CHICAGO, Ill. – Wirtz Beverage has announced the beverage program lineup for this month’s inaugural Chicago Food + Wine Festival. Complementing the festival’s impressive culinary lineup, representatives from more than 100 wine and spirits brands will be on hand to sample, craft unique cocktails, host tasting sessions and lead wine and cocktail-centric education panels.
The festival – scheduled for Aug. 28 to Aug. 30 in Lincoln Park and produced by C3 Presents and FOOD & WINE Magazine – boasts a who’s who of the culinary world, including superstar chefs, master sommeliers, distinguished winemakers, celebrated craft cocktail connoisseurs, and dozens of artisanal food exhibitors. The festival’s cocktail program is designed by Eric Hay, beverage development manager at Wirtz Beverage Illinois and one of Chicago’s most highly regarded mixologists.
“Chicago has one of the most dynamic food and beverage scenes in the world, and the Food + Wine Festival is the perfect opportunity for people to experience the talent, innovation and unique flavors this city has to offer,” said Wirtz Beverage President and CEO Danny Wirtz. “Chicago is our home and we’re so excited to be a part of this next step in Chicago’s culinary evolution. We envision the Food + Wine Festival as a Chicago staple for many years to come.”
Wirtz Beverage, the wine and spirits distributor for the event, also sponsors the festival’s main attraction, the Grand Tasting. Hosted from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 29 and Aug. 30, the Grand Tasting pavilion will feature:
- More than 100 top and spirits brands hosting their own tables, making for a sampling extravaganza featuring some of the world’s best offerings. Brands will include E&J Gallo Winery, Kendall Jackson Vineyard Estates, Diageo, Hendrick’s Gin and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
- Wirtz’s Craft Spirits team is mixing and pouring handcrafted, small-batch brands to create one-of-a-kind cocktails at the Wirtz Craft tent.
- Japanese spirits and sake expert Eric Swanson is leading an interactive “Sake 101” course, allowing festival-goers to participate in a blind sake tasting, ask questions and learn everything they could ever want to know about the versatile, traditional Japanese beverage.
For a full list of Wirtz brands that will be featured at the Chicago Food + Wine Festival, visit www.chicagofoodandwinefestival.com/grandtasting/.
Chicago Food + Wine Festival offers standalone ticket options to select festival events. At Saturday evening’s Toast & Taste, where guests will enjoy live music while tasting their way across Grant Park, and at Saturday’s late-night Last Call event, which features a sampling of creative desserts crafted by the city’s most talented pastry chefs, guests will enjoy cocktail specials featuring Don Julio, Bulleit, Hendrick’s, Red Bull and St. Brendan’s.