BWW Review: A Mouthful of Magic with Trigg Watson at Checkered Past Winery
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I received an invitation to a Wine & Magic show located under an artsy Dallas apartment building. But being a sucker for live theatre, dinner, and drinks (where's the dinner theatre, DFW?), I accepted with an open mind and empty stomach. And while I may not have left the captivating event with the secrets to the show, I did succeed in making some incredible eats disappear. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Although he was born in Australia (and retains a unique accent), celebrated magician Trigg Watson is a graduate of SMU who hold several local titles, including the 2013 Dallas Performing Artist of the Year and 2015 Dallas Magician of the Year awards. His act has taken him around the world on several cruise ship contracts, and he's performed on frequent television specials, including Penn & Teller's "Fool Us."
Appearing in a trendy wine bar may sound like a long jump from the big screen, but make no mistake - the intimate environment makes the illusions only more impressive. How he's able to pull off such detailed slight-of-hand and appearing-right-before-your-eyes acts just inches away from his audience is beyond head-scratching. Engaging audience participation from nearly all of the tables during the act, it's immediately clear that his tricks do not rely on pre-rehearsed or scripted guests. And Watson knows how to work a crowd, too. With his humorous approach and heartwarming stories, the magician skillfully holds the audience like a card up his sleeve. Gone are old fashioned acts like sawing a human in half or doves flying out of a hat, traded instead for an electronic sidekick named Siri, a GoPro close-up camera and a handy iPhone alongside his deck of cards.
But technology isn't the only act-enhancing element here. Receiving well-deserved equal billing here is the wine, and Checkered Past Winery certainly does not disappoint. With a beverage menu that features a wide selection of craft beers and wines - a dozen of which are produced in-house - and a long list of small plates, cheese boards, flat breads, sandwiches and spreads, CPW is a must-visit for any DFW foodies.
At our table of four, we snacked on the cheese & charcuterie board, smoked salmon & herb cream cheese bruschetta, margherita flatbread, and hummus with toasted flatbread wedges and pretzel bread. And while I'd love to tell you all about our favorite bites, all I can share is that we didn't let one single forkful go back to the kitchen. There was not one nosh we didn't battle for the last bite of. We also sampled both in-house and "friends" wine flights and will return quickly to taste the remainder of the Checkered Past wines (especially the fruit-forward reds, which we couldn't get enough of!). The somewhat sweet/somewhat tart Frosé was quite tasty and refreshing on the hot Dallas evening, too!
It's hard to tell whether the wine or the magic was the biggest hit of the evening, but fortunately, nobody forced us to choose. Wine & Magic takes the stage monthly with offerings on both Saturday and Sunday at Checkered Past Winery (1409 S Lamar St, Dallas). $20 tickets and the performance schedule can be found at www.wineandmagicdallas.com. Food and beverages sold separately. Only 45 tickets sold per performance.