For all of you connoisseurs of box wine (you know who you are), here's your opportunity to get some schoolin'. The 8th Annual Vin Arte Tasting and Wine Sale kicks off Vin Arte, Wine Masterpieces, a two-day celebration of wine sponsored by the museum's volunteer-run Men's Arts Council.The Friday night wine tasting is followed by a Saturday night gourmet dinner. These annual events are a rare chance for the general public to wet their noses with some fantastic wine.
Some of the superstar wineries appearing this year at the Friday event are the California vintners Rudd Estate, Anderson's Conn Valley, and Chateau Potelle. The wunderkind of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Torii Mor, will also make an appearance. In all, more than 40 top vineyards will be represented.
What distinguishes this wine event from others is "the fact that we have a premium selection of wines for sale," says Greg Ross, this year's chairman from the Men's Arts Council. "All proceeds go to a charity," he adds.
True enough. Vin Arte benefits the Phoenix Art Museum's ArtWorks Gallery for children and families. Do it for the kids.
The Vin Arte Tasting and Wine Sale takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 7, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central. Tickets are $45 in advance or $50 at the door. Tickets are $175 for the dinner and wine auction, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 8, also at the museum. For more information, call 602-307-2060 or visit www.mensartcouncil.com.- Maidi Terry
Yeah, baby we love the Wheels of Britain Car Show for its gorgeous display of shined-up, sexy rides. Now in its fifth year, the free event is "highly unusual," says planning committee member Michael Goodwin, because it's a multi-mark show (meaning multiple brands) that brings together all the local British car clubs. For you, dear car lover, it means that you can get an eyeful of Jaguars, MGs and Triumphs, all in one spot. Among the more than 100 entries will be other collectible vehicles, from motorcycles to military vehicles. Everything happens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at Heritage and Science Park, located at Seventh Street and Washington. For details call 480-759-9386. Michele Laudig
Empty Nest Syndrome
The bird is the word at this weekend's 15th annual Chandler Ostrich Festival, even if the birds themselves won't be on hand. While worries about a recent virus outbreak will keep feathered friends away, the three-day wingding at Tumbleweed Park, 2250 South McQueen in Chandler, still features a parade, arts and crafts, carnival games, and yummy emu eggs and ostrich jerky. Racing llamas, yaks, zebus and zebras will replace the running of the ostriches, as two stages rock with local bands, dance teams, martial arts demos, and concerts by America and Grand Funk Railroad.
Festival hours are 3 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 7; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, March 8; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, March 9. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors, and $1 for ages 5 to 12. See www.ostrichfestival.com for a complete schedule. Jill Koch
Mika My Day
A good martini at the end of the day can change our mood from sour to sweet. Throw in a massage or a makeover, and a movie, too, and we can't think of a way to make happy hour any happier. Mika Movie Star Mondays happen throughout March at Mika Asian Grill, 6166 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, the "younger sister" to Chef James McDevitt's celebrated Restaurant Hapa. Between 5:30 and 8 p.m., $12 gets you a martini plus a massage from the Institute for Natural Therapeutics or a makeover courtesy of Rolfs, Pucci and Leidan Mitchell salons. Proceeds on Monday, March 10, benefit American Red Cross. Call 480-991-0471 for details. Michele Laudig