The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival returns for its 7th year this June, showcasing the best of the South’s restaurants, food, drinks, spirits and beyond.
From Thursday, June 1st through Sunday, June 4th, unique food and beverage traditions from Texas to D.C. will be served up in more than 80 Learning Experiences, plus dinners, events and the can’t miss all-you-can-indulge Tasting Tents.
Coming together for the four day fete in Midtown Atlanta are award-winning chefs, mixologists, barbecue pit-masters, sommeliers, mixologists and local growers.
The best strategy is to come prepared with how you want to travel through the South. Is it through food? There are Learning Experiences about barbecue sauce, soul food vegetables and oysters. Is it through drinks? There is Bourbon, southern craft beers and Virginia’s award-winning wine. Or are you looking for a global experience, going beyond Atlanta to other southern regions around the globe? There’s Chilean, South African and Australian wine seminars, and even one on sake.
One thing is for sure – no matter the event, you’ll experience the best in wine and food. Be sure to share it via social media, with hashtags #AFWF17 and #KnowTheSouth.
If you don’t yet have tickets, here are the details:
Individual Tasting Tent Pass – $100 per Tasting Tent ticket
Day Pass – $175 per day
Weekend Pass – $435 for full weekend
Connoisseur Experience –$600 – $1,800 per ticket
Dinners & Evening Events – $25 – $225 per person, per dinner/event
The Tasting Tents are open Friday, 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm; Saturday, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; and Sunday, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
Extra advice: wear comfy shoes so you can enjoy the festival to its fullest extent. The main action happens at the Loews Hotel at 1065 Peachtree Street NE, and the Tasting Tents are located a short walk away, at Piedmont Park’s Greensward Promenade (there is a shuttle from the Loews and golf carts from the 12th street entrance to Piedmont Park). Taking public transportation or Uber is recommended, or have a designated driver. Guests must be 21 years of age or older.
Top winemakers and wineries from California and beyond will be in Atlanta March 22nd through 25th for the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction. Celebrating its 25th year, the auction has raised more than $26 million for the High Museum.
Whether it’s your first High Museum Wine Auction or you’re a regular, here are the wines you won’t want to miss at Saturday’s Vintners’ Reception. Bonus if you love Pinot Noir.
Au Bon Climat
Owner and winemaker Jim Clendenen is one of this year’s guests of honor. It is well deserved – beyond making delicious wines, Jim is a familiar face at the wine auction and always has entertaining stories. In addition to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Jim brings fun and unique wines for guests to sample. Au Bon Climat is based in Santa Barbara County, in California’s Central Coast. aubonclimat.com
Co-founders Michael Browne and Dan Kosta round out this year’s guests of honor. If you’re a fan of Pinot Noir you’ve no doubt enjoyed one from Kosta Browne. If you haven’t tasted these wines from Sonoma, you must make them one of your first stops. kostabrowne.com
Start with the Sauvignon Blanc from this Carmel Valley, California winery and you won’t be disappointed. Bernardus was founded by Bernardus “Ben” Pon, who is from the Netherlands (you’ll notice orange in the logo). Marinus, a Bordeaux-style blend, is a must-taste. Bernardus also makes single vineyard Pinot Noirs that when sipped side-by-side offer a glimpse at the different terroir. After the wine auction you’ll want to plan a trip to the tasting room in Carmel Valley Village. bernardus.com
Big Basin Vineyards
In the charming town of Saratoga, on the edge of Silicon Valley, is where I first discovered Big Basin Vineyards. Their small and unassuming tasting room doesn’t prepare you for the big and bold flavors of their red wine – Pinot Noir, Syrah and Rhone blends. Big Basin’s vineyards are located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Wine auction guests got their first taste of Big Basin at last year’s event; this year owner and winemaker Bradley Brown will be offering tastes of current releases. Big Basin also makes Chardonnay and white wines from Rhone grapes. I’m a big fan of their Roussanne. bigbasinvineyards.com
Continuum made a big splash at the wine auction in 2014, when father and daughter Tim and Carissa Mondavi were guests of honor. Continuum’s vineyards are located on Pritchard Hill on the east side of Napa Valley, a stunning location if you have the chance to visit. Each year Continuum produces one wine, made from the estate’s best grapes, that truly captures a sense of place and the characteristics of that vintage. More recently they introduced Novicium, a second wine made primarily with grapes from younger vines. Continuum is a prized wine that all aficionados should have in their cellar. continuumestate.com
A favorite discovery from last year’s wine auction, Domaine Della returns for its second year. Owner and winemaker David Hejl named the winery for his mother, who as he will tell you, was a truly remarkable woman. David’s experience crafting high quality Pinot Noir shows in each bottle of his wine. It’s hard to pick a favorite between his Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. Be sure to join Domaine Della’s list for a chance to buy wine during the spring and fall releases. domainedella.com
Sam Lando is the kind of guy who you want to have a beer – or in this case, glass of wine with. Besides being engaging and entertaining, Sam is extremely knowledgeable about Pinot Noir, having worked with Kosta Browne winery. He’s another wine auction regular, and his table is always a popular spot. Lando makes flavorful and balanced Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. landowines.com
If full-bodied Napa Cabernet is your favorite, you must seek out Raj Patel of Patel Winery. As I wrote in 2015, “when Robert Parker awards your first wine a 95, you know you’ve made something special.” Patel wines are lush, layered and elegant, thanks to having access to some of the best grapes and the expertise of Luc Morlet, one of Napa’s top winemakers. Last year Raj debuted a Malbec, a deliciously spicy wine. This year he’ll be offering tastes of his 2014 Napa Valley Malbec, Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon and Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon. patelwinery.com
Winderlea Vineyard and Winery
You could spend the entire Vintners’ Reception enjoying California Pinot Noir but be sure not to miss these Oregon Pinots. The name Winderlea evokes images of the breeze gently blowing through the vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Founders Bill Sweat and Donna Morris made their wine auction debut last year, offering tastes of their Chardonnay and single vineyard Pinot Noirs. I can’t wait to taste what they’ll have this year. winderlea.com
Of course, you can’t go wrong with Champagne. This year Champagne Billecart-Salmon will be offering tastes of its bubbly. I’d suggest starting there, then moving on to the wineries featured above.
Now through mid-May Chef Mimmo has partnered with Second Helping Atlanta. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization aims to eliminate hunger in the Metropolitan Atlanta area by taking surplus food and delivering it to those in need.
Dine at MAYA Steaks & Seafood on Wednesdays through May 10th 2017, and 20% of your total bill will be donated to Second Helping Atlanta.
Call ahead to the Sandy Springs restaurant at (404) 705-8880 and reserve the Chef’s Table for Second Helpings. You may also reserve a table for 2 to 8 people through Open Table. If reserving online, include the note that you’d like to be seated at the Chef’s Table to benefit Second Helpings Atlanta.
MAYA, named for Chef Mimmo’s youngest daughter, offers top cuts of steak from Iowa Premium Black Angus and inventive seafood dishes with a signature Spanish flair.
Oysters for $1 each and a glass of champagne for $5 starting at 5pm on Friday, March 31st at STK Atlanta.
You really don’t need to know much more than that. Fab food and drinks at a great price at one of Midtown’s coolest spots kind of speaks for itself.
But here are the full details: STK Atlanta is hosting a “Shuck Yeah! Oyster and Champagne Party” in its bistro and lounge in honor of National Oyster on the Half Shell Day. It’s from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the 31st.
Fresh, chef handpicked East Coast and West Coast oysters will be $1 apiece, and the price of champagne changes based on the hour. At 5 p.m. a glass of bubbly is $5, starting at 6 p.m. it’s $6, and then it’s $7 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. A live DJ completes the party, making STK the perfect place to kick off the weekend.
Stay for dinner and add some turf to your surf, with one of STK’s mouthwatering steaks. I recommend the 28 oz Dry-Aged Porterhouse.
Shuck Yeah! Oyster and Champagne Party at STK Atlanta
Friday, March 31, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
1075 Peachtree Street, Atlanta 30309
(404) 793-0144, www.stkhouse.com
There’s a new excuse to check out one of Atlanta’s top dining spots. Atlas, the restaurant at the St. Regis in Buckhead has just launched The Tavern at Atlas.
Located in the two front areas of the restaurant, by the bar and in the library, The Tavern at Atlas offers chef-driven small plates, creative cocktails and a more casual experience.
It’s the perfect date spot or place to reconnect with friends. In the cozy, intimate setting you can share dishes like citrus-cured salmon flatbread, Georges Bank pan-seared sea scallop and Atlas sliders.
You get to enjoy the excellent food Atlas is known for, without committing to a full, formal dinner.
The Tavern at Atlas opens at 4 p.m. daily. For more information visit atlasrestaurant.com, or connect with @AtlasBuckhead on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This year’s theme is “The Big One,” and celebrates the event’s major milestone. Over its 24 years the High Museum Wine Auction has grown to be the largest charity wine auction benefiting the arts in the United States, and has raised more than $26 million for the High Museum.
From Wednesday, March 22nd to Saturday, March 25th there will be special lunches, dinners and seminars, leading up to the Friday Fête and Saturday’s Vintners’ Reception and Live Auction. For the second year the Friday Fête and Auction will be held inside the tents at the Green Lot at Turner Field.
Jim Clendenen, Michael Browne and Dan Kosta are this year’s special guests of honor. Jim, the owner and winemaker at Au Bon Climat, hardly needs an introduction. A High Wine Auction regular, he has been regaling guests with entertaining stories and delicious wines for years. Michael and Dan are the co-owners of Kosta Browne Winery, which is well-known for its outstanding Pinot Noir. Kosta Browne is being honored for its support of the Wine Auction, having participated for nearly 10 years.
A number of wineries have already confirmed their participation in the 2017 Vintners’ Reception and Auction. Click here to see the list.
Benefactor packages to the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction are now available. Single tickets will go on sale in late January.
Cognac meets Kentucky in the latest release from Martell, the oldest and one of the best known Cognac houses. Introducing Martell Blue Swift, a VSOP Cognac finished in Kentucky bourbon casks.
Martell Blue Swift was unveiled at an exclusive launch party in downtown Atlanta earlier this month. After guests sipped on Martell VSOP cocktails, brand ambassador Karim Lateef pushed back a wall revealing a room dedicated to Martell Blue Swift. The celebration then kicked into high gear with a DJ, live artist painting and tastings of Blue Swift on its own and in cocktails.
Blue Swift is a spirit that represents the partnership between France and America. Martell was the first to ship its Cognac to the United States more than 230 years ago. The name is a tribute to Martell’s swift emblem, a bird that can fly for extremely long distances, including across the Atlantic Ocean.
Blue Swift is an Eau de Vie de Vin. It starts with a base of high quality Cognac, the VSOP, and then spends additional time aging in Kentucky Bourbon casks. The VSOP has flavors of candied fruit and plum, while the bourbon casks impart notes of vanilla and smoky oak. Round and smooth, Martell Blue Swift can be enjoyed on its own or in cocktails. My favorite way to sip it is mixed with ginger ale.
Atlanta’s newest craft brewery is opening its doors to the public this weekend. Introducing Scofflaw Brewing Company, which made its debut in the metro area last month.
It’s a seemingly common story for many successful breweries — owner Matt Shirah and co-founder and brewer Travis Herman left behind jobs in the corporate and pharmaceutical industries to follow their true passions. Herman attended brewing school at the University of California, and honed his skills at top craft breweries. Scofflaw is the result of two years of intense (and one would assume tasty) research and development.
Scofflaw Brewing Co. makes 11 craft beers including:
Basement IPA – A seriously juicy and tropical India Pale Ale (IPA) made with organic citra hops, this IPA was created in Grammy’s basement following an argument about the differences in west and east coast beer. At the end of the day, this is one of Scofflaw’s go-to beers.
Slim the Pale Ale – This beer is a well-balanced pale ale for people that know their limits but have crossed the line before. It’s light – but not too thin – with hints of passion fruit, pine, berry, citrus and faint floral tones (but we won’t tell anyone).
Sneaky Wheat – Slightly cloudy and creamy, this imperial American wheat has a kick that can sneak up on you. Made with coriander and orange, it presents its case with light honey and spice aromas that match the moderately sweet flavors, without focusing on a hop profile.
Westside IPA – Straight out of the brewmaster’s arsenal, this brew is full of caramel malt and hops that start with the letter C. It presents itself as somewhat bitter with plenty of hops, but not overkill.
You’ll be able to taste these beers, plus specialty batches at the Grand Opening Party on Saturday, September 17th. The converted warehouse space on Atlanta’s Westside will be open for tours and tastings from noon to 5 pm. Tastings cost $14 per person.
Scofflaw has partnered with Lyft for the opening celebration. New Lyft users can receive $10 off their first two rides by using promo code SCOFFLAW. Existing users can use promo code SCOFFLAWX1 for 25% off their ride to or from the event.
Scofflaw Brewing Co. is located at 1738 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30318. Visit scofflawbrewery.com for more information.
Scofflaw Brewing Co. will be open for tours and tastings on Thursday and Friday from 5 to 8 pm and Saturday from 1 to 5 pm. The $14 per person fee includes 36 oz. of beer samples and a take-home branded glass. To-go tours will also be offered at $7 for 36 oz. or $14 for 64 oz.