Festival: Columbus Wine Festival
Why you should go:
The Columbus Wine Festival is an accessible alternative to some similar, but pricier, events. Sample wine to your heart's content (or till you reach 10 tickets' worth - whichever comes first) in a lovely setting, Franklin Park Conservatory's gardens.
What to eat & drink:
You don't have to drink wine at the Columbus Wine Festival (the Belgian Beer Cafe is pouring Stella, Hoegaarden and Leffe). But you probably should. Check out some highlights below.
If you get the munchies after a little imbibing, four Columbus restaurants will be on hand to assist: Barrio, Bravo, Due Amici and Trattoria Roma. Don't forget, though, that your tickets only get you wine. The offerings at non-booze booths are individually priced.
Check out a demonstration from Barrio executive chef Josh Cook at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and Southern rockers Stonehoney take the stage later that night. On Saturday, the lineup includes a "master mixologist" competition at 6 p.m., followed by Michael Heaton's four-man group playing some poppy folk.
The festival is presented by Giant Eagle, which means many of the wines are available in the store. Plenty, though, are special to the event. Be sure to stop by the Brown-Forman tent to try some of their Little Black Dress line of wines, Foster's Wine Estates for a little Colores del Sol malbec and Georges Duboeuf for some French Beaujolais.
What You Need to Know
When: Friday-Saturday, July 30-31
Where: Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., Near East Side
Hours: 4-10 p.m. Friday, 3-9 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $25 in advance, $35 at the door
Parking: At the conservatory, East High School or along East Broad Street