Tip of the week/Make back-to-school trip a 'two-fer'
-Georgia's sales tax holiday is Thursday through Sunday, a big boost for retailers as parents stock up on back-to-school needs from clothing to supplies to select electronics. North Georgia Premium Outlets will be a hub of back-to-school activity. So while in Dawsonville, save a little time for a quick tour or two of the nearby Dahlonega wineries or tasting rooms around the square. After a few hours of retail therapy, a little wine sampling will do you good.
Speaking of trips, Marietta Wine Market organizing road trip to Dahlonega Sunday, Oct. 4. Here's the deal: The popular Marietta wine shop is putting together a bus trip Oct. 4 with stops at Wolf Mountain, Three Sisters and BlackStock on the schedule. The cost: $85 per person. The bus leaves Marietta at 10 a.m. and is due to return around 6:30 p.m. Seats are filling quickly. This is a great way to see some of the North Georgia wineries if you haven't done so before. Details: Marietta Wine Market.
>Sidebar: Wine enthusiasts in the I-75 corridor should subscribe to the Marietta Wine Market's e-mail newsletter. We just did and we're already planning our fall calendar around it. Lots of great events including a "Spirits & Spirits" series of ghost tours in October.
Fresh from the Wine News Vine (and Twitter): Monaluce is "pushing up our red bottling date to Aug. 6. Final preparations being made by Stefano Salviniand Oliver."
Saturday, Aug. 1, Banfi Wine Dinner, at Montaluce. This is a multicourse wine dinner with Executive Chef Steven Hartman and crew pairing with Banfi Winery. Cost: $85 per person. RSVP to 706-867-4060. For details on the Banfi Wine dinner and other upcoming events at Montaluce, click Events.
Sunday, Aug. 2, Tiger Mountain: The After Five String Quartet performs from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres and cheeses will be served in the tasting room afterwards. Admission, $5. The tasting room will be open until 5 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 2, Wolf Mountain: 7th Annual Regional Artisan Cheese Month. Each Sunday in August, Wolf Mountain presents handcrafted cheese from artisans throughout the Southeast. The cheeses mix with the Sunday brunch ($30 per person, not counting wine or tip).
Saturday, Aug. 22, Annual Tomato Festival, at Crane Creek, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Young Harris-area restaurants and food vendors will be giving away samples. Also: A special lunch by Chef David with all things tomato. Adults $20, ages 13-20 $10; children under 12 free. Ticket price includes wine tasting, souvenir wine glass, lunch.
Saturday, Aug. 29, Farmer's Pasta Dinner, 7 p.m., at Crane Creek: The dinner starts with a cocktail hour at 7 on the decks overlooking the vineyard. Dinner is served in the Barnswallow Pavilion, prepared by Chef David. Included for $55 per person (doesn't include wine): salad, main course and dessert. Reservations required)
Sunday, Aug. 30, 13th Annual Vineyard Fest, Chateau Elan: 1-5 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and sold only in advance. Schedule: More than 100 domestic and international wines. Ticket includes parking, wine glass, tasting, admission to seminars, food samples, music, grape stomping.
And for our beer fans:
-15th Annual Southern Brewers Festival, Chattanooga, 2 p.m. until midnight. Brews from across the Southeast plus live music, food and vendors. Click Chattanooga.
-Second Annual Rome Beer Tasting Festival, Sept. 19: The 2009 edition is set for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at Heritage Park off Second Avenue. More than 50 beers will be featured. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the gate. The event benefits the Rome Area Council for the Arts. Details: 706-295-2787> Details