Grand Rapids’ annual pre-holiday event, the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival is set for Thursday, November 19 (5-10pm); Friday, November 20 (4pm-10pm) and Saturday, November 21 (Noon-10pm) at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids located at 303 Monroe Avenue NW. It is the largest wine festival in Michigan.
The cost is $15 on Thursday (and advanced ticket sales for Friday and Saturday). The cost is $20 on Friday and Saturday.
A 3-Day Pass is priced at $40, this option allows admission each day of the Festival and is intended for those who want to get the most out of their tasting experience. Online sales end Thursday, November 19 at 5pm (Box Office sales for the pass end at 10pm on Thursday, November 19)
*Attendance at this festival is for those 21 years of age and older. ID is required for admittance.
Savor the finest culinary experience in the Midwest during this annual pre-holiday celebration. Drawing more than 18,000 people—from the novice looking for an introduction to the world of epicurean culture to the connoisseur who appreciates the finest things in life—this is the weekend to gather with family and friends to share an ultimate hospitality experience.
Admission to the Festival includes:
A sampling glass and official festival program containing a detailed list of wines, beers, ciders, spirits and food available for your tasting pleasure.
All seminars in the wine and beer seminar rooms.
All seminars at the Meijer Food Stage.
Tasting tickets are available for purchase in 50 cent denominations at the Festival. They suggest you start with at least $20 worth as all restaurant and drink samples are "purchased" with these tickets at various prices. Unlike an all-inclusive fee, this ticket system encourages vintners, brewers and distillers to offer their best and most exclusive brands for you to taste.
The Box Office will offer you the option to purchase a package containing admission and tasting tickets in a one-stopshop.
We will continue to offer tasting ticket selling stations throughout the Festival.
There some new additions to this year’s event:
The Elite Wine Collection — Located in the center of the Vineyard, inside the Steelcase Ballroom at DeVos Place, this special collection of wine has been selected by our consulting sommeliers and importing specialists as the “best of the best” top shelf vintages, chosen from among 1200 assorted wines. These high-end wines require a minimum 10-ticket ($5) tasting fee due to the cost of the product being served. Each of these wines have at least a 90-point value in a recognized wine rating system and are regarded as among the most elite wines of the world, by both the trade industry and consumers alike. No need to invest hundreds of dollars in a full bottle—the Elite Wine Collection allows you the opportunity to sample the finest wines of the Festival for a minimal cost.
Beer City Station — The Festival’s popular beer area has been moved to the Main Floor of DeVos Places (off the Grand Gallery in Exhibit Hall C, meaning no more congestion and no more lines! Step into the world of creative craft beers, imported and domestic brews, hard ciders and foods that pair well with both. Meet the American craft brewer—the small, independent and traditional producers who display passion and excitement for their unique beverages. New products, as well as traditional favorites, will be offered for sampling.
Cider Row — Featured in the Beer City Station in Exhibit Hall C off of the Grand Gallery. Tap into the Cider Row at the Festival, featuring almost 20 cider producers from Michigan and nationally-known brands. Hard cider is among the fastest growing craft beverages, on a national scale. It is fermented to produce a range of flavors – from dry to sweet.
Over one hundred wineries from around the world provide samples of over 1,200 assorted wines – including some hard to find, top shelf vintages. Also find many award-winning Michigan wines for tasting. An increased number of distilleries, including many from Michigan, will also be showcased.
GROWERS CHAMPAGNE FLIGHTS:
Add a little extra class to your glass with an intimate tasting with Bradford Hammerschmidt from Imperial Beverage. These special flights offer champagnes you will not find anywhere else in the Festival. Each of the champagnes will be paired with specially selected cheese and crudités from Terra GR. Flights offered Friday and Saturday at 7pm only. The cost is $40 per person. Reservations may be made online, or on site – space permitting.
Five select restaurants partner with distinguished wineries and breweries for special Pairings – gourmet multi-course meals served on-site in a casual yet intimate “bar top” setting. Tickets are $45-$60 each and may be purchased in advance online or at the Festival on a first-come, first-served basis. This year’s restaurants include: Ganders, San Chez, six.one.six, Vintage Prime & Seafood and Wolfgang Puck’s The Kitchen. Buy tickets online here.
ULTIMATE DINING OPPORTUNTIES:
Additionally, chefs from the 14 of the area’s top restaurants prepare and serve small plates of their culinary specialties. The featured restaurants will be located throughout the Festival and designated by a knife and fork insignia. Use your tasting tickets to enjoy the ir special presentat ions. A perfect opportunity for an unparalleled dining experience. You will not leave the Festival hungry!
Featured restaurants include:
Anna's House Restaurant - Great tasting and creative breakfast and lunch restaurant
Curry Kitchen - Authentic Indian restaurant
Cygnus 27 - Latin influenced cuisine
FireRock Grille - Fine dining restaurant at StoneWater Country Club
Ganders - American cuisine with a modern twist
Gravity - European tradition with Southern upbringing and the exotic flavors of the Orient
Gilly's - A Gilmore Collection Restaurant featuring Grand Rapids' best selection of small plates, tapas,oysters, and more
Intermission - Fine dining restaurant at the Van Andel Arena
JU Sushi & Lounge - Premier sushi lounge in Grand Rapids
New Holland Brewing - American pub fare, seasonally inspired by local agriculture
Reserve Wine & Food - Modern American cuisine
Sandy Point Beach House - Focused fusion cuisine that the lakeshore knows and loves
SuperMercado Mexico - Mexican ethnic foods
TerraGR - Inspired, handcrafted foods
Other fantastic things going on:
The Coffee, Cordials and Dessert Café will be open in the Grand Gallery for the duration of the Festival. Start your Festival experience, or make it a nightcap, with unique pairings of coffee, lattes and cocktails crafted for your enjoyment with a variety of cordials, indulgent sweets and other treats.
SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS:
Esteemed individuals from the culinary world host demonstrations on the Meijer Food Stage. Free beverage seminars, held classroom-style in the rooms off the Grand Gallery, give attendees an in-depth look into the world of wine, beer and spirits. Workshops are also offered for a unique hands-on experience for those wishing to learn tricks of the trade from top leaders in the world of food and drink.
Shop the Riverfront Market for gourmet food, specialty items, wine accessories and holiday gifts including chocolates, pastas, cheeses, oils, olives, sauces, mixes, dips and more—even fashion! Cash and carry or order for easy delivery.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM:
Students from Ferris State University, the Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College in Muskegon, the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University work alongside industry leaders for a premier educational experience.
Please log on to www. GRWineFestival.com for more information.
This was printed in the November 15, 2015 - November 28, 2015 edition