For two nights each month, strange things happen at Checkered Past Winery, an urban wine bar located in Dallas’ Southside neighborhood. Wine bottles disappear. Amazon packages fall from the air. Salt becomes paper and paper turns to salt. I recently joined Wander’s Susan Lanier-Graham there for a great evening of Wine & Magic.

Let the Magic Begin

Every table in the room is full—there are many witnesses to this phenomena. Actually, there is an explanation, a simple one—sort of. Magician Trigg Watson is in the house, entertaining everyone with his repertoire of old classics with a twist, and sometimes far-out tricks. Trigg disarms you and then amazes you. 

Trigg is good and he should be—he’s been practicing since the ripe old age of four when he became entranced by the magician at a birthday party. Since then, he’s appeared on the CW and Penn and Teller as well as at events and on cruise ships around the world. 

from, an evening of wine and magic, Checkered Past

Trigg Watson on stage at Checkered Past Wine Bar

One of my personal favorite tricks was the bit of rope which kept growing, then appeared to be in his clothes, but he took his clothes off! Don’t worry, it’s a PG show. I heard a few tables around me comment, “How did he do that?” How indeed? Well, if Trigg told you, his show would be over. Anyway, half the fun is just believing, right?

Great Wine and Food

About those wine bottles…Checkered Past has a great food and wine menu, carefully curated by owner Sandro DiSanto, a first-generation American with Sicilian roots. Plan to come hungry. DiSanto carried on his grandfather’s winemaking tradition for fun, until the idea for Checkered Past was born.

DiSanto creates his own wines and also offers wines made in Texas, plus imports from around the world. I tried a sparkling rosé from France and Susan opted for a sparkling rosé from Italy.

Checkered Past Urban Wine Bar, Dallas, Texas

No magic at the bar, just good food, and wine. Photo courtesy Checkered Past Urban Wine Bar

The price per glass is very affordable and bottles are also a great deal. Checkered Past is the place where you drink what you like, no snobbery. But if you want to get fancy, you can order a bottle of Tattinger Brut Champagne for $78. If you’re more of the hoppy type, you can order a craft beer made in Texas; from the Dallas Blonde to a Blood and Honey cider from Austin.

The food is casual but delicious. You’ll notice the Italian influence and use of fresh ingredients. We tried the herbed goat cheese spread, made in house; a charcuterie board with local salamis, cheeses, mustard, olives, and a Mediterranean veggie panini, all delicious. 

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Yum! Delicious antipasti. Photo courtesy Checkered Past Urban Wine Bar

Checkered Past is the kind of bar you wish was in your neighborhood. Trigg Watson appears one weekend per month on Saturday and Sunday. The two combine to make Wine and Magic a fun and fresh night out. Just watch your wine or you may find it has vanished into thin air.

You can book your evening of Wine & Magic with magician Trigg Watson at Checkered Past Urban Wine Bar. The price is usually $20, with food and drink sold separately. Right now, you can visit this link to book your tickets for the next Wine & Magic and use code “BLOGGER” to save 20% off your tickets. Be sure to tell Trigg that Wander sent you!


As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary meals and admission for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

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For two nights each month, strange things happen at Checkered Past Winery, an urban wine bar located in Dallas’ Southside neighborhood. Magician Trigg Watson is in the house. #wineandmagic #triggwatson #winetasting #magic #dallas #texas

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