Whiskey, Wine & Festive Feasting at the Royal Oak Farmers Market

By: Toni Cunningham | November 6, 2013

If there’s one thing that puts a spring in everyone’s step, it’s the holidays. While some of you may get an eye twitch at the mere thought of decking the halls already (it is a tad early), the Royal Oak Farmers Market is hosting three events this week and weekend that will surely lift your spirits and put you in a festive mood.

The farmers market will kick things off with Celebrate the Season Holiday Extravaganza on Thursday, November 7 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event will highlight some of the greatest aspects of the holiday season, including food, drinks, entertainment, and vendors for holiday gifts.

Local restaurants and caterers will provide the food, including barbecue, soul food, vegan and vegetarian fare, which will be available for purchase. Those 21 and up can indulge in a martini bar, too.

The best part of this Holiday Extravaganza? Admission is free! If you pre-register online before the event, it doesn’t cost anything to walk through the doors. However, if you fail to do so, you’ll have to cough up $5 at the door. So don’t forget to register!

In addition to the gifts for purchase (it’s never too early to start checking items off your shopping list!), there will be workshops to learn all about holiday entertaining and decorating. While Martha Stewart won’t lead the class, you’ll still pick up plenty of helpful tips for throwing a dazzling holiday party.

Keep in mind, however, workshops cost an additional $10. It’s well worth it, though! Topics include Crowd Pleasing Vegan and Vegetarian Holiday Fare, Stunning and Affordable Holiday Tablescapes, An Introduction to Gluten Free Holiday Baking, and more. For a full list of workshops, as well as times, check out the schedule here.

If holiday spirits are what you seek, Whiskey Business will be held on the following evening, Friday, November 8, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The bourbon-based event will feature 100 plus whiskies from all around the world—and they’re all available for sampling! What better way to select the spirits you plan on serving to a room full of dinner guests this Thanksgiving?

Several brands of whiskey that will be represented at Whiskey Business are Michigan ones, including Valentine Distilling of Ferndale and Grand Traverse Distillery.

Tickets can be purchased in advance and cost $40 (for a general tasting pass), $60 (for a VIP pass) or $10 (for a DD pass). The general tasting pass includes a tasting cup and 10 drink tickets, while the VIP pass will get you into the event one hour earlier and includes 15 drink tickets, as well as a meet and greet with brand specialists.

Whiskey Business will feature guest speakers Dan Tullio, Master Ambassador of Canadian Whisky, and Kent Rabish, representative of Grand Traverse Distillery. And what goes better with whiskey on the rocks than a cigar or two? Several premium cigar producers will be on hand to distribute cigar samples.

If wine is more your style, you’re in luck! Sip, Savor, Stomp is a holiday wine spectacular presented by Westborn Market that will be held on Saturday, November 9. The festivities begin at 8 p.m., with VIP entry an hour earlier at 7 p.m.

The evening will feature plenty of opportunities to sample over 100 varieties of wine, as well as cheese, chocolate and wine-inspired cuisine. Several of the wine and food vendors at Sip, Savor, Stomp are Michigan ones, so you’ll be able to enjoy local products! Local jazz musician Ben Sharkey will provide the night’s entertainment.

Tickets cost $40 to (for a grand tasting pass) $60 (for a VIP pass) in advance. This is a great opportunity to pick up a few bottles of wine for gift giving, since all of the wines available to sample are also available for purchase at a discounted price. Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” quite like a bottle of vino, right?

If, like me, you’ve never been to a professional wine tasting before, take a look at this guide on the official Sip, Savor, Stomp website for some handy tips and guidelines.

Whether you like it or not, the holiday season is being thrust upon us! There’s really only one way to dive in, and that’s headfirst. Allow one (or all three!) of these festivities to help soften the blow.