By: Laurie Wallin
Capital Cooking Contributor
Named by BizBash as one of “Washington’s Top 100 Events,” the 15th annual DC International Food and Wine Festival kicked off on Friday, February 14. The event featured three areas which included Food, Wine, Cocktails, Beer, and Entertainment. More than 120 wines were showcased in the Wine Tasting Room and over 20 Spirits and Beer in the Movers, Shakers, and Beermakers Hall; the annual festival featured something for wine, beer, and spirits lovers alike.
I had the opportunity to taste a number of wines in the wine tasting room; without a doubt, the Stags’ Leap Petite Sirah and the Frog’s Leap Zinfandel stood out as two of my favorites. The Petite Syrah featured notes of dark fruit and spices on the nose, and exploded with intense fruit flavors and a smoothness that kept me wanting more. A beautiful winter wine, it’s been a while since I’d had the pleasure of tasting a wine from Stags’ Leap and reminded me why I like the winery so much.
The Frog’s Leap Zinfandel was another wine that captured my attention that evening. Although as of late I’d been leaning towards Zinfandels from Sonoma County, trying this wine again reminded me of my trip to Frog’s Leap several years ago and reminded me how much I like their zin! A blend of 85% zinfandel, 14.5% petite sirah, and .5% carignan, this was a light, zesty wine with a lower alcohol content that really allows the fruit to shine through. I also enjoyed wines from the Hess Family Wines collection as well as Franciscan.
Wine wasn’t the only item the festival had to offer. Featuring an entire room dedicated to spirits and beer, the festival also catered to those who may not be as fond of wine. Featuring several Beer Bars which included local beers (Devils Backbone from Richmond, VA) to beers from around the U.S. and the world (Goose Island from Chicago, IL), there was plenty for beer lovers to choose from. In addition, spirits were also well-represented, including a number of vodkas, rum, whiskey, and sake.
Featuring an assortment of breads and cheeses, grilled vegetables, a variety of salads, and finger sandwiches of all types (tomato mozzarella, turkey and cheese to name a few) there were plenty of carbs available to offset the featured beverages.
With unlimited tastings and musical entertainment, the 15th Annual DC International Wine and Food Festival offered a wonderful opportunity for participants to be exposed to a variety of wine, beers, spirits, and foods, while offering the chance to speak with representatives to learn more about the beverages being featured. With all the festival had to offer, there’s no doubt that each participant left with a new favorite!