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Copa’s 17th Annual Barbecue & Beaujolais Party will feature the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau wines for 2022. The annual tradition marks the first wines produced from the region for 2022and& is celebrated not only in France but with wine drinkers around the world.

The Beaujolais Nouveau varieties are fermented for a short time, and thus produce a vibrant & fruity wine with very little tannins & refreshing taste.

Guests can get a tasting flight of four wines for $22 from November 17-19. Copa will also have a paired food special, a Smoked & Brined Pork Loin Sandwich on a toasted bun with Carolina Gold BBQ sauce, slaw crispy onions, and a bread & butter pickle.

Vocento presents Spain Fusion

Vocento presents Spain Fusion, an exclusive immersive food and wine educational experience in support of foods and wines from Spain. This event will include a day of panels, tastings and meetings with Spain's top exporters of wine, olive oil, cheese, Iberian ham and more.

One of the prestigious speakers attending the event is Master of Wine Fernando Mora, who is one of the only 5 Masters of Wine in Spain. Additional speakers include Chef Periko Ortega, Chef María Jiménez Latorre, and more.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

River Walk hotel swoons with romantic tango series this November

A Night in Argentina

The last tango in San Antonio has not yet been danced, as the ballroom series returns to Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. The ornate riverside hotel offers an annual “Tango in the Courtyard” series, now in its third year, aiming for romance above all.

Weekends in November bring professional tango dancers to the courtyard, an intimate, old world space surrounded by arches, plants, and a decorative waterfall. This ticketed event offers an excuse to visit the hotel as a non-guest, enjoying the atmosphere even without an overnight stay. (Those who do decide to stay overnight may watch from their courtyard balcony if they book the special package.)

Atmosphere is everything for this series, which comes with a bottle of Malbec (a varietal tightly associated with Argentina), an unnamed “traditional Argentinian cheese dessert,” and a red rose. (No one seems to know, definitively, how the red rose between a dancer’s teeth became a tango cliché, but handing it off to your date to remember the night is a classy flourish nonetheless. Perhaps the series, which offers some history with the dancing, has a theory.)

Tango hasn’t always been such a posh pastime. Almost everyone, regardless of dance history knowledge, can recognize the dance that became a sensation thanks to immigrants and lower classes in Argentina during the mid-to-late 19th century. The modified salon dance, European in origin and African and Cuban in alteration, gained a florid reputation as most lower class movements do, as art forms practiced for passion rather than for the eye of high society.

The tango in particular emphasizes close bodies and stiff elegance juxtaposed with moments of high drama. In one of dance history’s most overt gentrifications, the tango made it back to Europe, was reportedly banned by several notable members of 20th century European high society (which always seems to add fuel to the fire of public interest), and a century later, is the height of poise and romance.

The “Tango in the Courtyard” series runs from 7:30-9:30 pm on November 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, and 26. Tickets ($129 for two) are available at hotelvalencia-riverwalk.com. Valet parking is included.

Culinaria Hallowine Run

The Hallowine Run will be filled with more treats than tricks, as the finish line reception features spooktacular bites from some of San Antonio’s best chefs, along with adult beverages.

Photo by Angiola Harry on Unsplash

San Antonio restaurant group paints the town pink for breast cancer awareness

Drink Pink

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, one local company is painting the town pink for the first time in what it hopes will be an annual tradition. FreeRange Concepts — parent company to five Texas restaurants, including The Rustic — is leveraging its three San Antonio businesses in Pink Out Week to raise money for breast cancer patients.

From October 16-23, The Rustic, Bowl & Barrel, and The General Public are hosting fundraising events benefiting the Pink Fund, each with a different public draw. The Rustic will serve frosés (frozen rosé wine), setting aside a dollar per drink. Bowl & Barrel and the General Public are running similar programs, swapping the frozen drink for a cosmopolitan with Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

All three restaurants will accept donations in-person or through a QR code; donors at The Rustic will be entered to win prizes like entrance into local events and gift cards, and donors at the other two participating restaurants are invited to sign cards that will be hung on the walls.

The Pink Fund’s main goal is providing financial assistance to patients, with more than half of that aid going to housing costs, and significant portions going toward transportation and utilities. Since 2008, it has awarded more than 3,200 grants. It has renamed October Breast Cancer Unawareness Month, to reflect the disparity of awareness of the disease, versus the financial strain on seemingly normal life.

“We couldn’t be prouder to partner with The Pink Fund during Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said FreeRange Concepts cofounder Kyle Noonan. “At FreeRange Concepts, we’re dedicated to being an active member of the communities that we are blessed to serve, and we have a lot of fun activations and events planned to make Pink Out Week an amazing experience. We hope to see everyone stop by each of our brands.”

The Rustic is also throwing a party on October 22 to celebrate the end of the fundraising week, with live music and a themed photo booth. There is no event flier out yet, but The Rustic’s performance schedule shows country singer-songwriter Lacy Brinson playing a free show from 12:30-2 pm, and the iconic, genre-shaping folk rock duo Indigo Girls from 9:30-11 pm ($32). Either way, it’s a good day to hang out at The Rustic.

Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock

3 unexpected — but delicious and fun — reasons to travel to Lubbock

1, 2, 3

Looking for a getaway that's full of music, wine, and good food? Look no further than Lubbock, a northwest Texas city that has all this and so much more.

Wine country
The Lubbock area is located within the Texas High Plains AVA, which accounts for 90 percent of all Texas wine grapes grown and produced.

With more than a dozen wineries, and six award-winning wineries in the Lubbock area, wine tastings are available for all palate preferences.

Drop in for a glass or two at Burklee Hill Vineyards and McPherson Cellars, the latter of which is owned by winemaker Kim McPherson, a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist.

Just outside of city limits, Reddy Vineyards, Llano Estacado, and English Newsom Cellars offer full tastings and tours of the vineyards on property.

Llano Estacado is the second oldest winery in the state and hosts multiple wine festivals per year, including Grape Day, an annual event in October that celebrates the end of harvest season.

High Plains cuisine
You'll find that the food here offers a distinct West Texas flare that pays tribute to the ingredients grown and raised in the area.

Not only does the locale have a large influence on the dishes served in local restaurants around town, but Lubbock’s diverse culture is also on display in each plate.

From La Diosa Cellars, a Spanish tapas restaurant, to Llano Cubano, a Cuban food truck, the offerings for dining in Lubbock are as extensive as they are rich.

Restaurants of note include The Nicolett — home to chef Finn Walter, a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas — Dirk’s, The West Table, Claraboya, Thai Pepper, Stella’s, Evie Mae’s BBQ, and Rave On at The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences.

Standing ovation
Music lovers and theatergoers will be thrilled with the diverse lineup of performances onstage in Lubbock nightly. From Broadway performances like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen to national headlining acts like Tim Allen and Lady A, the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences offers shows for all preferences.

As the birthplace of Buddy Holly, Lubbock is no stranger to good music and local talent. The legacy of Lubbock legends such as Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, Waylon Jennings, and Josh Abbott take center stage at one of the many music festivals, including JABFest in October.

Fun fact: Lubbock currently boasts the most live music venues per capita in the Lone Star State.

To start planning your itinerary of Lubbock's restaurants, wineries, and attractions, head over to VisitLubbock.org.

La Diosa Cellars serves a stellar Sunday brunch.

Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock
La Diosa Cellars serves a stellar Sunday brunch.
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San Antonio Missions hit home run with new owners, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio's minor league baseball team scores new owners, including Texas sports legends. San Antonio's minor league baseball team is back to being locally owned — by some big names.

2. H-E-B unveils new line of merchandise for super fans, available exclusively at this store. Kerrville was chosen to launch the company's new line of H-E-B-branded merchandise, in celebration of its 117th anniversary and in honor of its first store.

3. San Antonio market continues to see prices going up and sales going down. San Antonio home sales dropped 19 percent from October 2021.

4. San Antonio Rodeo wrangles even more musical acts for star-studded 2023. Turnpike Troubadours joined the already impressive lineup for the 2023 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

5. San Antonio children's theater adapts timeless children's book for the holidays. Magik Theatre celebrates The Velveteen Rabbit as a Christmas story, with inclusive special performances.

Steven Spielberg opens up personal history in The Fabelmans

Movie Review

For over 40 years, director Steven Spielberg has been delivering some of the most popular blockbuster movies of all time as well as a bevy of Oscar-quality dramas, a combination that’s unique to him. For his latest, The Fabelmans, he’s decided to go more personal than ever, telling a thinly-veiled version of his own childhood.

Sammy (played mostly by Gabriel LaBelle) is one of four children – and the only son – of Mitzi (Michelle Williams), a concert pianist, and Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano), a computer engineer. From an early age, Sammy is enthralled by the art of filmmaking, first remaking a train crash sequence from The Greatest Show on Earth, and gradually moving on to more adventurous stories.

Burt’s advancing career, which moves the family from New Jersey to Arizona to California, causes stress for various members of the family, most notably Sammy and Mitzi. Sammy must deal with anti-Semitic bullies, while Mitzi falls deeper into a mental health crisis. Sammy’s movies continually offer a respite for the family, though, giving him a creative outlet and the rest of them a chance to forget their troubles for a while.

Written by Spielberg – his first writing effort since 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence – and Tony Kushner, the film is heavy on emotions but presented in a way that those feelings don’t always translate. Spielberg is no stranger to depicting fraught family situations in his long career, but in showing ones from his own family, it feels like he pulled back, not wanting the scenes to be overwrought or schmaltzy.

The result is a story that isn’t as universal as some of his other films. As the film is told from Sammy’s perspective, it’s easy to get caught up in his pursuits and various discoveries as he gets older. The mindsets of the rest of the family are less clear, even though his parents and sisters are ever-present. Mitzi’s state of mind is a concern from the start, but it’s not always treated as such by other important characters.

Just as Sammy’s movies are an escape for his family, so too are they some of the best parts of the film. Sammy figuring out the process and secrets of filmmaking is informative and often thrilling, especially if you’re a cinephile. Spielberg has been considered a master for so long that watching him revisit the days when he was learning as he went is catnip for movie lovers.

In addition to being a dead ringer for a teenage Spielberg, LaBelle is a fantastic actor. It’s no easy feat to carry a movie on your shoulders, and LaBelle makes the assignment look easy. Williams’ performance will likely be more polarizing; she employs a very mannered speech pattern that works in some situations, but not all. The film also includes memorable short appearances by Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch, and David Lynch.

Spielberg has provided the moviegoing public with such pleasure over the years that he deserves to have a movie that’s mostly for him. The initial viewing of The Fabelmans left this critic wanting, but perhaps it will gain more traction on a second screening.

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The Fabelmans is now playing in theaters.

Photo by Merie Weismuller Wallace/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

Gabriel LaBelle in The Fabelmans

New self-guided tour showcases iconic Fort Worth Stockyards' many Hollywood ties

Tinseltown in Cowtown

A new self-guided tour showcasing the Fort Worth Stockyards’ many star-studded appearances in cinema throughout the years recently debuted in time for the 16th annual Lone Star Film Festival, which took place earlier this month in the Stockyards for the first time.

Called Stars of the Stockyards, the eight-stop, go-at-your-own pace walking tour guides folks to famous film sites where celebrities have stepped foot in front of Hollywood cameras. Visitors to the Stockyards can access the PDF tour map on their smart phones via QR codes (no app required) posted throughout the district, namely at hotels and tour kiosks.

"The Stockyards is a historic and celebrated destination for many reasons, but one that may be lesser known is its popularity as a filming location for some of our favorite movies and TV series," said Ethan Cartwright, VP of marketing for Stockyards Heritage Development Co.

The tour and corresponding QR codes are a permanent addition to the district, he said.

Stops on the map include the iconic White Elephant Saloon, a hotbed for Hollywood performances including several by legendary actor and martial artist Chuck Norris in the longtime TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger when the watering hole was portrayed as the fictional CD Bar. The White Elephant was also graced by country music superstar Tim McGraw and Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton for their appearances in Paramount Plus’ hit series 1883.

Also in 1883 and featured on the tour is Hookers Grill, hidden in the less flashy West side of Exchange Ave. The burger shack transformed into a gambling den in the show called The Texas House of Liquor & Sport. It’s the only building in the Stockyards that preserved the façade constructed by 1883’s production team. During operating hours, customers can order at the outdoor burger window and dine at patio tables within the two-story structure.

Cowtown Coliseum is marked on the map for its appearances in the 1983 film Tough Enough, where actor Dennis Quaid played an amateur boxer. It’s also the home of the final rodeo scene in the 1992 movie Pure Country starring country music legend George Strait.

Billy Bob’s Texas, the Stockyards Hotel, and even unassuming historic cattle pens also make the list on the tour, along with notations for the Texas Trail of Fame, which features more than 240 bronze markers honoring contributors for preserving and perpetuating the Western way of life.

Veteran actors Sam Elliot and Robert Duvall, both stars in the megahit TV series Yellowstone, are among the most recent Texas Trail of Fame inductees.

For more information and to get started on the tour, go here.