The parking area behind Six Plates (2812 Erwin Road, Durham, sixplates.com, 321-0203) doesn't bring to mind Spain's picturesque Basque Country, but one day each summer, the asphalt area is filled with the flavors of that region.
On Saturday, Six Plates will host its fourth annual TxakoliFest, offering wines and small plates from the Basque Country. Txakoli is a slightly effervescent white wine with mineral and citrus components that Six Plates owner Matthew Beason describes as "vino verde with a little more going on" and "a great summer wine."
TxakoliFest will feature eight Basque wines by the glass plus Spanish small plates, including a braised Farmhand Foods (farmhandfoods.com) pork dish and Guilda Pinchos—anchovy- and piquillo-stuffed olives with a baguette.
Beason says the festival "started as something fun to do in the middle of the summer and has sort of taken on a life of its own." High attendance in years past has resulted in three sessions for this year's festival. The first two sessions—1 to 4 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.—require the advance purchase of a $12 ticket, which grants admittance to the part of the festival held inside Six Plates, with acoustic music and a souvenir glass. Wine and small plates are offered for an additional cost.
At 7 p.m., the festival moves outside to the parking area. Tickets to that portion of the event can be purchased for $12 at the door. For the last session, one of TxakoliFest's sponsors, Lucas Gambit Productions, will present a stage with two local bands, including LiLa, a folk hip-hop group from Durham. As with the earlier sessions, food and drinks are available at an additional cost.
Other event sponsors include Kompleks Creative, Wine Authorities, De Maison Selections and Centerba Selections. For more information, visit Six Plates online.
Celebrate with another beverage at Cafe Helios (413 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, cafehelios.com, 838-5177) between 5 and 8 p.m. on Monday. The coffee shop has teamed up with Counter Culture (counterculturecoffee.com) to raise funds for Coffee Kids, an international nonprofit that works to assist coffee-growing families.
Counter Culture Marketing and Communications Manager Mark Overbay describes Coffee Kids as a "wonderful organization with a simple mission" that shows how "coffee farmers aren't just individuals" but "members of families that depend on that work."
The event at Café Helios will kick off a 30-day cross-country bike ride by Steven Prime and Dayle Walker, two fundraisers, cyclists and activists who are working to raise awareness and funds for Coffee Kids' mission. In their honor, individuals who bike to the fundraiser at Café Helios will receive a free iced coffee. As Overbay explains, however, "It's not an event just for cyclists—we want everyone to come out."
The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) recently launched N.C. Farmer Voices, a multimedia presentation of stories from farmers who have participated in the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund. View the stories at rafiusa.org/NCfarmervoices.
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