SIP AND SAVOR . . . Begin your holiday cheer early with a five-course wine dinner featuring California's Patz & Hall, which handcrafts small-lot and single-vineyard wines from Sonoma, the Russian River valley, Mendocino and the Santa Lucia Highlands.
The five-course feast will flow at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the open-air Pulehu Italian Grill in the new Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas.
The resort's Executive Chef Francois Milliet will wow your taste buds with blue-crab cakes with calamansi lime; lobster summer rolls; and Hawaiian salt-braised short ribs with green lentils, Hamakua mushrooms and roasted fennel. Dessert is pistachio creme brulee with coconut-roasted pineapple. Cost is $75 per person. The big news is, Pulehu Manager Caleb Hopkins and Javier Barberi, the resort's director of outlets, were both just certified as sommeliers. Congratulations!
Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas will uncork a Patz & Hall wine dinner Tuesday with its sommeliers Javier Barberi (left) and Caleb Hopkins.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
SUNDAY DRIVES. . . Every quarter, throngs of Maui residents and visitors trek Upcountry to Maui's Winery and Ulupalakua Ranch Store to enjoy the Sunday Drives party and food. The next one, Ulupalakua Sparkles, will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
"The festive event is a way to celebrate the holiday season and enjoy delicious food, live music, free wine tastings and a shoppers' paradise of Maui-style gifts and specialty items," says Paula Hegele, president of Maui's Winery. "On this day, the ranch store and winery will offer exclusive Sunday Drive specials on all branded merchandise and wines - at prices previously only available to those in the Ulupalakua employee 'ohana."
Ulupalakua Ranch Store Deli & Grill will grill Maui elk and beef burgers and serve its famous steak chili along with salads, sandwiches and holiday lunch specials. Maui Culinary Academy will be there with a booth as will Maui Cattle Co., and Hali'imaile Pineapple Co., offering sweet and tasty samples.
In the historic tasting room, sip vintages from the Valley Isle and buy bottles as gifts. Employees will assist with any boxing and mailing. "Come on up and share the Ulupalakua spirit," Hegele says.
BITS AND PIECES. . . A special beer event will flow at Maui Brewing Co. in Kahana Gateway Shopping Center on Friday, Dec. 10, with half the proceeds of pints sold going to Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project.
It's a research organization dedicated to Maui's native birds such as the Kiwikiu, a rare, endangered honeycreeper. The pint benefit starts at 6 p.m., with music by Halemanu beginning at 9:30.
Since 1929, the historic Honolua Store in Kapalua has been a favorite gathering place to pick up some food items, relax and talk story. Its shady lanai and picnic tables take you back in time to the plantation era, and its Hawaiian comfort foods are renowned.
For the holidays, Honolua Store is offering half and full pans of its popular items, prepared from recipes handed down over the generations. Please call 48 hours in advance for chow fun, char-siu chicken, baked mahimahi and potato salad, among others. You may also make special requests. Call 669-7030.
Remember the "Brady Bunch" TV?show? Two of the original cast members will serve as emcees at the Life is Sweet culinary showcase of desserts Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Shops at Wailea. Yes, Greg and Marsha Brady (actors Barry Williams and Maureen McCormick) will guest emcee at the showcase of gourmet desserts by Wailea chefs. You may also enjoy stellar entertainment, a wine tasting and silent auction - all as a benefit for Best Buddies Hawaii programs for Maui schools. The all-star judge lineup so far includes Mick Fleetwood. Cost is $75. Call 242-6962. Watch for further event details in Scene.
* You may call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.