Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Idea Round-Up

Before the holidays settle in, I think you should take a moment this weekend to relax with a glass of wine... at the International Wine & Food Festival in Grand Rapids. Where else could you sip upon a selection of the finest wines in the world for a fraction of the cost, sample delightful culinary creations or try on a five caret diamond? Nowhere.

Yesterday, I attended the festival's opening night, and if you are like me, an admirer of wine but fairly inexperienced when it comes to the difference between a Shiraz and a Syrah, it's a non-intimidating way to expand your palette. Conversely, if you are a wine connoisseur, the Wine & Food Festival is the perfect opportunity to revisit your old favorites and try all new, award winning varieties on your list.

It works like this: it's $15 to enter the festival and get your wine glass and $0.50 for each tasting ticket. Most wines are two or three tickets. The more expensive a bottle of wine is, the more tickets it will cost. The average high ticket wines are five or six tickets. The highest I saw was eleven tickets for an ice wine. The program suggests that you purchase $20 worth, so I did, and in all honesty, even with drinking the higher ticketed wines, by the end of the night, I had a few left over.

I must, of course, put in a plug for all of our West Michigan wineries at the show including:
And let's not forget Grand Traverse Distillery (Booth 22).

Favorites of the night? Kelly, who also attended the event, quite enjoyed Black Star Farms 2009 Arcturos Late Harvest Riesling, a sweet, white wine. I adored-adored the Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon at Paul Mann Selections, Booth 176. (Tell Paul that Shannon sent you. This man is simply to die for.)

Not a wine person? Well, the event is rounded out with microbrews, spirits, and culinary pairings from the likes of, 1913 Room, Cygnus 27, and San Chez Bistro as well as a Riverside Market filled with tidbits for the home, jewels for yourself (visit Booth 235 to try on that five caret diamond necklace and get your picture taken. Dah-ling, you'll feel like a star), and accessories for the wine enthusiasts. There is also a varied seminar schedule, each of which are free with your entry ticket.

Meanwhile, the event line-up for West Michigan is jammed pack this weekend. Here are a few more ideas:

Starting This Weekend
Friday & Saturday
All Weekend
Sneak Peak: Starting Tuesday
Don't Forget
Whew! Have you ever seen so many links in one post? I certainly haven't. Nonetheless, stay tuned. In about an hour I'll be announcing this week's winners of the Inn at Christmastime event at the gorgeous Wellington Inn in Traverse City.

High five,


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