Wednesday, March 10, 2010

International Wine Festival in Cincy March 11-13

The 20th annual Cincinnati International Wine Festival, one of the Midwest's largest wine events, is scheduled to take place Thursday, March 11, through Saturday, March 13. The festival was founded in 1991 to promote the wine industry and raise funds for local charities. Each year the festival has grown with increasing winery participation, events and attendance. Wine legend Michael Mondavi is the honorary chair for this year's event.

The Festival is made up of four prominent events: the Winery Dinners, the Charity Auction and Luncheon, the Grand Tastings and the Russ Wiles Memorial Golf Tournament. Through these events the Wine Festival has donated almost $3 million dollars to local charities in the past 19 years.

"The Grand Tastings" are the centerpiece events of this multi-day festival and feature more than 130 wineries pouring nearly 600 wines, as well as delicious foods, souvenirs and live music. New, rare, and exciting wines from around the world are available for tasting. Whether you're a seasoned expert or an intrigued beginner, winemakers and winery representatives welcome you as they mix useful knowledge with exquisite samples of their art. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the door. A ticket for the special tasting room allows you to enjoy high end wines for one hour prior to the Grand Tastings. Each ticket will be an additonal charge of $35 for 7 tastes.

Winery Dinners combine the country's best winemakers with greater Cincinnati's finest chefs for an incomparable evening of perfectly complemented wines and fine cuisine. Reservations are limited and some dinners are now sold out. Other Festival events include cooking demos, wine-themed seminars, wine maker meet and greet opportunities and  off-site wine tastings.

Here's an overview of the schedule:

Grand Tastings: Duke Energy Convention Center
  • Friday, March 12, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 13, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 13, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Tickets: $60 - $75

Special Tasting Room: Duke Energy Convention Center
  • Friday, March 12, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 13, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $35 plus the purchase of a Grand Tasting ticket

Winery Dinners
10 of Greater Cincinnati’s Finest Restaurants
Thursday, March 11, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $125 - $150

Charity Auction & Luncheon
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Hall of Mirrors
Saturday, March 13
9:30 a.m. Reception and Auction Lot Preview
11:00 a.m. Live Auction
Winery Luncheon immediately following
Tickets: $125

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