The 2016 edition of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, this city's biggest culinary showcase of the year, is scheduled for June 2 through June 5 in Midtown. Early bird tickets go on sale this Friday, and organizers have announced a number of new additions to go along with the "festival favorites."
The festival's new Masterclass series will offer expanded learning experiences for "the more serious and seasoned food and drink lover." These two-hour sessions delve into topics ranging from "in-depth wine pairings led by Master Sommeliers" to "a class on rare bourbons and country hams."
A number of new faces will appear on this year's advisory council, which includes chefs and beverage experts from across the South. "Each year, we challenge our advisory council to develop educational, entertaining, and fulfilling classes to give our guests a real sense of our food and drink history and future," co-founder Dominique Love says. "The process takes a few months and has become quite competitive among council members, with each member developing a series of class and event concepts."
Located in The Stave Room at American Spirit Works, this year's kick-off party, Destination Delicious, will take guests on "a virtual road trip through some of the South's top food and drink destinations."
Last year, Kevin Gillespie's Gunshow was the inspiration for an inaugural brunch event at the festival. This year, it's a main attraction. Sunday brunch will include a VIP brunch at Vineyard in the City and a general admission brunch at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, food and drinks by more than 15 chefs and mixologists, and live music.
- Expanded Advisory Council
For many, the tasting tents are the main attraction at the festival. This year, Friday's tasting tents will take place at night, giving guests "the ideal end to their work week."
The festival's pop-up vineyard and event venue, which organizers boast is one of a kind, will be home to Masterclasses and events during the weekend, including a "Grapes from A to Z" Wine Luncheon with Master Sommeliers and the VIP Sunday brunch. Vineyard in the City, located in the former Atlanta Symphony Hall lot on 14th Street, will remain open until July 14 for community use.
- Friday Night Tasting Tents
Early bird tickets will be available through April 15. Prices range from $80 for tasting tent passes to $1,700 for the "Connoisseur Experience," which includes three days of exclusive classes, VIP areas, priority seating, and more. Further information is available on the festival's website.