A Missouri food and wine 101 class has been added to the lineup of the upcoming Downtown Washington Fine Art Fair & Winefest.
The committee is always looking for new ideas and a food and wine pairing event seems like a natural fit, according to Bridgette Epple, executive director of Downtown Washington, festival sponsor.
Plans are being finalized for the three-day festival which will take place May 18-20 on and around the Main and Elm parking lot in the heart of downtown.
Now in its 31st year, the festival draws visitors each spring from across the Midwest. Epple said the event is the largest all-Missouri winery tasting event.
The event combines winetasting with a juried selection of artwork, live music and a large food court. The artists will be set up on Main and Elm streets and the wineries will be located under the Farmers’ Market pavilion. Live entertainment and a food court will be located on the parking lot.
Food and Wine 101
The food and wine event will feature four different food and wine pairing sessions where participants can learn while they sip and eat, Epple said. Participating wineries and restaurants are teaming up to offer a selection of wines with a specific menu.
“We will have a tent set up on Main Street where participants will get to talk to representatives from the winery and restaurant and learn why a particular wine goes well with certain food,” she said. “It should be a lot of fun and very educational.”
Epple said the sessions will be limited to 24 people each and already one is sold out and another is close to being filled.
Participating wineries and the restaurants they are partnering with are as follows:
Saturday, May 19 — Montelle Winery/American Bounty Restaurant, noon to 1 p.m., and Augusta Winery and Joe’s Bakery & Delicatessen, 4 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 20 — St. James Winery and Basket Case Deli & Cafe, noon to 1 p.m., and Noboleis Winery and Cafe Mosaic, 3 to 4 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now and can be obtained by calling the Downtown Washington Inc. office, 636-239-1743.
Epple said more than 60 wines from 14 Missouri wineries will be poured for tasting, and knowledgeable winery representatives will be on hand to talk about their products.
All wines poured in the tasting will be available for sale, with a 10 percent discount on case purchases, mix or match.
Participating wineries this year include Adam Puchta Winery, Augusta Winery, Belmont Vineyards, Bias Winery, Blumenhof Winery, La Dolce Vita Winery, Montelle Winery, Noboleis Winery, OakGlenn Winery, Robller Vineyards, St. James Winery, St. Jordan Creek Winery, Stone Hill Winery and White Mule Winery.
Complimentary cheese and crackers will again be provided in the tasting area under the wine tent, with a variety of snacks and gourmet foods on sale in the festival area. Admission to the winetasting is $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and includes a souvenir wineglass.
Visitors to the winetasting area also will have the opportunity to win a special wine basket prepared by a participating winery.
The winetasting hours will be 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday; and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Epple said over 30 Midwestern artists will participate, and all artwork will be available for purchase.
Watercolor paintings, photography, pottery, woodwork and jewelry are among the exhibitions.
Admission to the Art Fair is free. The hours will be Friday 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Additionally, there will be continuous entertainment throughout the weekend. Street musicians also play throughout the weekend.
Epple said patrons can sit under the rest tent to enjoy the atmosphere, the music and the wine.
For more information about the event, people may call 636-239-1743 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.