This pre-holiday celebration welcomes everyone from the novice looking for an introduction to the world of epicurean culture to the connoisseur who appreciates the finer things in life. Considered a "night on the town," this three-day event exposes attendees to area restaurants and over a thousand wine, beer, cider, mead, malt beverage and spirit offerings. Complimentary workshops and seminars add to the overall experience.
New this year is The GR Mixer, which blends together award-winning spirits and mixers into craft artisan cocktails. Notable regional mixologists and distillers will serve up complimentary 15-minute, hands-on workshops guaranteed to educate and entertain. Nearly two dozen workshops will be held throughout the weekend, presented by Coppercraft Distilling and New Holland Artisan Spirits. Bartenders from Six.One.Six inside the JW Marriott are also planning an exciting Chopped-style competition during their pairing, aimed to perfectly match cocktails with prix fixe menu.
Returning features include the Elite Wine Collection with its "best of the best" offerings in The Vineyard area; Beer City Station, Cider Row and Flavored Malt Beverages in Exhibit Hall C; Growers Champagne Flights on Saturday; and the RendezBREW Coffee, Cordials and Dessert Café in the Grand Gallery.
On the food side, chefs from about a dozen of the area's top restaurants prepare and serve small plates of their culinary specialties. Select restaurants partner with distinguished wineries and breweries for special pairings—gourmet multicourse meals served on-site in a casual, yet intimate "bar top" setting. Other gourmet and specialty food offerings will also be available throughout the festival.
Complimentary seminars and workshops with esteemed individuals from the culinary world host demonstrations on the Meijer Food Stage, while beverage leaders offer classroom-style workshops that offer an in-depth look into the world of wine, beer and spirits.
For festival times, tickets and reservations, visit GRWineFestival.com.
A festival app is available for Android and Apple: Purchase admission and pairing tickets and peruse beverage lists (including notes, ratings and personalized lists), workshops, seminars and restaurant menus. Download now to plan your visit and navigate the festival.
Photo courtesy of ShowSpan.