Upcoming Events: 17-Course Dinners and End of the World Wine Tastings

If you haven't yet done your holiday shopping, 13 Celsius is here to help. This Saturday, the wine bar is hosting an incredible End of the World Tasting and Annual Wholesale Event starting at 1 p.m.

During this one-day event, you'll find unique wines at ridiculously low, wholesale prices. First come, first served. The wine bar will also be sampling many of the wines for sale, so you'll know exactly what you're getting. In addition, 13 Celsius is offering "Cellar Tours." Says its Facebook page:

We will guide you to the perfect bottles to bring to Christmas dinner or to wrap up as gifts. Scheduled on the hour, you can select from our stock of wines not included in this special sale. Email info@13celsius.com to schedule your tour. This is absolutely the best way to score some great gems at incredibly low prices. Mike wants to make as much room as possible for new and unusual wines wine for you to enjoy this coming year. This is the best time to buy the good stuff.

There will also be "Pre-Selected Cases" available, cases of mixed bottles that have been assembled by the 13 Celsius staff, and even a few locally-produced foodstuffs: artisan cheeses from The Houston Dairymaids and Belgian chocolates from chocolatier Richard Kaplan at Brown Paper Chocolates.

It's not too late to grab seats to Randy Rucker's two-night dinner run at 907 Franklin, the location usually known as Cafe Luz. Writes the chef on his blog:

the evening will consist of 17 courses that will showcase wild & cultivated ingredients from our immediate & surrounding areas with a few aquatic surprises from the pacific & atlantic oceans... it is still a little early for me to honestly post a menu & try to adhere to it so here is a list of items that are seasonally available & inspiring...

That means to expect dishes created around such ingredients as apples, venison, Gulf shrimp, chanterelles, kombu, sunchokes, wild hog, acorns, hay, root vegetables, goat's milk and much, much more. Tickets are $115 per person or $175 per person if you want wine pairings with your mega-meal and can be purchased online.

Head out to Sullivan's next Friday, December 21 for its annual Naughty & Nice Christmas party, as only Sullivan's can throw. Drink and appetizer specials will be featured all night long in the "Naughty Lounge," along with live music and a fun, holiday-themed photo booth. Try Sullivan's special Christmas cocktails like the Naughty ("Other Mrs. Claus") or the Nice ("Santa's Little Helper") as well as select signature cocktails and select wines for only $6. Plus, you'll have plenty of chances to enter Sullivan's Christmas raffle by earning -- not buying -- raffle tickets. Here's how:

• Donate an unwrapped toy to donate to local families in need • Purchase a Sullivan's gift card • Order one of the featured Naughty or Nice cocktails • Dress up in holiday Naughty or Nice attire • Sign up for Sullivan's email club • Post a Naughty or Nice photo of yourself from the party on Sullivan's national Facebook page

Looking for something a little different to do this New Year's Eve? We've got two ideas just for you...

Celebrate a "Craft Beer New Year" at Cafe Luz along with the League of Extraordinary Brewers on December 31. Starting at 7:30 p.m., the downtown cafe will host a beer-pairing dinner with a steampunk neo-Victorian theme. At 10 p.m., the doors will open to even more party-goers and Cafe Luz will offer a slate of festive fun that includes rare tastings of beer for the New Year and craft hors d'oeuvres complete with a "Champagne Yeast" midnight toast. Reservations can be made at Cafe Luz's website and all proceeds will go to benefit the Brewery Incubator, an organization helping Texas breweries launch.

Meanwhile downtown, MKT Bar will be greeting the New Year in true international style all night long starting at 8 p.m. with its annual Black & White Ball. For only $25 per person, you'll enjoy an assortment of food and desserts, a champagne toast at midnight and the spin sensations of DJ Melodic until 2 a.m. If you're ready to celebrate in many languages and time zones, this is where you'll want to be for the arrival of 2013. Tickets are available for purchase online.

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