Centrally located in beautiful Midtown Atlanta, the seventh annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival brought together more than 180 chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, and pit-masters from Texas to the District of Columbia this past weekend. Through in-depth Learning Experiences, all-you-can indulge Tasting Tents, distinct Dinners and Events, and a talented Advisory Council, the four-day event provided us and guests with countless ways to get to know the South.
Piedmont Park’s Greensward Promenade provided the perfect backdrop for the Tasting Tents, which took place on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon rain, mud, or shine. The Tasting Tents took us on a culinary journey through the region but with added emphasis on hometown favorites, including bakeries, butcher shops, gas station cuisine, distilleries, craft brewers, and other Southern purveyors. The Tasting Tents also featured Sommelier wine lounges, a cocktail garden, live music, and interactive food and beverage pairing areas.
The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival was so much fun and was really put together well. The inclement weather that came Saturday and Sunday delayed the festival, but the staff more than made up for it by extending the tasting times. Start planning for next year— the event will be returning. Until then, here’s a look at some the best chef creations we ate, drank, and celebrated.
Learning Experience- Italian Reds: The Dried Wines of Valpolicella
Verona, of Romeo and Juliet fame, has been using techniques to intensify their wines through the use of dried grapes for centuries and currently produces some of the world’s most iconic wines using the drying technique know as appassimento. Advanced Sommelier and Fine Wine Specialist for Cru Artisan Wines, Jacob Gregg, took us on an exploration through the history of Northern Italy’s acclaimed Valpolicella region. We tasted the three unique dried wine styles of Ripasso, Recioto, and the top tier, Amarone, from some of the oldest and most award-winning producers.
Connoisseur Cocktails- Saturday Afternoon Bake Sale:
The Saturday bake sale showcased Houston’s diverse food culture through savory and sweet treats paired with speciality cocktails. These Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Fluff Bake Bar Sugar Fairy, Rebecca Masson were perfect in every way.
The Tasting Tent was unlike any other festival offering – giving us access to an all-you-can-eat- and-drink-and-indulge from the region’s top chefs and purveyors.
This year’s Tasting Tents explored Main Street favorites, including: bakeries, butcher shops, road side cuisine, and hand-picked Southern purveyors.
The Road Trip Tent featured an expanded footprint with delicious bites from each state across the South. Beverage options were plentiful with pop-up wine stations, craft brewers, distillers and a pick-your-own garnish Cocktail Garden.
The Festival Connoisseur Tent provided an intimate setting to escape the rain, eat, drink, and mingle with award-winning chefs, barkeeps, sommeliers from the Festival Advisory Council.
About Atlanta Food & Wine Festival:
Launched in 2010, by Atlanta entrepreneurs Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is a four-day culinary experience dedicated to shining an international spotlight on the rich food and beverage traditions of the South from Texas to the District of Columbia. With an Advisory Council of 91 award-winning talent from 13 Southern states and the District of Columbia, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is one part conference and one part party, offering carefully-crafted programs and events to entertain and educate consumers about Southern food and drink. The Festival also celebrates the flavors of other Southern regions around the globe including Southern Europe, South Africa, South America, Southern Hemisphere (Australia and New Zealand) and South-of-the-Border for Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Caribbean. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is a member of the IWSC Group North America’s portfolio of events. For more information visit www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com. Follow Atlanta Food & Wine Festival on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. #KnowTheSouth #AFWF17