Saturday, September 8, 2012

Santa Fe's Annual Wine & Chile Fiesta

Santa Fe has its share of fiestas and notable events throughout the year, most within walking distance of The Madeleine Inn.   One of the most enjoyable and highly-anticipated is the Wine & Chile Fiesta, where walking distance might well be a very welcome attribute.  The five day celebration of food and wine runs from September 27-30, 2012.  Due to its increasing popularity, I highly recommend purchasing your tickets online as soon as possible, as most events sell out in advance.

The annual event brings 75 of Santa Fe's most notable restaurants (La Boca, The Compound, Santacafe and Restaurant Martin are some of my favorites) together with 100 national and international wineries.  In addition to food and wine tastings on both a large and small scale (a tour of Georgia O'Keeffe's home in Abique followed by lunch at Tomme is a top pick), are demonstrations by some of the country's top chefs (Chef John Rivera Sedler - named "Chef of the Year 2011" by Equire Magazine, among other national food celebrities), food-oriented walking tours, and a selection of wine seminars.

The highlight of this extravaganza is the Grand Tasting, taking place on September 29th at the Santa Fe Opera, which includes all participants of the fiesta under huge white tents.  Imagine sampling the best food of Santa Fe together with wines from New Mexico to Mexico, Chile to France, while enjoying the opera's stunning views of New Mexico landscapes.  The cost of the event is $150 per person, and worth every dollar.

The weekend culminates with the Gruet Golf Classic at the Towa Golf Course, just 15 minutes from town.  Every third hole features one of the Gruet Winery's delicious sparkling wines paired with food from a different Santa Fe restaurant.  Golf never tasted so fine!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fiesta de Santa Fe

This next weekend brings the Annual Fiesta de Santa Fe - now a full week of cultural and religious events in celebration of the reoccupation of the Spanish Colonists, led by Don Diego De Vargas, in 1692.  The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn is conveniently located in the heart of the action, so guests can easily participate in all events without the hassle of driving through traffic and searching for parking spaces.

Activities run the gamut from religious events and parades to the crowning of the Fiesta King and Queen, to mariachi music, Spanish dancing, arts & crafts, and traditional regional foods.  Best to check out the schedule online to figure out what you want to experience during Fiesta week.

My favorite event of the weekend the beloved Pet Parade, scheduled for Saturday, September 8, from 9am - 10:45am.    Guests can simply walk two blocks to the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Palace Avenue to watch the beginning of this fabulous parade, which consists of over 1000 children and their pets, all dressed up in a variety of costumes.  The parade, which got its start in 1920, gives children a chance to show off a range of family pets: from dogs, cats and rabbits to the more unusual lamas, chickens, goats, turtles and more.  The creativity of the costumes is astounding.  You might see anything from mini Zozobras to zebra-painted kittens, guinea pig pirates to ghoulish ghosts.  The Pet Parade is truly a delight for viewers of all ages.