Upcoming Events: French Wine, Polish Sausage and Greek Gyros for Everyone

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After a highly successful guest sommelier series at Phil's Wine Lounge, wine whiz Vanessa Treviño Boyd is raring to go again. This time, the Philippe sommelier is hosting a new summer series starting on Wednesday, May 22. Phil's Wine Lounge -- located on the first floor of Philippe -- will host tastings every other Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m..

The first summer wine tasting on May 22 is "Everything's Coming Up Rose," where Treviño Boyd will explore and explain 15 different Rose wines. Next up on June 5 is "Introduction to Blind Tasting: What Am I Drinking?" followed by "Wine-Inspired Cocktails with Laurie Sheddan & Leslie Ross of Ladies of Libation" on June 19, "Contemporary Women Winemakers: Les Femmes Fatales" on July 3 and finishing with "Sommeliers-turned-Winemakers: Turning the Corner" on July 24.

The cost is $40 for each tasting, which includes wine and a cheese plate per person. Space is very limited, so reservations are required. Email kgarver@phillippehouston.com to save your spot.

Next weekend, head out to the 7th annual Polish Festival. The yearly festival is held at Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish at 1731 Blalock Drive, not too far from Polonia -- the city's only Polish restaurant. Traditional Polish treats including pierogi (stuffed dumplings), golabki (cabbage rolls), bigos (hunter's stew) and kielbasa (sausage) will be for sale, as will a huge assortment of traditional cakes and desserts prepared by Our Lady of Czestochowa's parishioners. The beer garden will also be well-stocked with Tyskie, the beer you drink when vodka isn't available.

In addition, enjoy live Polish music all day on the main stage presented by local artists and musical groups from the parish, tours of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a silent auction and a supervised kids' area complete with games, face painting, snacks, bungee jump and other fun activities to keep the kids entertained while you eat your weight in Polish sausage.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 pm. on Saturday, May 4 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. Admission is $5, with all proceeds going to benefit the Pope John Paul II parish hall, and parking is free.

If you missed the big Greek Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral this past fall, don't fret. Houston has two giant Greek festivals every year, and our annual spring celebration of all things Greco is coming up next weekend.

The 18th annual Houston Greekfest will take place, as always, at St. Basil's on 1100 Eldridge Parkway. The 20-year-old parish has grown larger and larger with each passing year, and so has its festival. In 2012, more than 6,000 people attended - and more are expected this year. That's why the Greekfest is spread across four days: Thursday, May 16 to Sunday, May 19.

In addition to tours of St. Basil's, dance performances, delicious Greek cuisine and beverages, Greek art, jewelry and imported gifts, Niko Niko's will also host its World Gyro Eating Championship on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. The contest is proctored by Major League Eating (MLE) and the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) and offers $4,000 in prize money, which means the serious competitive eaters will be flocking to this free-for-all.

The Greekfest runs from 4 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 10 and under.

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