By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 14, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Good things come in wooden barrels. And that includes both wine and whiskey. This spring, why not celebrate the season with a dinner that celebrates the flavors of the season, along with pairings that complement each dish.

Upcoming whiskey dinners
Craft beers have been gaining popularity as of late. But craft bourbon? Now there's something special.

Join Dream Dance Steak on April 29 for a very special bourbon dinner featuring hand-crafted small batch Woodford Reserve. Five courses include peach-pickled pork tenderloin with red oak lettuce and sliced peaches, bacon-wrapped Cobia with citrus gastrique, braised pheasant with shaved root vegetables, Swiss chard and beet chips and more.

Dinner is $75 per person, not including gratuity. Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner service at 6:30 p.m. Call 414-847-7883 to make reservations.

If you are a rye lover, you won't want to miss the Templeton Rye dinner on May 7 at Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub, 222 E Erie St. The dinner, which is $65 per person (plus tax and gratuity), includes five courses paired with four cocktails made with Templeton rye, as well as a Hinterland beer aged in a Templeton whiskey barrel. A representative from this small-batch Iowa distillery will be present. 

Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Order your tickets online.

Upcoming wine dinners
Wine has always been a classic pairing for fine cuisine, and two dinners presented by area restaurants this April will be no exception.

On Tuesday, April 29, c.1880, 1100 S 1st St., will host James MacPhail, owner and winemaker at MacPhail Family Wines for a very special five-course dinner.

Courses, presented by Chef and Owner Thomas Hauck, will include a triad of starters along with scallops, paired with Granny Smith apples, Meyer lemon and honey, Pied de cochon with cherry mostarda, pomegranite and smoked potato, sturgeon with black trumpet mushrooms, ramps and buerre rouge, and duck with quinoa, king trumpet mushrooms and juniper. A dessert course will feature the flavors of white chocolate, strawberry, angel food and rose. Each course will be paired with a selection from the MacPhail portolio.

The cost for the event is $120 per person. The dinner begins with a reception at 6 p.m. with dinner being served at 7 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 414-431-9271 or emailing 

If you prefer Italian wines, reserve Thursday, April 24 for the four-course dinner at Wild Earth Cucina in Potawatomi Bingo Casino featuring wines from the Veneto region in northeast Italy.

Courses include carpaccio with shaved Parmesan, shaved red onion and white truffle oil, paired with Raimondi San Vito, Repasso Valpolicella, risotto primavera paired with Pieropan®, Soave Classico, pancetta-wrapped Atlantic cod with tomato-caper ragu, paired with Lo Duca, Pinot Nero, and tiramisu served with café and Galliano Ristretto.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6 p.m. Cost is $65 per person. Call Wild Earth Cucina at 414-847-7626 for reservations.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.