Good food, good wine, good time at Festival of the Vine
By Denise Linke For The Beacon-News September 6, 2012 3:20PM
Gunther Schlink pours some of his Schlink Haus wine in a tasting area at the Little Traveler Friday as part of Geneva's Festival of the Vine. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 7, 2012 12:21PM
GENEVA — You don’t have to be a wine snob to enjoy this weekend’s Festival of the Vine. Even teetotalers will find lots to see, do — and taste — at the 31st annual event, which runs Friday through Sunday in downtown Geneva.
“We’ve always emphasized the restaurants, not just the wines,” said Jean Gaines, president of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the festival. “There’s a really good blend of foods and wines to satisfy every taste.”
Four new eateries will serve their signature dishes at the Flavor Fare, alongside such traditional favorite restaurants as Chianti, Gen Hoe, Inglenook Pantry and Josef’s Elegante. Chez Moi will offer galettes, crepes and mini steak sandwiches; Morano’s Pizza will sell pizza, hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches; Riganato will serve ricotta-stuffed meatballs and Italian-style chicken legs; and Tavolino will sell chicken marsala, arancini and bread pudding.
For the do-it-yourself crowd, the Harvest Stage demonstration area at James and Fourth streets will present a grilling lesson from Ace Hardware at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by chefs from new nightclub EvenFlow’s whipping up scallops and harvest vegetables and celebrity chef Alain Roby sculpting cornucopia centerpieces from spun sugar. On Sunday, The Little Traveler will offer food for the eyes with a demonstration on decorating with mirrors, while Peaceful Parlor will offer advice on brewing herbal teas.
Several restaurants will present special wine-tasting events with gourmet accompaniments. Graham’s Chocolates will continue its traditional “Bacchus Meets Quetzalcoatl” wine and chocolate tasting in partnership with Gibby’s Wine Den, while Chez Moi will offer fine wines and European-style appetizers and Preservation Bread & Wine will present wines and cheeses from around the globe.
“Years ago Graham’s was the only place that paired wines with specialty foods. Now many places are doing creative pairings,” Gaines noted.
Once visitors have thoroughly destroyed their diets, they can walk off those excess calories browsing the flower market on the Kane County Courthouse lawn at Third and James streets, then strolling through the arts and craft show at Third and Campbell streets.
Not into walking? Free trolleys will run between Sixth and State streets and Third and Fulton streets, while free horse-drawn carriage rides will provide relaxed tours of the historic downtown area. For a schedule of events, prices and information, visit the Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.genevachamber.com and click on the Festival of the Vine link.