Balloon Fiesta 2023

We got a little too excited about all our Balloon Fiesta events and shared the wrong hours. The Albuquerque tasting room is closed on Monday and Tuesday during Fiesta. Please check out the corrected hours below.

We apologize for the miscommunication. We look forward to seeing you throughout the week at one of our many events.

Balloon Fiesta

Extended hours during Balloon Fiesta

Come enjoy the festivities at VARA during Balloon Fiesta week. We’ll be open with extended hours, special menus, new cocktails, and fine wines and spirits.

  • Saturday, October 7th – 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 8th – 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Monday, October 9th – CLOSED
  • Tuesday, October 10th – CLOSED
  • Wednesday, October 11th – Calvin Evans pop-up dinner – 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, by reservation only
  • Thursday, October 12th – 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Friday, October 13th – 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 14th – 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 15th – 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

Grab breakfast on your way into the park, hang out with friends over lunch or dinner, introduce your visiting guests to VARA’s fine wines and spirits, or enjoy one of our pop-up events. We’re waiting to raise a toast with you to one of the best times of the year!

Balloon Fiesta

Our special Fiesta menu

Every year, we have requests for breakfast and lunch options, especially since our Albuquerque tasting room is just off the southwest corner of Balloon Fiesta Park.

We heard you! Chef Mickey created a brand new menu to make your Fiesta even better, with more lunch offerings, a complete breakfast menu, and unique dishes for dinner too. Come try them while you can. Once Balloon Fiesta is over, this menu goes away.

Grab and go breakfast
Our grab and go menu is the perfect breakfast to take with you onto the field for a mass ascension picnic. Or avoid the crowds and enjoy breakfast at VARA while balloons float by overhead.

  • Breakfast burritos
  • Breakfast tots
  • Biscuits and chorizo gravy
  • Yogurt and granola
  • Biscochitos
  • Coffee
  • Hot chocolate
  • Bottled water

Stop in after all the balloons go up and pair your breakfast with VARA’s Laurent Gruet-made Silverhead Brut.

A light lunch
Looking for lunch after the morning ballooning events? We’ve got you covered. Take a break from all the activity and relax over lunch accompanied by our fine wines and spirits.

  • Chicken salad sandwich
  • Beet and quinoa salad
  • Hummus and flatbread
  • Tapas boards
  • Biscochitos

We recommend our Garnacha Rosado paired with the chicken salad sandwich. But all of our menu items are designed to pair perfectly with our wines and cocktails.

Elevated dinner
Stop in for drinks and dinner before the evening events at Balloon Fiesta Park. Pro tip: the VARA Team really likes our Feliz Creek Carignan paired with the Choripán sandwich.

  • Elote en vaso
  • Loaded papas bravas with elote, garlic aioli, and chorizo
  • Fried brussel sprouts with garlic aioli
  • Choripán with chorizo link and chimichurri on a baguette
  • Chicken pintxos kabobs with tomatoes and pearl onions
  • Tapas boards
  • Biscochitos

Don’t want to be on the field for the nighttime celebrations? Come see us for a drink with friends and family and enjoy the drone show and fireworks from our Albuquerque tasting room lawn.

Reserve your spot for fine wines, innovative cocktails, and tapas. Visit our website or find us on Tock to book your reservation today!

Balloon Fiesta

Calvin Evans pop-up dinner

Wednesday, October 11th – 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, by reservation only
We’re excited to invite you to a one-night-only dinner featuring LA-based grilling phenomenon Calvin Evans. You may remember Calvin from our April pop-up dinner, and we’re thrilled to have him back for another fun event.

Enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of exquisite pork tomahawks grilled to perfection over an open wood-burning fire, accompanied by a delicious chimichurri sauce and maple chipotle sweet potato puree, grilled artichokes, a beet caprese salad, and our famous piloncillo bread pudding.

Don’t miss out on this special culinary experience at our Albuquerque tasting room on Wednesday, October 11th, for only $100/person. Vegetarian option available for $45/person. Elevate your dining experience with our specially crafted wine pairing, available for an extra $25. Remember, for this event, our hours are 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, but we’re accepting reservations only until 8:00 pm.

Calvin Evans

Calvin Evans

As an Albuquerque-born grill master based in LA, Calvin has made a name for himself in the world of BBQ. He has trained with and cooked for some of the biggest names and restaurants in the industry. He has been a featured chef at prestigious events like the Windy City Smoke Out and Valle de Guadalupe Food and Wine Festival.

Calvin’s expertise lies in his ability to cook high-end steaks over an open fire, a skill that has earned him a reputation as a true master of the grill. His one-day prix-fixe events are the talk of the town and sell out fast, so don’t miss your chance to experience his culinary creations firsthand.

Albuquerque Tasting Room
Wine. Spirits. Tapas.

315 Alameda Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113


Tasting Room Hours
Wed-Fri 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sat-Sun 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Tapas menu available
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Heading to Santa Fe as part of your Fiesta week activities? Visit our Santa Fe tasting room!

Our Santa Fe tasting room is open this week Tuesday – Saturday from 3 pm – 10 pm. Stop in and say Hi to Acadia and the rest of the tasting room team. Enjoy time with family and friends over a glass of our seriously good wine or a cocktail featuring VARA spirits. Pair it with some delicious tapas for the full la vida VARA experience. We’re located close enough to the Plaza to be part of the action but far enough away to escape the crowds. We look forward to seeing you.

We’re located at 3329 W San Francisco St., just down the street from the Eldorado Hotel.


Take VARA home

Take VARA home

Visit our Shop at the Albuquerque tasting room during our extended hours for Balloon Fiesta.. Pick up a bottle or two of your favorites to share with your out of town guests. Or stock up before the Fiesta to avoid the crowds. Now is the perfect time to place an order and avoid the rush.