Cold beer — The 3rd Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival is near. The sudfest has been so successful, it has outgrown its location in Lansing and has moved to Grand Rapids. Those willing to make the drive should go to Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. Plan to wear long johns, hat and mittens and mark your calendar for Saturday, Feb. 23.
Good taste — A charity wine tasting called "The Wine Event" will feature more than 300 wines from around the world, accompanied by selected cheeses, olives and chocolates. It all happens at the La Sala Banquet and Event Center, inside Papa Joe's Gourmetrion in Rochester Hills. The event benefits the Rainbow Connection, a charity that strives to grant the wishes of critically ill Michigan children. It takes place 6:30-9:30 p.m., Friday, March 7; $60 per individual, $100 for couple. La Sala is at 6900 N. Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-853-6263.
Extra smooth — The Grey Goose jazz monthly concert series at Seldom Blues continues this week with jazz singer Maysa and smooth jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic. Seldom Blues, an upscale jazz supper club, will host two concerts on Sunday, Feb. 17, including an intimate dinner performance at 5 p.m. and an 8 p.m. performance, sans dinner. In Tower 400, Level 1, Renaissance Center; 313-567-7301; $80 for the dinner performance (includes a four-course meal); call 313-567-7301, ext. 112, for reservations; $30 for the non-dinner performance at 8 p.m., available through Ticketmaster.
EAT THE PAGE
Marjorie Druker is passionate about soup. "My niche is taking what people like to eat and turning it into a soup," she says. In New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation's Best Purveyor of Fine Soup (Thomas Nelson $24.99), she and co-author Clara Silverstein have created a must-have book for soup lovers. The cover photo is a teaser, followed by mouthwatering recipes for split pea with bacon and potatoes, roasted yellow beet and pear soup with blue cheese and curried crab and coconut soup, just a few of unique flavors found in this exceptional volume.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
From the Minho region in the far north of Portugal comes Vinho Verde, a lightly carbonated wine meant to be consumed within a year of bottling. Try a $4 bottle of Espiral from Trader Joe's. Lower in alcohol than most wine, it is refreshing with the essence of crunchy green apples, citrus and just a hint of melon and finishes with a snappy acidity. Pour a big, breezy glassful and dream of sunsets on Atlantic beaches or use a splash to make a nice pan sauce for sautéed lake perch.
There are knives and there are Warther hand-ground knives that are as attractive as they are functional. Made by the descendants of Ernest "Mooney" Warther, who founded the company 106 years ago, they can be found at the Warther Carving Museum and Knife Factory (warthers.com) — which also serves as a home for many of the ebony and ivory carvings that senior Warther originally designed his knives to carve. They are remarkably well-priced, a testimony to the desire of the family artisans to put their fine products into the hands of those who appreciate them.
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