They’re baaack! It’s the time of year when the fans of winter holidays can indulge in the pageantry of parties, decorated Christmas trees, menorahs, and endless talk about what and where to eat and drink. Luckily, we have some rockin’ events happening in D.C. this week and next that include the release of the 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau, the ever-popular Smithsonian Holiday Festival, the Metrocooking DC conference that includes guest appearances from some of the biggest-named chefs in the United States, and an “edutaining” sake seminar at a beloved sushi place in Bethesda, Maryland.
Nov. 17 ENO Wine Bar Beaujolais Nouveau Showcase
If you are a certain age and love wine, the third Thursday (at 12:01 a.m.) in November, aka Beaujolais Nouveau Day, has traditionally been a big deal, here and across the pond. Les Français still celebrate with parties, fireworks, and French flags, but the younger generations just don’t have the tradition. If you want to give this fresh Gamay-based new wine a try, head to our favorite wine bar, ENO. They are celebrating the way they know best: with wine, cheese, and chocolate. This Thursday, Nov. 17, you can join them to sip a glass or two of Beaujolais Nouveau Villages Vielles Vignes from Domaine Duperray. It’s a crisp, pale ruby wine that is easy to drink, and at $11 a glass pairs perfectly with the wine bar's tasty food offerings.
Nov. 17 Sushiko to Host Sake Tasting Led by International Sake Master and Sommelier
You think you know sake? Think again. What you don’t know may surprise you, and if you want to learn more, attend this free killer premium sake tasting at Sushiko tomorrow from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Leading the tasting is Christian Choi, an international sake master and sommelier whose 20 years of experience will wow you and make you want to learn more about this nuanced drink from Japan. Guests will enjoy an impressive collection of high-profile sakes complemented by edamame. (Our tip: Grab a table for dinner following the sake tasting to round out the experience.) It’s a fun way to enjoy a special bottle of sake with dinner. This event is Sushiko’s debut of its newly revamped premium sake list, and it’s bound to be a crowd favorite.
Dec. 3 & 4 Metrocooking DC Hosts Celebrity Chefs and Exciting Food and Drink
If you are a fanatic foodie and can’t get enough of James Beard, Top Chef, and celebrity chefs, then head to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center next weekend. That’s where the 11th annual Metrocooking DC showcase is taking place, and it includes specialty food shopping, cookbook signings, celebrity chef demos, interactive food events, and many great things to eat and drink. You can get up close and personal with fan favorites like chefs Jacques Pépin, Tom Colicchio, Carla Hall, Duff Goldman, and dozens of D.C.-area chefs, vendors, and restaurants.
Advance general admission tickets for adults are $21.50 per person and $10 for children, ages four to twelve. Each ticket gives you access to the James Beard Foundation cooking stage. For additional fees, you can attend cooking classes; visit the beer, wine, and spirits garden; the BBQ Bash; and tasty bites at the RAMW Grand Tasting Pavilion. Also, there are VIP ticket packages that offer an exclusive meet-and-greets with Tom Colicchio, Jacques Pépin, and Duff Goldman.
New this year, an all-inclusive ticket option gets you into the James Beard Foundation Cooking Stage, RAMW Grand Tasting Pavilion, BBQ BASH, and give you access to hundreds of specialty food vendors.
Dec. 3 & 4 The Smithsonian Hosts Its Annual Holiday Festival
Ready to hit the museums and do some holiday frolicking? Then head to The Smithsonian for its 2016 holiday festival. The fun will be at the National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, Sackler Gallery, National Museum of the American Indian, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of African American Art, and The Smithsonian Castle.
Highlights include a tasty Mars chocolate demo, musical performances by the U.S. Air Force Band High Flight, special holiday screenings of The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Polar Express, a showcase of the food astronauts eat in space, a family holiday photo, and seasonal drinks and treats. If you still have gifts to buy, there will also be trunk shows featuring apparel, jewelry and art, and book signings. For just a dollar, festivalgoers can ride the D.C. Circulator to the holiday festival museum locations. For the entire event schedule, visit the holiday festival webpage.