GOLDEN AGE: There was a time when tastings were strictly about two things: red or white. Wines pretty much ruled the sampling world, with beers making an oh-so-rare appearance now and then. And today? You know where we're about to go: Every libation has its day in the sun, or night by candlelight, if you prefer. Even olive oils, vinegars, and hot sauces make cameos on the tasting scene, meaning that things that used to make occasional cameos before now make more frequent appearances. Like? Well, whiskey, for one; we haven't seen an autumn or winter go by the last few years without a few fine whiskey tastings around town. One that's caught our eye is the Balcones Whiskey Pairing Dinner at Berkeley's Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa. It's set to pour on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 10.
ON THE MENU: Five courses, starting with the Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad and Rumble Whisky. The Fried Chicken with Blue Corn Polenta Cake and the Baby Blue Whiskey it will be matched with also catches our fancy. Even the Chocolate Cinnamon Lava Cake'll come with a swig of Texas Single Malt. Balcones Distillery is at the helm of the flavorful event. Cost is $89 per person. It's true that you'll catch another whiskey tasting soon if you miss this one. But there's something lovely and deep about partaking in this particular spirit on what is truly feeling like one of the first autumn weekends of the year. Autumn and whiskey? They're old partners indeed.