If you’re thinking about going to Taste of Atlanta at Tech Square in Midtown this weekend, think about buying a VIP ticket.
It will get you a whole lot of special beer, wine and cocktail tastings in the VIP area, plus a chance to get in on some VIP seminars (be sure to sign up early) with Bob and Gil.
Kraig and the boys from Hop City will be pouring plenty of interesting beers in the VIP tasting tent.
Saturday at 12:30 p.m., AJC beer guy Bob Townsend and AJC wine guy Gil Kulers face off for Italian Wine vs. Italian Beer, with food pairings, including pan-seared scallops and porcini pork. We’re talking rare Italian artisan beer and really great Italian wine.
Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Liz Thorpe from New York City’s renowned Murray’s Cheese Shop and Mike G. from Atlanta’s renowned Brick Store Pub will be the special guests for a tasting of three American craft beers matched with three American farmstead cheeses —including Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill and the return of Sweetwater Exodus Porter.
On the cocktail side, this is the place to be at 5 p.m. on Saturday: Home Bar Basics with Eric and Miles. That’s Atlanta superstar cocktail geeks Eric Simpkins of Drink Shop and Miles Macquarrie of Leon’s.
On the wine side, I’m looking forward to this one at 3:30 p.m. Sunday: The Passion of Paso, with chef Joe Truex of Watershed Restaurant offering food pairings, including samples from his kitchen, for several powerful and majestic wines from California’s Paso Robles region.
I’m pretty sure I thought last year’s seminars were the best, but I was wrong. How can you beat:
The Passion of Paso Wines by Chef Joe Truex, Watershed Restaurant
Some of the world’s best wines are coming out of this relatively unknown California region.
2005 Niner Wine Estates, Fog Catcher
2008 L’Aventure, Côte à Côte
2008 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc
2007 Turley Wine Cellars, Pesenti Vineyard, Zinfandel
The Greatness of Greece by Eddie Valente, wine director for Buckhead Life Restaurants
You don’t need to be able to pronounce xinomavro and assyrtiko to love these amazing wines.
2008 Boutari Moschofilero
2008 Sigalas (Assyrtiko) Santorini
2008 Gaia Agiorgitiko
2006 Alpha Estate “Axia”
The Decadence of Dessert Wines by Leo Barrera, Craft Atlanta, featuring the ice creams of Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream
Custom-churned ice creams perfectly paired with delicious wines. Nuff said.
2003 Quinta do Crasto LBV Port
Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Aqui
2004 Mer Soleil “Late”
1927 Alvear Pedro Ximénez
Barolo vs. Ribera del Duero by Federico Castellucci III, Iberian Pig and Sugo
No two regions offer wine lovers more interesting, thought-provoking wines than the Italy’s Barolo and Spain’s Ribera del Duero.
2005 Legaris, Crianza, Ribera del Duero
2006 Aalto Bodegas y Viñedos, Riserva, Ribera del Duero
2006 Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco
2005 Marchesi di Barolo Barolo
(This is the one I love the most.)
Italian Wine vs. Italian Beer by Bob Townsend and Gil Kulers, CWE, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s beer and wine columnists with the food of Capozzi’s Decatur
Great wine. Great beer. Great food. It’s a draw. Everybody wins.
2009 Feudi di San Gregorio La Cryma Christi del Vesuvio
2004 Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino
Grado Plato Strada San Felice Amber Ale
Montegioco Quarta Runa (A pale ale made with peaches. Yes. Peaches!)
Taste of Atlanta
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 23-24. $25 (general admission through midnight Oct. 22; $30 at gate) for 15 taste coupons; VIP package $75 (21 and older) for 20 taste coupons, admission to additional restaurant tastings and the wine, beer and cocktail area and seminars. Additional taste coupons can be purchased for 10 for $10 or 20 for $20. Kids 13 and under are free with paying adult, but must purchase taste tickets for food.
Technology Square in Midtown, at Spring and Fifth streets, Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849, www.tasteofatlanta.com .