1 Toast to winter with wine.
Seminars, wine tastings, and wine dinners are all part of the fun this weekend during the annual Taos Winter Wine Festival. It includes big events like the Grand Tasting on Saturday, when 150 wines from all 30 participating vintners are paired with scrumptious bites from the best restaurants and chefs in Taos. Other fancy events include a champagne and caviar reception on Thursday, and the Willamette Valley Salmon Fest on Friday. Attending vintners include locals Vara and Lescombes, plus Flowers, Elk Cove, Bedrock, Kendall Jackson, and many more. Events happen around Taos, as well as in the ski basin itself. Get tickets and see a full schedule here.
2 Make some papier mâché magic.
The medium of papier mâché permeates Mexican culture, appearing in religious iconography, on altars and shrines, and in celebratory items like piñatas. Known as cartonería in Mexico, the medium is the focus of a new exhibit opening at the Museum of International Folk Art, La Cartonería Mexicana, in Santa Fe. Featuring over 100 items from the museum’s permanent collection—many of which come from late designer Alexander Girard’s personal collection, which he donated to the museum—as well as pieces by visiting cartoneros, the display captures the breath and vitality of the vibrant medium.
“This is a very traditional folk art, using the very simple materials of paper and paste,” says Nora Dolan, program consultant for curatorial and collection affairs at the Museum of International Folk Art and curator of La Cartonería Mexicana. “It is a very inexpensive medium, and is a very vibrant, living artform today.” The exhibit is organized like a calendar, highlighting religious ceremonies and fiestas like Day of the Dead, which are prime times for making cartonería. A public opening happens on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., including free admission, refreshments, and performances by Nacha Mendez and Los Niños de Santa Fe ballet folklórico group. See it through November 3, 2024.
3 Listen to a story.
Hear stories told by Robert Torres (Apache/Yaqui)—passed down from his grandfather, who was from Acoma Pueblo—during a storytelling gathering on Saturday at El Malpais National Monument, near Grants. Beginning at 1 p.m., Torres tells traditional tales about folkloric figures, including how Coyote and Silver Fox made the world, how sunlight was created, and how Coyote tricked Weasel. “We were looking for ways to engage our Pueblo and tribal partners in using their voices to tell their stories in their voice and with their perspective,” says Lisa Dittman, program manager at El Malpais and El Morro National Monuments. “We have visitors ask about these stories, and in the Southwestern culture, stories are told during the winter. So, we have a series of four storytelling sessions happening once a month from December through March.” Fun for kiddos and adults alike, the event is free to attend.
4 Attend the king of all roasts.
The centuries-old New Mexican tradition of a matanza, or a pig roast, pits teams of cooks against each other to see who can create the best carne adovada, alongside traditional accoutrements like tortillas, salsas, and chicharrones. The annual matanza in Belén takes the proverbial cake for being the ultimate roasting fest—they even call it The World’s Largest Matanza. It happens this Saturday at Eagle Park from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., when 12 teams compete to win the title and bragging rights for the next year. Cooks get to it before the sun rises, and live music from Daniel Solis Band, Loaded, and the Black Pearl serenades the event. The entry fee is $20, and you can park in a free designated area on Church and 10th streets, then ride a free shuttle to the park entrance.
5 Take a star tour.
Gaze into the starry skies with amateur astrophotographer Mike Hawkins at Angel Fire Resort on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. Hawkins answers questions and guides attendees to see nebulas, galaxies, and constellations through the resort’s telescope. The stargazing happens near the Boat House on Monte Verde Lake. Wear your warmest coat and gloves for this little trip into the stars, and feel free to bring binoculars, folding chairs, and blankets.