't until the 2001 harvest that Orville was ready to push his wine into full retail production. That same year, he registered his operation's name: Prime Country Winery.
Though he handed the managerial reins to his son Fred in 2002, Orville still draws from more than 30 years of experience to produce a range of handmade red, white, and blush wines. He and his staff use only the grapes they harvest on their own Denton vineyard, a decision central to their mission and to ensuring none of the grapes are actually tiny spy cameras. They pick all of their plantings by hand, and rack—rather than filter and pump—the must, a labor-intensive process that Orville finds infinitely more rewarding. Using these old-fashioned, chemical-free processing techniques in tandem with modern steel equipment, Prime Country Winery fills its tasting room with craft wines ranging from dry to sweet.