Nothing warms your insides like friends, family, holiday cheer and a good dose of quality alcohol. Lucky for you, we’ve got a lineup of events on tap that will go down nice and smooth. Attend one of 12 celeb-chef inspired dinners at Meadowood’s 12 Days of Christmas, or if you’re craving some warm weather with your champagne and hor d’oeuvres, head down to the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival. Plus, Dallas’ Winter Warmer and New Orleans’ Tale of the Toddy deliver the best in local specialty brews and cocktails. So take a big bite (or gulp) out of the holiday season and attend an awesome food event.
Meadowood 12 Days of Christmas
Napa Valley, CA
Through Dec. 21
Waiting for Christmas is tough, but indulging in the most innovative and inspiring cuisine in California’s legendary wine country isn’t such a bad way to bide your time. Chef Christopher Kostow has invited 12 of the nation’s most influential chefs to collaborate and cook with him over the course of 12 days in The Restaurant at Meadowood at Napa Valley’s Meadowood Estate. The festival kicks off with a dinner from Andy Ricker of Portland and New York’s Pok Pok restaurants, and continues with Ashley Christensen from Poole’s Diner in Raleigh, Momofuku's David Chang and others. Why settle for one holiday dinner when you can have 12?
Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival
West Palm Beach, FL
Why do birds fly south for the winter? Hot, sunny weather, for one, but it could also be the epicurean pleasures served at the Palm Beach Food &Wine Festival. The festival features specialty cocktail and hors d’oeuvre receptions, five-course dinners with wine pairings and a final grand tasting and cooking competition. This year’s event will showcase the talents of Chopped co-star Marc Murphy, Iron Chef Robert Irvine, Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi and “Unwrapped” host Marc Summers. All net revenues benefit the Chefs Dish Back Foundation, which donates to a number of charities including American Red Cross, No Kid Hungry and the James Beard Foundation, so you can tip back your champagne glass with pride.
Dallas Winter Warmer
Rhizome Productions Inc.’s Dallas Winter Warmer is the city’s first and only winter beer festival. A ticket will land you 12 samples of stouts, porters, barley wines, barrel-aged beers, cask beers and winter seasonals. Fuel up on grub from local food trucks and restaurants, but it’s not all about food and drink — you might actually learn something. In the “No Beer Left Behind” Education Tent various breweries will host seminars, including a lecture on barrel aged beers from Bailie Duncan of Real Ale. And if you need a study break, jam out to live music from roots rock band Somebody’s Darling.
Tales of the Toddy
New Orleans, LA
From the brilliant booze-aficionados that brought us Tales of the Cocktail comes the 8th annual Tales of the Toddy, where New Orleans' best bartenders reel in good tidings with some super-special holiday cocktails. This year, things are getting competitive: five teams will offer up a cocktail to be judged in categories ranging from “best nog” to “best toddy.” After the competition, the festival continues with food from 18 participating local restaurants, an after-party at Barcadia and plenty more drinks to last you through the evening.