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Spencer Theater branches out, throws its first wine festival

The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts is trying to expand its appeal with its first wine and brew festival next Saturday. (Richard Pipes/Albuquerque Journal)

The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts is trying to expand its appeal with its first wine and brew festival next Saturday. (Richard Pipes/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Those in charge of Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts are looking to branch out and introduce the aesthetically pleasing entertainment venue to people who might not know about it or who have been reluctant to attend more formal events.

Their solution is to hold the first Spencer Wine & Brew Festival – a casual event at a reasonable price where people can come and go at their leisure.

“It’s a nice way to showcase the facility and low ticket prices,” said Spencer Theater publicist Kathleen McDonald. “We wanted something that was fun. Wine festivals have been successful around the state and we thought it would have a lot of appeal. Crowds of people go to wine festivals and (New Mexico wineries) are also a huge part of our economy. It is an important industry and we wanted to support that business.”

The event will feature the fine wines of southern and southeastern New Mexico including Amaro Winery of Las Cruces, Cottonwood Winery & Brewing of Artesia, Luna Rossa of Deming, Pecos Flavors Winery of Roswell, Noisy Water Winery of Ruidoso and Relleno Brother’s Labels, St. Clair Winery of Deming and Tularosa Vineyards. Sampling booths will be available throughout the hall. Bottles as well as cases will be available for purchase for patrons to take home.

Gourmet sides and sliders as well as fruit and cheese plates also can be bought to pair with the large variety wines including cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sangiovese, viognier, pino noir, table reds and whites and malbec.

Cottonwood Winery & Brewing also will be offering some of its craft beers, which include Amber, George Lite, Oat, Pilsner, Rice, Wheat and Stout.

“We were looking for a way to branch out our identity,” McDonald explained. “We are a performing arts center without question. We are evolving and trying to be current. … We’ve started doing a lot more than just performing arts. It seems we’re doing events that have more of a civic center feel with a broader umbrella.”

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