Grapes have played a tremendous role in human history—many members of the Hapsburg dynasty were at least half-grape—and they tended to do their best work at vineyards. Today's Groupon treats you to one of the San Diego region's better graperies with $75 worth of gourmet cuisine and drinks at Callaway Vineyard and Winery's Meritage in Temecula for $35. You'll also get 10% off everything at Callaway's wine store (just print your Groupon twice to use it once in the restaurant and once in the store). You may use one Groupon for every two people at your table, so you, your identical twin, and your identical twin dates can all enjoy a night of wacky mismatches and delicious food.
The Great Urban Race is a one-day event pitting teams of two against one another in a race combining physical challenges, scavenger hunts, and puzzles. Up to 700 twosomes will traverse 4 to 8 miles of Toronto terrain on foot and by public transportation as they solve 12 challenging clues in a fun quest to reach the finish line first. Sample clues and challenges from past Great Urban Races include charades, bubble-gum chewing, pig Latin deciphering, bicycle races, and word scrambles, making this race ideal for competitive eaters and cryptographers alike. Teams are encouraged to dress up in matching outfits, and prizes will be awarded for best costume. Prizes are also given for race results, with $300 going to first place, $200 to second place, and $100 to third place. The top 25 teams will qualify for the National Championship in New Orleans in November, with the top three teams receiving free entry. Each participant gets a T-shirt and postrace refreshments of fruit, granola bars, and a run through a Perrier sprinkler. Read over the rules and FAQs for more information.
Like the four bearded alchemists who adorn their bottle labels, the four brewers at Craft Brewing Company turn their arcane skills toward fermenting magical potions. The welcome center in their workshop is spare, retaining its industrial-warehouse vibe save for a winding bar with kegs for barstools. Visitors may find themselves popping the caps on mystical brews such as the Raven stout, a Poe-inspired concoction with oatmeal and vanilla, or the Four Headed hefeweizen, based on the tale of Cerberus standing next to a one-headed dog.
The award-winning cuisine at D'Canters' features contemporary American dishes with a focus on steaks and seafood. Sunday champagne brunches, host lemon-blueberry pancakes, and dinnertime starters include jalapeño hush puppies. Entrees run the gamut from wild game specials, natural angus prime steaks and include dishes such as shiitake crusted chicken and prime rib or the signature jalapeño lime salmon. On weekends can guests can revel in fresh oyster and duck menu selections. A full service bar and more than 40 wines by the glass can complement each feast, which unfold amidst the soothing tones of live music every Friday and Saturday.
After 20 years of event planning, Amy Brewen decided to take her show on the road—literally. With a map of Inland Empire's best venues, event spaces, and wineries already in her mind, she connected them all together into packaged experiences with the aid of a little creativity and a classic 32-passenger trolley. The antique vehicle, which maintains all its quaint charm from the wooden seats to the brass bells, was put to work running daily tours through Temecula wine country. As the fleet grew, Brewen added more tours to her repertoire. Today, she conducts excursions to local wineries, microbreweries, and eateries; holiday events; and transportation for tourists or wedding guests.
At Dudley's Wine & Gifts’ laid-back tastings, casually dressed patrons sip vintages to the stereo sounds of rock, soul, and reggae, eschewing the stuffy jacket-and-tie-please attitude of many wine events. At each tasting, knowledgeable staff members obligingly answer all manner of queries—from "What vintage is this pinot?" to "How come it's not spelled 'w-h-i-n-e'?"—helping to cultivate a welcoming and unpretentious atmosphere. Theme nights such as Thursday’s Singles Night and Wednesday’s networking event bring together groups of like-minded drinkers to slap each other’s backs and sip subtle merlots in Dudley’s bright, high-ceilinged tasting room. After swishing a glass, tasters can browse Dudley's cache of gift items, such as its famous tulip corkscrew, or entertain onlookers by reading wine labels aloud in Pig Latin.