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North Hills Monthly

Winter Wine Events Provide Reason to Get Out of the House

Dec 31, 2019 11:32AM ● By Hilary Daninhirsch

Cranberry's Wine 'n Shine Palooza

If you’re a wine enthusiast, you’re in luck this winter, as you’ll have your choice of numerous wine festivals and events scattered throughout the region.

On Sunday Jan. 5, Cranberry’s Wine ‘n Shine Palooza will take place at the Doubletree Cranberry. The event will feature more than a dozen regional wineries, such as Deer Creek Winery, Hazard’s Distillery, and the aptly named Wine O’Clock Somewhere Winery. Produced by WinefestPa, the event will also feature food and product vendors. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.winefestpa.com. Children under the age of 21 can attend with a parent.

Palate Partners & Dreadnought Wines will be hosting a class called Climate Change and Wine in Pittsburgh at its location on Liberty Avenue on Tuesday, Jan. 7. True to the title, the evening will focus on how climate change affects vineyards, and attendees will be able to sip wines impacted by climate change. Buy tickets at www.showclix.com by searching for the event.

A brand-new restaurant in Millvale, Sprezzatura Café, will be hosting a Women & Wine event on January 14. The event will include wine samples crafted by four women around the world and will be paired with snacks made in-house. Adam Knoerzer, a local certified sommelier and wine educator, will be speaking; Knoerzer is the United States’ champion in the Wines of South African Sommelier Cup 2019. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m.; tickets are available at Eventbrite.

The Crystal and Terrace rooms in the Butler Days Inn will be the site of the 14th annual Butler County Wine Festival. There will be two sessions on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 2-5 p.m. and from 6:30-9 p.m. Close to a dozen Pennsylvania wineries will be on site, along with high-end merchandise vendors, and of course, goodies and refreshments to sample. The event is hosted by Butler Radio Network. Advance tickets are $20, or $25 at the door. Visit www.wisr680.com/wine-fest for tickets.

How about pairing that wine with a little (or a lot) of chocolate? If you like the idea of indulging your sweet tooth while sampling wine and craft spirits, look no further than the Pittsburgh Chocolate, Wine & Whiskey Festival. In addition to gourmet truffles, cupcakes, macarons, and a chocolate fondue bar, you’ll also find savory indulgences such as cheese and charcuterie. Did we mention the chocolate fondue bar? Because it’s worth repeating. 

Visitors will also be able to sample select craft beers and ciders along with premium wines and whiskeys. The event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Rivers Casino on the North Shore. Tickets can be purchased at https://chocolatewinewhiskey.com.

The chill of winter is not limited to weekdays, so why not indulge in some wine on a Wednesday? The Greer Cabaret Theater in the Cultural District is hosting Wednesday Wine Flights: Strictly Oddball on March 4. The event will feature local speakers who will discuss the thousands of grape varieties unknown to most of us, including unusual grapes that comprise the basis of certain wines. Appetizers will be provided. Tickets go on sale on January 10 and must be purchased by February 29. Search Wednesday Wine Flights at https://www.trustarts.org for tickets.

If a Wednesday wine night was appealing, why not go to another on a Thursday? And if you’re supporting a good cause, all the better. The Crushed Grapes Wine Tasting Event is an annual charity shindig sponsored by Sisters Place, a housing community based in Clairton that supports single-parent families experiencing homelessness in southwestern Pennsylvania. Now in its 18th year, this popular event, which will be held at Nova Place on the Northside, attracts about 500 people each year. In addition to live music and food stations provided by an eclectic selection of Pittsburgh-based restaurants and catering businesses, there will be a silent auction and raffle with many chances to win prizes donated by local businesses. Examples from last year include items from Oakmont Bakery, Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Dave & Busters and Venture Outdoors. The event will also feature a wine pull. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Learn more at www.sistersplace.org/events/crushed-grapes.

If you want to not only taste some fine wine but learn about their complexities, characteristic flavors, foods they pair with and more, check out the annual Pittsburgh Wine Experience on Sunday, March 29 at the Comfort Inn and Suites at RIDC Park in Harmarville. A combination wine tasting seminar and wine appreciation experience, the event will also include educational information for new and experienced home winemakers, who will be provided with an opportunity for their wines and wine label designs to be reviewed for awards. 

Visit http://www.pghwinexp.org for more information.