The 4th annual Asheville Wine & Food Festival, with a Grand Tasting on August 25, will feature a smorgasbord of more than 300 regional, national and international wines, creations prepared by Asheville’s celebrated chefs, samples of local artisan food products, plus live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and more. Come prepared to stroll, sip, savor and shop at what promises to be the largest culinary gathering Asheville has seen under one roof.
Named one of the best festivals of its kind in the country by the New York Post, this highly anticipated event has moved to downtown Asheville, inside the newly renovated U.S. Cellular Center. The event is 12 noon to 5 pm for VIP passes ($65) and 1:30 to 5 pm for general admission ticketholders ($45). VIP tickets, available only in limited quantities, provide exclusive entry to the VIP Lounge where full pours of wine and delicious food samplings will be served in high style.
The festival also features a mixologist contest (most creative bartender), an amateur wine competition, countless opportunities to meet, greet, and learn from culinary experts, and plenty of tasty products to purchase and take home. (You can even get a jump on holiday gift-buying at the Blue Ridge Food Ventures Marketplace, featuring locally crafted specialty foods.)
A new feature of the festival is The Fashion and Food Runway: Under the Appalachian Moon. Beginning at 3 pm, local chefs and fashion designers present inspirations for evening wear and culinary regalia. Sandra Harvey Designs, featured in numerous fashion-related style sections of The Los Angeles Times and in magazines that include Detour, Revolt in Style, Manic, and Flaunt, will be showcased in this up-close-and-personal fashion show along with designer Marylou Marsh of Spiritex with her elegant evening attire of organic and sustainable fibers, and milliner Simone Bernhard.
Also available will be sample craft brews that have earned Asheville its status as Beer City USA and spirits from the region’s newest distilleries (not your typical moonshine). There will be non-alcoholic Buchi kombucha, made in Western North Carolina and enjoyed across the U.S.
The Asheville Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting will be preceded on Friday, August 24 by SWEET, an after-dinner fete featuring sips and samples of luscious desserts, sparkling wines and specialty cocktails, held 7:30 to 10 pm at the Grove Arcade downtown. Tickets are only $35 per person for an evening of delicious decadence.
Tickets are also available to the WNC Chefs Challenge, revealing the best chef in the region. From an original slate of 14 of the region’s most talented culinary leaders, the remaining two will battle it out on Aug. 23 for the finale, taking place at The Century Room on the Park, located above Pack’s Tavern in downtown Asheville, beginning at 6:30 pm Tickets are $99 per person and the event is expected to be a sell-out, so early purchase is recommended at www.ashevillewineandfood.com.