The nonprofit Cincinnati International Wine Festival is returning to its regular schedule in March after being held in May last year. This ultimate wine weekend returns to the Queen City with 700 wines from 100 wineries around the world, March 9-11.
The annual festival benefits 30-plus local charities and includes winery dinners, grand tastings and more. In line with this year’s festival theme, “wine for all,” there is truly something for everyone, from wine newcomers to connoisseurs.
The weekend begins with upscale winery dinners on Thursday, March 9, when guests will enjoy the best of fine wines and fine dining simultaneously at 10 prestigious restaurants across the city. Visiting wine experts from around the world team up local chefs to create incredible multi-course dining experiences with wine pairings. Guests will interact with the winery hosts, learn the story of their wines, and savor the harmony of fine wine and impeccable cuisine.
The festival continues March 10 and 11 at the Duke Energy Convention Center with grand tastings held in the main level exhibit hall. Grand tasting ticket holders receive unlimited tastes of wine, a keepsake Riedel wine glass, small bites from notable brands, and access to wine industry representatives and experts from around the globe. Grand tasting ticket holders may also purchase exclusive access to a collector’s tasting room one hour prior to each grand tasting session, which showcases rare and high-end wines.
New, larger space
The festival will be held in a larger space this year with served food samples and individually wrapped desserts. There will also be several new products including saké, wine-based seltzers, and single-serve ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages. New, smaller auction lots consisting of 6-10 bottles will also be available for the first time at the grand tastings for those interested in taking wine home from the festival.
Auction of rare wines
A charity luncheon and auction on March 11 will feature limited-release and rare wines coaxed from the cellars of prominent Cincinnatians. Bidders will have the opportunity to win exclusive chef-prepared meals and party packages, glamorous trips, wine cellar tours and more. This year’s luncheon will be held inside the Duke Energy Convention Center for the first time ever.
The wine festival grants hundreds of thousands of dollars to dozens of arts, education, health and human service charities each year. Last year, the festival surpassed a record $6.75 million in total philanthropic community impact since its inception in 1991.
For more information: winefestival.com