A very good year The 25th annual fund-raiser and celebration known as WineFest 2007 kicks off this week with two special dinners: a winemaker dinner (Wednesday, May 2; $150) and the first annual Medici dinner (Friday, May 4; $175). Billed as the largest wine festival in the Midwest, the event begins Saturday. WineFest 2007 will raise money for the Ann Arbor Art Center. Lovers of the grape may expect a strolling supper and wine tasting, silent and live auctions, a rare-wine bar, desserts and coffees, and a nightcap (9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.) with port, sherry and cognac. Starts 6 p.m., Saturday, May 5, at the Ypsilanti Marriott at Eagle Crest, 1275 S. Huron St., Ypsilanti; $200; for tickets and more information, call the Ann Arbor Art Center at 734-994-8004 extension 101or see annarborartcenter.org.
Pour for paws Big Rock Chophouse will host a winemaker dinner with Rosenblum Cellars, which has created a dog-themed line of wines to help launch the winery's partnership with "Paws with a Cause," a charitable leader in training assistance dogs for people with disabilities. The winery will donate a portion of proceeds to the charity. Reception begins at 6:30 p.m. on Big Rock Chophouse's outdoor stone terrace. The dinner will include seafood bouillabaisse with clams, mussels and shrimp in a saffron broth, grilled ostrich tenderloin with warm arugula and potato salad, and Moroccan barbecue lamb with spiced ratatouille and scented couscous. Wednesday, May 9 at 245 S. Eton St., Birmingham; $125 per guest; reservations required; call 248-647-7774 or see faygo.com) for mail-order instructions.
A Tasty Beverage>
When local wine expert Putnam Weekley speaks, we listen. Devoted to finding wine bargains for his customers at Cloverleaf Fine Wine and Spirits in Southfield, Weekley's latest tout is 2004 Côtes du Rhône, Domaine la Montagnette. He calls it a $14 wine that should be a $20 wine but he's selling it for $9. This is a wine that is made without filtration, sulfites, designer yeasts and other additives; much the same process applied to far more expensive wines. In other words, a bargain, but only if you like it.
If you have an apple corer or peeler, chances are it's been in your family since grandma began baking apple pies. Perhaps you've looked at it from time to time, wondering what it was. Simply center it on top of an apple and push downward using the large handles, and you've got a dozen uniform slices ready to eat, serve or use for baking. You might want to peel the apple first if they're going into a pie. Yes, it's dishwasher-safe. Yes, it does work. That old one in the drawer has probably lost its edge. Available at cookware stores everywhere.
Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.