We know its hard trying to find a good excuse to sip a little bubbly this far past the holidays and New Year’s. Tonight’s Schramsberg Vineyard Sparkling Wine Dinner at Stephen Starr’s Granite Hill at the Art Museum seems like as good of an excuse as you’re going to get. The Napa vintner’s sparkling wine is said to be the country’s most authentic wines made in the Méthode Champenoise, and what Nixon used to toast peace with the Chinese back in 1969. The $65 three-course dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.
• If you’re interested in something a little less stuffy, tomorrow’s annual Chili Cook Off at the venerable Pub on Passyunk East just might be your thing. It’s too late to enter, but $5 at the door will get you samplings from the contest’s 12 entrants.
• Also on Saturday afternoon, Iron Hill’s Maple Shade location will unveil Jersey’s Finest, a collaborative brew from Iron Hill’s Chris LaPierre and Flying Fish’s Casey Hughes. It will be featured alongside other Garden State-brewed beers.
• While on the subject of beer, this weekend could be your last chance to score tickets to South Philly Tap Room’s annual Beef and Beer. The all-you-can-eat-and-drink affair doesn’t take place until Sunday, January 30, but seats are quickly being filled.
• On Sunday the Khyber Pass Pub will host a barbecue dinner with acclaimed author Gary Wiviott. He wrote the book on barbecue. Literally. It’s called Low and Slow: Master The Art Of Barbecue In 5 Easy Lessons. The $35 family style dinner will feature ribs, brisket, smoked duck and pork served alongside fried okra, collard greens, baked beans and more, all paired with choice selections from the Khyber’s far-reaching draught list. After dinner Wiviott will field questions from diners.
• Amis begins it’s Sunday Gravy Dinner, a three-course meal inspired by dinner at Marc Vetri’s grandmother’s South Philly home. The dinner features antipasti, pasta and slow-cooked traditional red gravy with Sal’s (Vetri’s dad) meatballs, sausage and hard-boiled eggs, garlic bread and dessert.