West of Western Culinary Festival
PHOENIX March 15-16 In the world of wine festivals, this Arizona spectacular featuring 50 chefs and more than 70 wines is a relative newbie. Its fourth annual event will benefit the Phoenix Art Museum, site of the festival. Food and product exhibits, cooking classes for children and adults, chef demonstrations in an open kitchen, and wine tastings will be featured. Slow Food Phoenix will present the Desert Diversity Expo with presentations by Arizona growers and food heritage organizations. Tickets range from $67 to $85 for adults, $22 for children ages 9 to 15, and are free to those younger.
1625 North Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-262-5652, westofwestern.com
Food & Fun Festival 2008
REYKJAVIK, Iceland Feb. 20-24
Setting aside a day for beer drinking might seem unnecessary for this island with a reputation for partying. However, March 1 marks the anniversary of the 1989 lifting of a 75-year ban on beer in Iceland. No wonder Beer Day is a celebration. If you drop in a few days earlier, you can take in the seventh annual Food and Fun Festival, presented by Iceland Naturally. Chefs from around the world will work with Icelandic ingredients to create special dishes. The menus will be featured at restaurants around Reykjavik and include a fish course, meat course, and dessert. There is also a chefs' competition on Feb. 23 in which participants are given 30 minutes to shop for only local ingredients before competing. Prices for meals vary.
McMinnville Wine & Food Classic
McMINNVILLE, Ore. March 7-9
Oregon's wines are feeling the love and this 15th annual event is a good opportunity to get to know them. The festival includes demonstrations by Northwest chefs and food sampling, arts and crafts, and live music. And, of course, there's plenty of wine to sample. Prices are another draw: A three-day pass is $30 and daily passes are $15.
877-SIP-MWFC (747-6932), 503-472-4033, macwfc.org.
San Antonio Wine Festival
Feb. 15-17 In its 25th year, this event, which has grown to three days, features a gala opening, a champagne brunch, and a large fine wine and food tasting. The festival, which benefits KLRN, the public television station for the area, showcases the winning wines from last weekend's San Antonio Wine Competition. Gala tickets $40 to $125.
210-270-9000, ext. 2236, sawinefest.com.
HERMANN, Mo. March 29-30
This corner of Missouri is wine country. But its German heritage will show up when sausage makers and eager eaters get together for this 29th annual festival. There will be gourmet sausages to try and to buy and sausage-making demonstrations. Sausage makers will compete to be deemed the best at wurst-making. A whole-hog sausage breakfast will be offered Sunday, and German musicians and folk dancers will perform throughout the festival. To top it off, a Wiener Dog Derby features dachshund relay races and costume contests. Entrance is free; prices for events and foods vary.
Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; call or check online to confirm. Alison Arnett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.