Tastings and Other Ways to Wet the Whistle

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The Wine Depot holds a tasting of Juliusspital wines from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 31. Juliusspital has been in operation since 1576, and I'll bet they've got the whole wine-making thing nailed by now. The tasting will feature everything from a 2006 Juliusspital Silvaner to a 2008 Juliusspital Bürgstädter Mainhölle Pinot Noir, and it’s free. RSVP is required. Call or visit their website to RSVP or for more information.

CataVinos features tastings of French wines from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday through Sunday, July 30 through Aug. 1. $10 buys tastes of six wines, and the tasting on Sunday features a performance by Chuck Aubrey.

Down at Hotel Congress they’re holding a tasting of their new reserve beer selection from 5 to7 p.m., Saturday, July 31. Expect tastes of ales, lambics and rare brews from Belgium, France, Spain, and America for $15.

In related news, the rooms at Hotel Congress are now air-conditioned, and officials are holding an informal unveiling of the new and cooler (and, in some cases, redecorated) rooms at 7 p.m., tonight, Friday, July 30. It coincides with the hotel's Christmas in July celebration, and there will be music, drinking, a snow machine and mistletoe. Admission is a donation to the Tucson Community Food Bank.

Have you tried the Hooligan Punch at Lindy’s on Fourth yet? We have not, either, but if owner Lindy Reilly had anything to do with the recipe, there’s a good chance that it will kick your ass. We’ve seen it perched up on a shelf looking splendid with its flavor-infused liquor and fruit chunks, but we stick with the Pabst on draft.

Janos Wilder’s most recent signature drink is the 135 South Sixth Gin (that, incidentally, is the address of his up-and-coming restaurant Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails), which is made with muddled cucumber and basil, cardamon simple syrup and homemade ginger beer. Sounds refreshing, and it better be for $9.

And then there's Harvest Restaurant, which is currently ruling the happy-hour scene by offering deep discounts on drinks and appetizers from 3 to 6 p.m., every day. The eatery’s commitment to local and organic foods extends to the cocktails, which contain items like local honey and organic apple slices. Trust us: These cocktails are worth the paltry sum Harvest charges for them during happy hour.

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