Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover, as the terrific new barbecue book by Raleigh News and Observer columnist Fred Thompson proves. The cover of Barbecue Nation: 350 Hot-Off-The-Grill, Tried-And-True Recipes from America’s Backyard features a gorgeous USA-shaped steak on a grill. And since Thompson will be at Malaprop’s this Friday, July 6, at 7 p.m., to sign his book, you can pester him about when he’s planning to release a matching T-shirt. Alternately, you can just ask him about grilling sausages, pizzas and fruit—and gear up for a top-notch summer grilling season.
Speaking of ‘cue, the Carolina Mountain Ribfest offers a whole weekend of it. Making its debut at the WNC Agricultural Center from Friday, July 6, through Sunday, June 8, the event will feature barbecue prepared by dozens of world-class chefs and vendors, along with a heaping helping of country, rock and blues music. Admission is $6 for adults, and children under 12 get in free. Get details at www.ribfests.org or by calling 628-9626.
Travelling around the world isn’t cheap—unless you go via wine bottle. Greenlife Grocery is offering a $10 wine-tasting with hors d’oeuvres and music that will virtually take participants to all corners of the globe. The events runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 14. Call 254-5440, ext. 1416 to learn more.
Bruisin’ Ales and La Caterina Trattoria are planning a culinary-diplomacy caper that will match Belgian wines with Italian food. “Belgium Meets Italy II,” which at least sounds like a summer blockbuster, is scheduled for Monday, July 16, at La Caterina in downtown Asheville. The five-course meal will feature beers including Tripel Karmeliet, Saison Dupont and Boon Oude Kriek. The price is $55 per person. To reserve a spot, call 254-1148.