Athens Wine Weekend, Like a Fine Wine, Gets Better with Age

By Ashley Crain

The eighth annual Athens Wine Weekend at The Classic Center is just around the corner, and this year’s event will be the grandest one to date.

Scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Feb. 3-5, Athens Wine Weekend was created eight years ago to benefit The Classic Center Cultural Foundation’s mission to provide resources to entertain and educate the community by supporting diverse performing, visual and culinary arts programs, while also offering scholarships to up-and-coming students of the arts. Athens Wine Weekend, like a fine wine, has aged to be more vibrant and full of more flavor with every passing year.

The weekend begins with an Amuse-Bouche, or “A Little Surprise,” on Friday evening, featuring five of the most skilled and talented chefs from Northeast Georgia. Each will provide a sampling of their cooking artistry, all paired with the perfect wine to arouse the palate.

Wine enthusiasts are invited back on Saturday for the Grand Tasting, which will feature hundreds of wines from around the world. Each attendee will receive 10 tasting coins upon entry, and various distributors will be on hand for four hours of sipping and sampling.

Take your love of the grape to the next level by attending a wide variety of seminars from some of the most knowledgeable experts and sommeliers in the industry, including Sharon Fenchak from Biltmore Wines and Frank Abbinanti of Levy Restaurants.

Saturday’s festivities conclude with an elegant six-course, gourmet Italian dinner. The evening will also feature the conclusion of the Silent Auction, which takes place from Friday through Saturday night and helps raise funds to support The Classic Center Cultural Foundation’s scholarship program.

The weekend wraps up with a Sparkling Wine Sunday Brunch, featuring culinary delights with chef tables, including specialty Eggs Benedict and a mimosa bar as well as an exclusive seminar.

New to this year’s Athens Wine Weekend is a newly offered conference that includes a Level 1 WSET certification course.

Scheduled for Feb. 3-4, Level 1 WSET is a beginner-level introduction to wine and is suitable for those starting a wine career or pursuing an interest in wine. Through exploration of the main types and styles of wine through the basic senses of sight, smell and taste, participants will learn the skills to properly describe wines and make food and wine pairings. Director of Wine Wise Atlanta, Ophelia Santos, will be the conference instructor.

Whether you’re a wine novice or a fully certified sommelier, Athens Wine Weekend is for every vino fan. Join us at The Classic Center February 3-5 for another eventful Wine Weekend and see what new and exciting additions we have in store. Tickets to all Athens Wine Weekend events go on sale in December.