Side Dish: What's poppin' this week in dining and drinking



A whole new world — One of the great debates among wine lovers is the Old World vs. New World controversy. European wines have been cultivated for centuries, bound to the rivers and soils, or the villages that create them. The Americas are where the trails are still being blazed, with new techniques and blends showing the way. That comparison will be at the heart of a wine tasting at West Bloomfield’s Plum Market called “Old Meets New … Boo! New World Wine Makers & Their Old World Compatriots.” The event will feature a discussion of the adoption of European winemaking methods by up-and-coming American winemakers, as well as the innovations being made across the board. Costumes are optional, though there will be prizes awarded for best costumes. It all happens 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 30, at Plum Market, 6565 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-626-7000; $20.

The fire gets bigger — The Victory Smokehouse, the one-man barbecue army run by pitmaster Chris Callender, will be preparing more than 1,000 pounds of ribs, brisket, and other tasty bits of barbecued fare for its second annual Smoke Harvest this week. Not only will Callender be firing up a collection of aged hardwoods to cook the meat, he’ll be using a custom smoker specially built to prepare this year’s protein-fest, with bourbon tastings and a beer tent available to wash down the plethora of meat offerings. The event takes place noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, outside the Victory Inn, 28950 Mound Rd., Warren; 248-671-6328.

Wines and “Spirits” — The Henry Ford and Oakwood Hospital have joined forces to put on a wine and food tasting event called Wine for the Spirit. It takes place at the Henry Ford Museum, and it will feature more than 80 varieties of wine, as well as pairings with food, raffles, and silent auctions, as well as special toasts and events. The entrance fee is a bit steep, at $175, but proceeds will benefit diabetes education and treatment in the community. It takes place 7:30-11:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Henry Ford Museum, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; call 313-586-4924 for info, or see

Chefs on the Block — The 2014 Signature Chefs Auction takes place this coming week at the Barton Hills Country Club in Ann Arbor. What’s on the block? Signature dishes, prepared live by the chefs who designed them, to benefit the March of Dimes. The fine dining begins at 6 p.m., followed by an auction at 7 p.m. More than 14 Washtenaw County chefs have been selected to provide the event’s offerings. It takes place Monday, Nov. 3, at 730 Country Club Rd., Ann Arbor.

Frank talk — Sal’s Chicago Classic celebrates a year in business, providing the classic Chicago hot dog experience for Downriver residents bored by their native coney dog (though Sal’s now offers those as well). Sal’s Chicago dogs are perfect, right down to the last sport pepper, and the hand-cut fries provide a crispy accompaniment to the main course. In true hotdog stand fashion, seating is limited and carryout business is the focus. Helpt them mark a year in business, at 2330 West Rd., Trenton; 734-307 3170.

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