The Perseid meteor showers come once a year, and they can be brilliant astronomic affairs.
Toss in a glass of wine, some bacon-kissed cupcakes and live music along with those Perseids and you’ve got a party.
Hold that party in the middle of Arizona Hops & Vines vineyard in Sonoita and you’ve got “Bad Decisions,” the winery’s annual bacon and wine binge and camp-out to celebrate summer and the solar system.
Last year 850 people showed up for the second annual event — nearly seven times the 125 people who attended the inaugural Bad Decisions in 2012.
Shannon Zouzoulas, who owns the winery with her sister, Megan Haller, said she has no idea how many people will show up Saturday, but “I can tell you there are ticket sales from Connecticut, Ohio, Texas, California, Colorado and New Mexico. It’s ridiculous,” she said.
“We hardly do any marketing so this is all word of mouth.”
Bad Decisions is centered on the sisters’ wine and bacon, with Tucson and Sonoita restaurants bringing out their best bacon creations including bacon doughnuts, bacon cupcakes and bacon-jalapeño poppers.
And keeping with the sisters’ tradition of quirky wine pairings — yep, those are Cheetos offered as palate cleansers at wine tastings — you can expect things that are, in their words, “unhealthily amazing”: chocolate, bacon, wine and beer.
In addition to pouring their own wines, the sisters also will have Four Peaks beer, Roger Clyne Moonshine and samples of beers from participants in the winery’s annual home brewing contest — including a couple bacon-themed brews, Zouzoulas said.
Here are a few other things you can expect at Bad Decisions:
- Keep the glass: Your ticket gets you a souvenir wine glass emblazoned with “Drink now, pork later.”
- Inexpensive eats: Food is not included in the $20 admission price ($50 per person if you camp out), but you can snag inventive treats from some signature chefs, including Greg LaPrad from neighboring Sonoita restaurant Overland Trout and Adam Puckle, chef-owner of The Cafe right up the road.
- Porky nibbles: bacon parfait; white trash poutine; bacon cheeseburger on a doughnut; Hawaiian classics from Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ; cupcakes and doughnuts kissed with bacon, cheese and chocolate.
- Adult beverages: Wine, moonshine and beer.
- Stay the night, have a mimosa: Campers 21 and older get a Sunday morning mimosa to go with that breathtaking Sonoita sunrise. Zouzoulas makes a mean mimosa using the winery’s popular Fluffer sparkling wine.
- Kids Camp: Drop the kids off at The Sober Shack where, under supervision of a staff of watchful eyes, they get dinner and snacks and do crafts. They’ll also watch movies and play games in addition to all the sugary treats they can whip up in the kids’ soda and candy factory. Kids Camp is $25 and includes dinner.
“It’s going to be a real smorgasbord,” Zouzoulas joked. “It is really, really a health expo. We are all about health.”