How sweet it is out West
West of Western Culinary Festival: Arizona's big food and wine show starts with a Wine and Chocolate Opening Gala where chocolatiers present their finest creations and sommeliers pour reserve list wines. Two days of al fresco food sampling will follow on the grounds of the Phoenix Art Museum. More than 50 chefs from independent restaurants and resorts in Arizona will participate, and each day chefs will demonstrate their skills on a main stage. More than 100 wines will be available for sampling in the museum's Great Hall. Cooking classes, children's activities, and live music will round out the festivities. This fourth annual festival includes such chefs as Paul Carter of The Phoenician, Aaron May of Sol y Sombra, and Deborah Knight of Mosaic. Some of the wines represented will be Red Heads Wine, Napa Cellars, Kenwood Vineyards, Steele Vineyards, and Green River Sake. Tickets range from $75 to $150. www.westofwestern.com, 602-262-5652.
FEB. 27-MARCH 1
New York Wine Expo: Closer to home, the New York Wine Expo follows a similar program to Boston's. More than 170 producers will show off their vintages at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Seminars, guided tastings, and food demonstrations with such chefs as TV's Martin Yan are offered Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. March 1 is for trade only. Costs are $75 to $95 with extra fees for seminars and some tastings. www.wine-expos.com/wine/ny.
FEB. 20, 22
San Antonio Wine Festival: If you're looking for a wine event on a smaller scale, you might head to Texas for this festival in its 29th year. The event starts with a grand dinner Feb. 20, then skips to Feb. 22 with a champagne brunch. The wine and food tasting is that evening with local restaurants and food shops offering samples, along with wines from the competition. Proceeds benefit KLRN public television in South Texas. Tickets range from $40 to $150. www.sawinefest.com, 210-270-9000.
Classic Wine Auction: Events are scattered across six days, starting with Wines by the Glass March 3. A series of wine dinners at more than 30 restaurants paired with vineyards follows March 3-5. These dinners are popular and some are already sold out; see website for availability. The March 7 auction and other events benefit family and children's services in Oregon and southwest Washington. Ticket prices range from $25 for the wines by the glass class to $750 for an individual package. www .classicwineauction.com, 503-972-0194.
FEB. 27-MARCH 1
Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show: Winter can seem interminable, but spicy food can remind you there are other temperatures. This 21st annual show will provide thousands of hot sauces, chilis, and other products to sample. There will be barbecue, entertainment, and a competition to judge the hottest chilis on the Scoville scale, called the Scovie awards. Entry is just $15. www.fiery-foods.com, 505-873-8680.
Culinary Tour of Parma: Academia Barilla has designed a six-day culinary tour for Sur la Table, the cookware store. The trip will be over Easter, an especially festive time in Italy. Participants will learn to prepare Easter and regional menus from the Po Valley. There will be many meals, tours of artisan shops, and meetings with producers of Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, and other products. Cost is $3,900. www.surlatable.com (search parma).
Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online to confirm. Alison Arnett can be reached at email@example.com.