A couple of weeks ago we were shopping at Kroger when I noticed all these banners hanging from the ceiling for a wine and food festival. I had no idea where it was or who was the sponsor. I only knew you could get tickets at Kroger cheaper ( $15 each.) I immediately told my husband that I really wanted to go. It had been a while since we had done a wine tour or tasting and I was itching to do another. There are quite a few that go on around the state, but they are on weekends which makes it difficult for husband and I to go to them since we have kiddo. We try to keep our no-kid weekend days to a minimum.
The event was Saturday and Sunday, but we went to the 1st Annual Celtic Gathering on Saturday. This was an all-day event where we sat outside while enjoying the sites and sounds of Irish, Scottish and other Celtic traditions. It truly was a good time, but it was also very draining. It took me forever to get up and around on Sunday. The wine event didn’t start until 1pm, but we didn’t get there until 3. Oops. That’s ok.
The festival was held at Meadow Brook on the Oakland University campus in Rochester, MI. It was beautiful scenery, but wasn’t as big as I thought it was. It also wasn’t set up like I thought it was. I was pretty excited that Kroger was the sponsor because they were going to be sharing a lot of their Private Selection line of meats and cheeses. I have had some of these and they are really tasty for such a great price. When reading the description for the event on the website I was under the impression that their would be various tents set up with different wines to taste and food pairings.
I was really wrong. When finally get down all the winding sidewalks, there is a table where you hand over your tickets, get your tiny wine glass and tickets. There is an admission ticket attached to your glass that will get you in the food tent. You go down the line with your tiny plate where they pile on a ton of meats, cheeses, crackers and even a tiny cup of ice cream. The problem here was the balancing act. Not just of the plate and wine glass but the pile of food on the tiny plate. After the food line you are met by some wine experts to help you with your first pairing. We handed over our first ticket (You get 8 free with your price of admission) and headed out of the tent.
There was limited seating after coming out of the tent so we went through the next one after draining our glasses. That particular wine wasn’t top of my list. The next little tent was more wine, nothing of which I was interested in. I kept walking so I could get out into the open area to sit down with my plate. We finally found a spot. The chairs were not comfortable and it was quite painful to sit there. The last 3 tents were rather large and they were nothing but wine. I think I saw 4-5 tiny tents where vendors were located and in the gazebos was a jazz band, which I found quite enjoyable to listen to. Husband and I took turns finding a wine and met back at the table to eat our snacks and enjoy our wine. For every sample you give them one of your 8 tickets. Some were very generous with their pours and even gave some freebies. Others were not.
I am a label lover. I think it’s the marketer in me. I tend to seek out those wines with the most interesting labels and boy did I find some. And, with that I found some wonderful wines. Of the wines that had a very simple wine was not make out of grapes or cherries, but rather apples. It tasted more like a spiced cider and husband loved it. I did too. It was sparkling and very refreshing. It was amazing.
We walked around all the tables and spent some time talking to the people behind the tables. It was fun to visit with people. When we were getting ready to leave a gentleman noticed husbands tattoo (Captain America) which he had long before the movie came out. He’s been a fan since he was a little boy. So, he’s not on the Marvel bandwagon, he’s a lifer. We often get all sorts asking about his tattoo. I generally am amused. I had 2 tickets left. We had talked to this gentleman for so long that by the time he went to catch up with his family, the tables were starting to pack up! It closed at 5:30p and tables stopped pouring at 5:15. Oh, gosh!
The guy we spoke with though turned out to be pretty interesting. Him and Mr. Yum talked for a long time about comics turned into movies and television shows. He mentioned he was a non-profit owner and when they finally wrapped up their comic book talk I had to ask about his non-profit. I love hearing stories from people who have started one and it turns out he’s starting a center for diabetes education and assistance in Detroit. I offered my help with marketing, social media, content and gave him my card. Sadly, I haven’t heard from him yet.
All in all, it was a good time. I wish we would have showed up when the event started so I could have really enjoyed it, but at the same time, once you walk the tables and find the types of wines you actually want to try, there wasn’t much else left for us to do. There were some classes going on, but we missed those while we were sampling and talking. This is something I am putting on my list for next year. Hopefully we’ll make it on time 😉
While we were gone my MIL sent me a text telling me that kiddo and her were having lunch and the waitress asked kiddo how her day was. Kiddo replied “all my wishes came true today, I’m going to go live with my daddy and Chrystal.” It literally brought a tear to my eye, right before I took that photo of husband by the tree. Which is why my heart is broken for so many reasons since she’s now not living here. And this is the photo we sent her when she told us.
This was our reply (LOL.)
Disclosure – I paid for my own tickets. I was not compensated for this post. I just wanted to share the foodie fun I experienced.
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
I am a label lover, too! If it has a cool, funky or unique label – that is the one I am going for. It may end up tasting like crap LOL, but I can’t change who I am. Sounds like a super fun event and I would have bought tickets for it, too.
I feel like if they are going to go out of their way to have this fun, funky label then I owe it to them to give it a try.
Shop with Me Mama (Kim) says
food and wine? Yes please! Looks like you had a fabulous time!
That sounds like a pretty neat event. I love labels, too, and I’ve passed the love down to my daughter. There’s a grocery in town that my daughter shops at partially because she loves their packaging.
Lindsey @ Redhead Baby Mama says
What a goofball 🙂 I would love some education on wine pairings!
Isn’t he? LOL I really enjoy the wine education. I love the whole process of making wine. I wish I could go to more of them.
It sounds like a really fun day. It also appears it could have been set up just a little better, but glad you guys had a good time!
Amber C. says
My husband has always wanted to go to a wine and food festival! I think I might have to take him to one!
What a beautiful day! I’ve always wanted to do something similar where I could try a bunch of different types of wine.
Carly Anderson says
There’s a beer and wine festival this weekend that we will be going to. We are pretty excited! I still feel so bad that she won’t be coming to live with you guys. 🙁
ohhh can I tag along??
I am too. But she is 9. You never know what will change in the future.
I am sorry that kiddo won’t be staying with you. Looks like you did have a good evening though.
Lori Gunn says
I’m raising my hand as another member of the group of label lovers. The more clever, the better. How nice you got to attend the events an have fun. Sometimes it is hard to make the time work.
It seems like our life together is full of hards. Job losses , changes and college kept us in financial check and when we did have money, there was the issue of needing a sitter and since we only get kiddo on weekends we went through this period where guilt set in. We are realizing we cant do that anymore. We never really dated and its taking its toll on us.
Ben @ Cheap is the New Classy says
A wine and food festival? Count me in!
Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy says
This sounds like so much fun! I’d love to go to the festival.
I love a good festival, especially when it involves wine and food! This sounds like a blast.
Good pairings and we chatted with some great people.
Janel (A Mom's Take) says
Sounds like you had a fun day. I haven’t been to a wine festival since before I became a mom. My husband and I need a day away, but I’d have to skip the wine until after November.
I have noticed a lot of the wine tasting and such we attend always have the designated driver section of sparkling waters and seltzers!
My kind of festival! Look super delicious, bet you had a great time!
It was enjoyable!
So fun! I’m not a wine drinker, never had it before but I know so many people who go to these and they look fun.
Truth be told, I didn’t try wine until a few years ago. Hubs and I bought a bottle to try with a snack tray. Over the years we have taken some tours and even tasting events. There is still a lot I have no clue about. But I do enjoy how it enhances the flavor of some of my food.
Ann Bacciaglia says
Sounds like it would have been a great day with a little bigger plates and bigger glasses. Comfortable chairs help to .
I think the glasses were ok since most vendors were generous with their pours, but good gravy the chairs were a nightmare!
Krystal's Kitsch says
I would have totally wanted to go. Food + wine? Sign me up!
Travel Blogger says
It looks like you had a great time! I bet the classes would have been fun too.
Shannon Gosney says
Sounds like an awesome event! I’ve never been to a Wine and Food Festival before.
That’s cool that your husband has a Cpt. America tattoo. 🙂 My husband likes wine tasting events too!
Wine and food sounds like a great reason to go almost anywhere. 🙂 Looks like you had a great time!
Amy D says
I know my husband would love to attend one of these festivals. He loves trying new wines and different pairings.
What a fun event. Looks like you had a blast!
Carly from The Puzzled Palate says
I have never been to a wine or beer festival. I thing that I would get to drunk:) Maybe one day I would be able to contain myself and just “try” a few!
This festival looks like so much fun! It looks like you guys had a blast.