Home Industry News Releases Vara Winery & Distillery to Offer Special Menu Oct. 7-15 and Grill Master...

Vara Winery & Distillery to Offer Special Menu Oct. 7-15 and Grill Master Pop-Up Oct. 11 at Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta


(October 2, 2023; Albuquerque, NM)— As New Mexico welcomes visitors to delight in the vibrant balloon-filled skies of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Oct. 7-15, VARA Winery and Distillery, a craft producer of uniquely New Mexican wines and spirits, will be extending hours and offering special menus including grab-and-go options for picnics. Adding to the week-long lineup of festivities, Vara will also host a barbecue popup with Albuquerque-born barbecue personality Calvin Evans on Oct. 11 at the Albuquerque tasting room, which is located at 315 Alameda Blvd NE, off the southwest corner of Balloon Fiesta Park. 

From VARA’s tasting room lawn, guests can enjoy balloons floating overhead alongside breakfast burritos and coffee from Voltage Coffee Project. For lunch, VARA will be serving sandwiches, salads and tapas board offerings. In the evening, visitors can enjoy sumptuous dinner menu options including elote en vaso, loaded papas bravas, and chicken pintxos kabobs with tomatoes and pearl onions, while enjoying views of the fireworks. Libations will flow with a selection of VARA’s award-winning wines, spirits and cocktails–all made in Albuquerque.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m., grill master Calvin Evans will be hosting a pop-up dinner at Vara, showing off the mouthwatering flavors of pork tomahawks grilled over an open wood-burning fire. Calvin has made a name for himself as an expert griller who has been featured at some of the cooking industry’s most prestigious barbeque events, including the Windy City SmokeOut and Valle de Guadalupe Food and Wine Festival. Calvin’s one-day events sell out quickly, and visitors in town for the Balloon Fiesta will not want to miss the opportunity to experience his cooking. Tickets are $100 per person, with the option to add on a $25 VARA wine pairing. A vegetarian menu is available for $45 per person.

The VARA Albuquerque tasting room is located at 315 Alameda Blvd NE and will be open at the following times:

  • Saturday, Oct. 7: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 8: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 9: Closed
  • Tuesday, Oct. 10: Closed
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., by reservation only for Calvin Evans pop-up
  • Thursday, Oct. 12: 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 13: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 14: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 15: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

About VARA Winery & Distillery

Founded in 2016, Albuquerque-based VARA Winery & Distillery at once embraces and defies tradition, making it one of the most disruptive and exciting producers in the United States today. As a circle of professionals who are masters of their respective crafts and have witnessed and shaped the American beverage landscape, the VARA team is united and impassioned by the prospect of breaking boundaries and creating something entirely new. VARA is inspired by the wine history in New Mexico, which started in 1629 and is as rich, diverse, and storied as the region’s colorful landscapes. The road to American wine began with Spanish missionaries who came through New Mexico to California. VARA sources varietals from all three places and intentionally blends them to create beyond the standard cuvées using innovative techniques. At VARA, a melding of varieties and sources focuses not on what wine should be but on what wine can become. The goal at VARA is to embrace diversity and make delicious wines and spirits that are greater than the sum of their parts. VARA Winery & Distillery produces still, sparkling, and fortified wines, along with brandy, gin, rum, and vodka. VARA’s Albuquerque and Santa Fe tasting rooms also offer wine and cocktail classes and curated tapas. 

For more information about VARA Winery & Distillery, please visit www.VARAwines.com and www.VARAspirits.com

Follow on Social Media:

  • Instagram: @VARAwine
  • Facebook: @VARAWines


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