Popular Midtown Wine Bar 13 celsius is Celebrating Its 13th Anniversary With 13 Events

13 celsius at 3000 Caroline is such a fixture in Houston that it is both surprising and appropriate that the wine bar — located in a 1920s-era building that was once a dry cleaners — is now 13 years old. It was one of Houston’s first serious wine bars, and yet the prevailing culture is to not take wine so seriously that you can’t have a good time. Considering the subsequent crop of wine bars, most of which opened within the past six years, it’s fair to say that 13 celsius was way ahead of the trend.

Since 2019 is the only year that 13 celsius will be able to celebrate its namesake anniversary, owner Ian Rosenberg and general manager Adele Corrigan have an ambitious plan to mark the occasion with 13 at 13, a December-long series comprised of 13 events.

The 13 at 13 series is a mix of parties, wine tastings and chef-driven suppers. To make it easier for you to navigate what piques your curiosity, we’ve included below a list with jump links. Just click to learn more about the events that interest you.

The Exquisite Corpse Kick-Off Party

The kick-off party is on Friday, December 6, and features DJ Sun and Josh Zulu spinning tunes. They will unveil a large mural. Based on the exquisite corpse concept, it’s a combined work by 13 local artists. (The full list of contributors is available in the event description.) If you buy tickets in advance, which we recommend, you get four drink tickets for $26. However, the event is free to enter and guests can simply buy drink tickets as they go. 

Sunday Supper #1 With Dominique Macquet

On Sunday, December 8, 13 celsius is hosting dinner by New Orleans chef Dominique Macquet, who is  best known for his work at Bordeaux on Magazine Street. The cost is $126 and includes five courses, highlights include roasted sweetbreads with garlic-parsley sauce and Morgan Ranch Wagyu short ribs with Bordeaux jus and truffled root vegetables. Each dish is, of course, paired with a wine selected by 13 celsius.

Adele Corrigan at 13 celsius
Adele Corrigan, general manager and sommelier at 13 celsius. Photo by Zach Cross.

Ultimate Wine & Cheese Class With Houston Dairymaids

13 celsius has a long-standing relationship with Houston Dairymaids, featuring their cheeses on snack boards and in tastings for years. To celebrate this relationship, on December 9, 13 celsius is hosting the Ultimate Wine & Cheese Class. Seven different cheeses are being paired with a corresponding number of wines. Houston Dairymaids owner Lindsey Schechter will teach the class alongside 13 celsius general manager Adele Corrigan and assistant general manager Carleigh Rice. Attendees not only get to taste all the cheeses and wines, but will also learn how to build their own ultimate cheese platters at home. The cost is $113, and as of press time only 11 tickets remain.

Natty Wine Night

The following night, December 10, 13 celsius focuses on natural wines, aka “natty wines.” While that may sound like it’s for wine nerds (not that there’s anything wrong with that), the inclusion of burlesque promises to make this a spicier-than-usual experience. A dozen different natural wine will be available for tasting. According to the event page, the wines featured will incude “the rare and allocated contrada of Frank Cornelissen, along with wines from Gut Oggau, Christian Tschida and many more that have shaped our love of natty wines over the years.” The cost is a mere $39, a great value for the opportunity to taste a dozen wines. (You’ll find this writer there that night.) The event starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m.

13 celsius
Promotional artwork for the 13 celsius

Friday the 13th Masquerade

The Friday the 13th event is going to need some advance planning, if you want to be the talk of the party. It’s a masquerade, so now is the time to find that crazy feathered thing you bought in New Orleans (or maybe just that rubber monster mask you bought at Party City). This mysterious gathering again features DJ Sun and Josh Zulu, but also includes a “freaky Friday” drag show and astrology readings by Jasmine Richardson of Kosmic Tonic. For this one, buy your tickets on online. An advance ticket costs $30 and includes two drink tickets; the same ticket at the door doesn’t include drinks.

Annual Wine Sale & Parisian Market

There’s no cost at all to attend one of 13 celsius’s most eagerly anticipated annual events: the Wine Sale, when lingering bottles are sold at discounted retail prices. Held on Wednesday, December 14, it is a terrific time to restock a home wine cellar and get extras for last-minute gifts. For the 13th anniversary, this event includes a Parisian Market theme, so other local vendors featured include Greenway Coffee Co., Houston Dairymaids, Monica Pope of Sparrow Cookshop, Flora Cocina and Cake and Bacon. Longtime patrons and farmers market customers might recall that, before being installed as Weights + Measures’ chef, Richard Kaplan was a well-known local chocolatier and the maker of Brown Box Chocolates. For the wine sale, Kaplan is making a special batch — and reportedly, it’s the last time he’s making these cube-shaped hunks. Register to attend the Wine Sale online. 

Chef Monica Pope’s “Date With a Pig & Chermoula”, served as a small bite at the recent Perfect 10 Gala. Photo by Quy Tran.

Sunday Supper #2 With Monica Pope and Richard Kaplan

Speaking of Kaplan: he’ll return the following night, December 15, for a joint Sunday Supper with chef Monica Pope of Sparrow Cookshop. It includes five courses with wine pairings and features, among other things, Pope’s “Date With a Pig and Chermoula” as well as Confit Chicken & Foie Gras Tortelloni with labneh and citrus butter sauce. Tickets are $126.

Thirteen Appellations Flight Night

December 18 is another big wine tasting. Called Thirteen Appellations Flight Night, it’s actually named for a Napa Valley winery, although we can be forgiven for thinking that it’s named for the wine bar hosting the tasting. Thirteen Appellations is the only winery that uses grapes from all of Napa Valley’s sub-appellations. The vertical tasting costs $113 (of course it has “13” in it) and includes the 2003 Thirteen (very hard to find bottles of this now), 2006 Fourteen, 2009 Fifteen and 2012 Sixteen. Cheese from the Houston Dairymaids and charcuterie accompany the wines.

Sunday Supper #3 With Ara Malekian

There’s one more chef dinner ahead in the series, but the final Sunday Supper on Sunday, December 22 showcases Ara Malekian of Harlem Road BBQ. Now, Malekian is much more than a pitmaster. He’s also a chef who trained in Switzerland, worked with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, and earned most of his experience running 14 restaurants during his career. This dinner is a rare opportunity to see the chef-y side of Malekian and with a 13-COURSE MENU, he’s not going to disappoint. The dishes include Smoked Neiman Ranch Lamb Chops with barberry and lavender-scented Israeli couscous and fettuccine with carbonara and house-smoked pancetta. The cost is $126 and “non-traditional wine and beverage pairings” are promised to go alongside the dishes.

Sparkling wine at 13 celsius. Photo by Adele Corrigan.

Champagne 101

On December 28, just in time for New Year’s Eve planning, general manager Adele Corrigan, Carleigh Rice, and special guest and certified sommelier Adam Toon are teaching Champagne 101. The class covers everything from big, familiar brand names to esoteric grower Champagnes. Attendees are being guided through a tasting of 10 examples. Since 13 celsius also sells retail bottles, attendees can buy their favorites on the spot and go home well-armed for popping some bottles of holiday bubbles.

The 13th Hour

Sunday, December 29 is the second-to-last party of the month. Called The 13th Hour, it starts at 1 p.m. (the 13th hour in 24 hour clock notation), and features live music performances until 7 p.m. by the ‘80s-themed Jeremy Parzen Band (Parzen is also a local wine writer), flamenco and rumba guitar by Omar and Brad, and singer-songwriter Mercy. To facilitate the celebrating, 13 celsius is offering beer specials all day as well as “Sunday Situation low-priced bottles.” An RSVP is not required to attend, but registering online will help with a head count.

An Industry NYE

Monday, December 30, or New Year’s Eve-eve, is a special celebration expressly for those who work in the restaurant and bar industry, because most are working on the night of the actual holiday. In addition to discounted wines by the glass, 13 celsius is also serving its Mortadella Panino, a grilled mortadella sandwich with smoked provolone, cornichons, dijon mustard and topped with a fried egg. The Houston Press’s Jeff Balke called it “devilish awesomeness” and added it to his Houston’s Best Sandwiches series.

Midnight In Paris New Year’s Eve Dinner & Party

To conclude the year, and this very intense 13th anniversary event series, 13 celsius is hosting two different happenings on New Year’s Eve. The first is the final, chef-driven dinner featuring Tarsha Gary. Gary is a chef who founded Ecotone World, the mission of which is focused on addressing the nutrition, agriculture and economic development needs of urban communities. The event theme is “1920s Midnight in Paris.” and guests are encouraged to dress the part. 13 celsius is promising to bring out bottles worth toasting to 2020 with to pair alongside Gary’s dishes.

After dinner and starting at 10 p.m., the more traditional revelry will start. Like dinner, 13 celsius’ New Year’s Eve party has the 1920s Midnight in Paris theme. Seat reservations for $26 or $100 sofa reservations for two are strongly encouraged, as the wine bar has always been a popular spot to welcome the new year — and this time, it’s a new decade. Reservations include a toast at midnight and a second toast at 1 a.m. for 13 celsius’ 13th birthday — and the end of an ambitious and creative event series.

For further information, check the relevant event listing from the main 13 at 13 event page, call (713) 529-8466 or send the bar an email.

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