Win Tickets: Asheville Wine and Food FestivalInsider Tips & Big Foodie Giveaway: Asheville Wine and Food Festival Grand Tasting
A guest post by Lindey Grossman
So much to eat and drink, so little time! Take these cues from Asheville Wine & Food Festival veterans on how to get the most out of this amazing epicurean experience.
1. SHOPPING STRATEGY. Upon entering the Grand Tasting, you will get a free, official Festival bag for lugging your loot. When making your way through the tastings and samples, make a mental note (or actual note) of the ones that stand out. Then, you can revisit your favorite wines, cheeses, cured meats, hot sauces, pickles, nut butters, to buy and take home. Don’t worry about carrying that case of Chardonnay around all day... there’s a Wine Pick-up area for your purchases where you can pick up the bulkier loads on your way out. If your bag gets too full, check it in at the Wine Pick-up area and ask for another bag!
2. THE JUGGLING ACT. It’s not easy to hold your handbag, Festival tote bag, plates and cups all at once, but it can be done! Rather that turning your plate into a toppling mess, focus on one food sample and one drink sample at a time. Some festival goers bring in their own wine glass holder necklaces to free up their hands. Other hands-free options to think about investing in beforehand: wine glass plate clips or a wine glass holder plate (available in a variety of styles, from maple to acrylic).
3. WHAT TO WEAR. It’s indoors and air-conditioned, so if you get cold easily, stow a scrunchable cardi or shawl in your bag. You will see everything from sneakers and shorts to sundresses and sandals. There’s no dress code... the most important thing is to dress comfortably! (And an elastic waistband doesn’t hurt.) :)
4. TAKING IT ALL IN WITHOUT FILLING UP TOO FAST. Plan your sampling around the events you want to see (consult the Festival Guide you receive upon entering for a full schedule). Nosh between events and allow yourself to digest while you take in the cooking demos, cookbook author appearances and Chefs Challenge.
5. HYDRATE. With all of the food, wine, craft beer and spirits, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Look for Jana Water hydration stations throughout the festival. The premium bottled water not only hydrates, but serves as a stellar palette cleanser.
YOUR MEAL TICKET
The Grand Tasting will be held at the U.S. Cellular Center on August 24, from 12noon-5pm. General admission tickets for $55 and VIP tickets for $75 are available for purchase here. A VIP ticket grants early admission and access to the VIP Lounge, where guests can enjoy full pours of wine and a smorgasbord of gourmet bites.
Best value: The Combination ticket grants admission to ELIXIR, SWEET and VIP Grand Tasting, all for $145 (a $20 savings!). These tickets are limited! Get yours here.
For more info on the Asheville Wine & Food Festival, visit ashevillewineandfood.com.
Here is your chance to taste your way through the Asheville Wine and Food Festival for free! In the comments below tell us which Asheville restaurant is your favorite and you could walk away with two free tickets to the event. A winner will be selected at random on Monday, August 12, 2013 at noon. Return to this post that day for the results in the comments section! Good luck and bon appetit!