Last night we attended the Cincinnati Int’l Wine Festival. It’s a pretty big event for Cincinnati, and regularly reaches maximum attendance. Every year the event is held at the Cincinnati Convention Center, although last year the center was under construction and they shoved the entire wine festival and attendees into a very tiny room. They improved upon that this year, opening the new section of the Convention Center to the Wine Festival. We noticed that it wasn’t quite as overheated and that there seemed to be more space for people in between the booths.
This year we attended with some friends of ours, Gabrielle and Jason. It was fun to attend with another couple, plus we were able to cover more booths by sharing tastes. At least Gabby & I shared tastes …
The guys loved the 3 Thieves booth. If you’re familiar with 3 Thieves, you’ll know they offer their wine in jugs. They offered us "I Love Jugs" stickers. See why it was a hit with the guys?
This year, with the increased space came increased variety. I’m usually quite intrigued by Ohio-area wineries, and I was happy to see that there seemed to be even more local wineries this year than in the past. Whereas I enjoy the smaller, local wineries, Kevin tried to focus on Zins this year. He happily tasted old favorites, but was zealous in trying new Zins as well.
In the early hours of the Festival, you can usually have some good conversations with the winery representatives. Admittedly, some of them are there because they were told to come. But so many of them are in the industry because they are passionate about wine. Again, I especially enjoy chatting with the folks from the local wineries.
We were disappointed to note that one of our favorite wineries, Gundlach-Bundschu, again did not have a booth at the festival. We are always disappointed in the lack of food per attendees at these things. It’s like they plan for everyone to have one square of cheese and that is it.
By the end of the evening, on Saturday night, the wineries are running completely out of wine. People are everywhere and I get to a point where I just need to leave. I was actually disappointed in myself this year. I need to find a better way to organize myself, take notes, collect materials, and have a drink of wine, all with only two hands.
All that said, the value at the wine festival is pretty darn good. You get to taste countless wines, and talk to people about them, for $65. It’s a great event and I look forward to 2007.
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