1) Buffalo Wine Festival, 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. April 16 in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Tickets are $35 for each session if purchased online -- prices rises by $5 day-of. VIP admission is sold out.
Commentary: Whether you're a wine connoisseur (i.e. you're desperate to try Black Widow's new Oasis white), a locavore (i.e. you love that 30 local wineries will attend) or just really like wine (totally reasonable), the wine festival will have some type of draw.
Note the two different sessions -- if you go to the first one (usually with slightly lighter attendance), I don't know how you're not in bed by 8:30 p.m. Anyhow, here's the list of participating wineries.
2) Local Restaurant Week, locations throughout the area through April 17. Prices are either $20.16, $30.16 or $40.16, depending on the meal. Participating restaurants and their specials can be found here.
Commentary: Back when Local Restaurant Week was smaller, it would be tough to get reservations at a participating restaurant on the final weekend. Now, with more than 200 eateries participating, you're bound to find room somewhere you'd be willing to sample on the cheap.
Not to sound like your mother, but patience and generous tipping will be smart practices as restaurant workers deal with unusually big crowds.
Commentary: Do with this what you will, but I have a soft spot for puppetry. It's the intersection of playfulness and unbounded character creation, often with a touch of mischief.
Sure, "Avenue Q" is a little beyond that -- Colin Dabkowski mentions the puppet sex scenes of "unprintable intensity and variety" -- but the entertainment level is high, the production is polished and the cast members are in fitting roles, the critic said. Read Dabkowski's full review here.
Commentary: The fact that I haven't heard of the bottles involved in Blue Monk's final bottle blow out -- on its final day of business -- is probably a good thing.
Evil Twin brews like Double-Barrel Jesus, Cognac Jesus and Bourbon-Barrel Biscotti (which are all apparently stouts, despite sounding so ethereal) are attractive to beer fanatics, while other breweries with bottles remaining are Bruery (Orange County, Calif.), Amager (Kastrup, Denmark), Alvinne (Belgium) and Hof ten Dormaal (Belgium). (Why Alvinne doesn't have a beer called "The Chipmunks" is beyond me. Come on, Belgians.)
Attendees receive a complimentary Blue Monk glass, which we can only believe will increase in value as time goes on. If you're dissuaded by the price for the bottle blow out, the bar will be open its usual hours after the event. It will be bittersweet with a hoppy mouth feel.
5) Try a local gateway craft beer, bars all over the Buffalo area at various prices.
Commentary: You've probably heard of Buffalo's brewery craze, but maybe you've been hesitant to dive in head first (figuratively, although I'm sure some have gone literal.)
Kevin Wise's Gusto cover story features suggestions from several local brewers on how to make an easy transition from domestic beers to local craft options -- you won't want to go from Pabst Blue Ribbon to a sour or double IPA, in other words. Soak up Wise's wisdom (I've always wanted to write that.)
6) Ballin' For a Cause, 6 to 10 p.m. April 15, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 17 in Nichols School (1250 Amherst St.). Admission, at the door, is $5 on April 15, and then $7 on April 16 and 17. Weekend passes are $15.
Commentary: Over 60 teams from the region and across the world head to Nichols for a charity basketball tournament this weekend, if you've been itching for more live basketball since the University at Buffalo made the NCAA Tournament and local high school teams put on a show during sectionals at Buffalo State.
Among the recognizable players participating in the tournament include Damone Brown (Syracuse, NBA), Brandon Triche, Jason Rowe, Ka'ron Barnes, Devon Dawson, Mansa Habeeb and Davon Marshall. Proceeds from the three-day tournament go toward local initiatives in four categories: education, community, youth sports and health wellness.
7) Free week at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 17, closed April 18. Free week continues through April 23.
Commentary: The Albright-Knox isn't usually cost-prohibitive -- entry is $5 to $12, depending on your age -- but free week drew 3,000 visitors last February and helped spark stronger attendance for the remainder of the year, Aaron Besecker reported.
Among the exhibitions you can check out for free are works from Erin Shirreff, Torey Thornton and Joan Jonas. Click the links in the previous sentence to see reviews or further detail. As usual, the AKAG's full collection will be on display, too.
8) Community Beer Works' fourth anniversary, noon to 10 p.m. April 16 at 15 Lafayette Ave. Entry is free, although you have to pay for the beer.
Commentary: West Side nanobrewery Community Beer Works celebrates four years of business with an all-day party on Saturday, with 15 draft beers eager for consumption.
Popcorn from That Popcorn Shack and fare from Frank's Gourmet Hot Dogs, as well as music from Gravy, are additional perks. See the Facebook event for any further details, and as always, browse CBW's enjoyable-and-quirky blog.
9) Visit the new Doc Sullivan's, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. April 15 and 16, noon to 3:30 a.m. April 17 at 474 Abbott Road.
Commentary: This is certainly not specific to Buffalo, but the practice of renovating and refurbishing a bar to maintain its tradition and integrity -- while giving it a bit more modern appeal -- is fairly common. It happened with Ulrich's in downtown Buffalo, and now it's taken place at old South Buffalo favorite Doc Sullivan's.
We sent News contributor Michael Farrell to the bar, which has been taken over by two South Buffalo natives, to see what's changed and what's remained true. Do the Smitty-style wings still taste the same?
10) Donald Trump's visit to Buffalo, 7 p.m. April 18 in First Niagara Center. Free to attend.
Commentary: I'm not here to give any hot political take or divulge any particular leanings, but this final entry in The 10 is more of a reminder that the Canalside and Cobblestone districts will be a mad house on Monday afternoon and evening when Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump comes to town.
Remember when he was rumored to have an interest in buying the Bills? That feels so long ago.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who is proud that only four of The 10 directly involve alcohol, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Story topics: 710 Main Theatre/ Albright-Knox Art Gallery/ Avenue Q/ Ballin' For a Cause/ Blue Monk/ Buffalo events/ Buffalo Wine Festival/ community beer works/ craft beer/ Doc Sullivan's/ donald trump/ Local Restaurant Week/ The 10