Wine & Dine: Memphis food and drink events to mark on your calendar for April
From opening day of a farmers market to beer and wine festivals to a beloved 30-year crawfish fundraiser, here are several Memphis-area food and drink events to attend in April.
Memphis Farmers Market Opening Day
Memphis Farmers Market kicks off the 2023 season on April 1.
Open every Saturday from April-October at GE Patterson and Front Street, the market showcases locally sourced produce and food items, as well as locally produced kitchen and garden arts and crafts from the Mid-South.
In addition to the dozens of vendors, you can enjoy live music and weekly themed events and fun programs.
For information on vendors and entertainment, visit memphisfarmersmarket.org.
When: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday April-October
Where: 566 S. Front St.
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Vegan Block Party
The Vegan Block Party is a day filled with epic vegan food, drinks, two DJs and lots of fun. The Vegan Block Party was created by Cynthia Daniels & Co. to showcase healthy brands in Memphis with fun music.
This event is family-friendly and open to all ages. Bring blankets and lawn chairs, but no pets, coolers or outside food allowed.
When: Noon-5 p.m. April 1
Where: Fourth Bluff Park
Tickets: cdcofestivals.com; advance registration required.
Soul & Spirits Beer Pairing at Char
Char will host a four-course beer pairing dinner on April 4. Chef David Loggins has created a special menu to pair with a selection of beers from Memphis’s own Soul & Spirits Brewery in celebration of National Beer Day that week. Ryan Allen, master brewer and co-founder of Soul & Spirits, will be at the dinner to talk about the drink pairings with each course.
When: 6:30 p.m. April 4
Where: Char, 431 S. Highland St.
Cost: $60 per person
Reservations: Call (901) 249-3533
MoSH Unlock The Vault
Join MoSH (formerly known as the Pink Palace) for a white glove tour of the Cultural History and Natural Science vaults. While guests tour, Chef Jimmy Gentry of the newly opened The Lobbyist at Chisca restaurant and Paradox Catering will create an exclusive taste of the region paired with specialty cocktails. Beer and wine will also be available.
When: 6-9 p.m. April 13
Where: MoSH, 3050 Central Ave.
Cost: $100 per person ($95 for museum members)
Wiseacre’s Taste the Rarity
Wiseacre Brewing Co. will host its eighth Taste the Rarity event on April 15.
Featuring breweries from all over the country, Taste the Rarity is a specially curated festival dedicated to beer, fun and weirdness. Brewers bring their best and weirdest beers to Memphis for this annual event. Your ticket includes a wristband, taster glass and four hours of unlimited drinking. Expect live music, food trucks and other nonsense to enjoy.
When: 3-7 p.m. April 15 (The festival is rain or shine if there is inclement weather.)
Where: Wiseacre Brewing Co. OG, 2783 Broad Ave.
Cost: $70 for general admission; $115 for early entrance VIP tickets
Barbecue and grilling classes at The BBQ AllStars
Want to learn to barbecue like a pro? Take a class at The BBQ Allstars. This superstore was created by award-winning pitmasters for lovers of barbecue and all things outdoors.
The April schedule for cooking classes includes "Beefapalooza — All Things Beef” on April 15 and "Porkapalooza — All Things Pork" on April 29. Both hands-on classes will be taught by award-winning pitmaster Melissa Cookston and include lunch and snacks.
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 15 or 29 (depending on the class)
Where: 875 Goodman Road East, Southaven
Cost: $149.99 per person per class
Registration: TheBBQAllstars.com, or in-store
Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival
The 30th Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is April 16. This year's festival will be back in Downtown Memphis at its traditional location on Riverside Drive.
The annual event features more than 15,000 pounds of crawfish, live music and games for the kids. Proceeds from the event support Porter-Leath, a nonprofit that provides social services to at-risk children and families in Memphis.
Known as the unofficial start of spring in Memphis, Rajun Cajun is one of the few remaining Memphis festivals that does not charge an admission price in order to welcome all Mid-South families to enjoy a fun-filled day together. Crawfish is sold in 3-pound buckets and is usually $30 per bucket (depending on crawfish market price).
When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. April 16
Where: Riverside Drive, between Jefferson and Union Avenue
For more information: porterleath.org
Sunday Supper Pop-Up at Salt | Soy
Salt | Soy restaurant co-owner and chef Brad McCarley has started a Sunday Supper pop-up series featuring chefs he is friends with. The pop-up menus feature small plates designed by McCarley and his guest chef. The first pop-up, called Drink & Hungry, was on March 26 and featured chef Lee Mitchell. The theme was "the finest elevated trailer park cuisine available world-wide" and included dishes like Rotel Chicken Empanadas and Musubi Mini Dogs with house-made spam. The next pop-up is April 16 with Salt | Soy sous-chef Brittany Brown.
When: 6-8:30 p.m. April 16
Where: Salt | Soy, 2583 Broad Ave.
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Vintage901 Wine, Food and Music Festival is back this year for the seventh time. The Grand Tasting will be held at Arrow Creative on April 22, while the Sparkling Brunch will be at the FedEx Event Center on April 23. The Wine Coach Laurie Forster is coming back this year as the Vintage Sommelier for both events.
When: April 22-23
Where: The Grand Tasting is 6-9 p.m. April 22 at ARROW Creative, 653 Philadelphia St. The Sparkling Brunch is noon-2p.m. April 23 at the FedEx Event Center, 415 Great View Drive East.
Cost: The Grand Tasting is $80 per person (an early-entrance VIP ticket is available for $125. The Sparkling Brunch is $125 per person.
HOPPED Beer Festival at Memphis Made Brewing Co.
The HOPPED Beer Festival is back again this spring. Memphis Made Brewing Co. will have a bunch of limited-run hoppy ales released throughout the day, plus much more on tap. As they have done for the past seven years, the first 100 customers will receive a HOPPED 2023 glass. Gourmade and Dim Sum will have their food trucks parked in the brewery lot during the festival. The Turnstyles will kick off the live music at 1 p.m., followed by The Late Greats at 3 p.m.
When: Noon-10 p.m., April 22
Where: Memphis Made Brewing Co., 768 Cooper St.
For more information: memphismadebrewing.com
The Black Arts & Wine Festival
The Black Arts & Wine Festival will take over MoSH, offering attendees a chance to experience visual art by more than 30 Black creatives and sample wines and liquors from 20 Black-owned brands. Those attending can also shop with local vendors, vibe with DJs and purchase dishes from popular food vendors.
When: 1-5 p.m. April 23
Where: MoSH, 3050 Central Ave.
Cost: $50 per person
Breakfast for Dinner, a benefit for Room in the Inn-Memphis
The annual Breakfast for Dinner benefitting Room in the Inn-Memphis will be back again for the fourth year. The menu includes traditional pancakes, specialty pancakes, breakfast casseroles, pastries and more. There also will be Memphis Made beer and brunchy-style cocktails.
Founded by a group of friends, both old and new, all with a variety of skillsets, the purpose of Breakfast for Dinner is to host a dinner that raises money/awareness for Room in the Inn – Memphis. Room in the Inn-Memphis provides shelter and hospitality to people experiencing homelessness.
When: 5-7:30 p.m. April 29
Where: First Congregational Church, 1000 Cooper St.
Cost: $20 for adults; $10 for children 10 and under
Riesling/Rose Rundown at Rootstock Wine Merchants
Rootstock Wine Merchants is hosting a special wine tasting focused on Rieslings and Roses. 36 wines will be available to taste, and then purchase, at this free event. Special guests Jane Lopes and Jonathan Ross will be pouring wines at the tasting. This wife and husband team are the co-founders of Legend Imports: a company devoted solely to importing Australian wine to the U.S. You must be 21 or over to attend.
When: 1-4 p.m., April 29
Where: Rootstock Wine Merchants, 644 Madison Ave.
For more information: rootstockmemphis.com
2023 Beale Street Wine Race
The annual Beale Street Wine Race is back again this year. Watch and root for your favorite restaurants and bartenders as they compete in four events for cash, prizes and glory. Awards for Parade, Queen of the Vine, Grape Stomp and the Great Wine Race. This free, public event is loads of fun (prepare to have purple teeth) and is not to be missed.
When: 1 p.m., April 30
Where: Beale Street
For more information: bealestreet.com
'All Things Spring' Pop-Up Wine Dinner at Studio 688
Tsunami chef Kevin Sullivan and pastry chef TaUndria Chears are doing a pop-up wine dinner at Studio 688. Sullivan said the menu is a surprise with every course will be explained once everyone is a few bites in, but the guiding influence will be spring. If you are looking to experience something different, meet new people and try some food combinations you never considered before, this is a pop-up to attend.
When: Cocktails at 5 p.m., Dinner starts at 6 p.m. April 30
Where: Studio 688, 688 Cox
Cost: $145 per person
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.
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This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis food events to attend in April 2023