Dining With Denise Neil

Wine, food, wine, raffle – and wine– at Midwest Winefest

The Midwest Winefest’s main event, a Grand Tasting, is Saturday at Century II.
The Midwest Winefest’s main event, a Grand Tasting, is Saturday at Century II. File photo

It’s Winefest time in Wichita, and on Saturday, the event’s grand finale will stuff Century II with wine drinkers, wine vendors and a whole lot of wine-friendly food.

The Midwest Winefest, an annual fundraiser for Guadalupe Clinic, is in its 22nd year, and it will wrap up on Saturday with its main event: a Grand Tasting that will feature hundreds of wines to sample set up alongside food provided by local restaurants.

Here are a few features to look forward to.

▪ More food than ever before: Winefest organizers had extra luck lining up restaurants to provide food this year to ticket holders. More than 40 food vendors will be on site, passing out sweet and savory samples that pair with wine. Oak & Pie, the new pizza and wine restaurant scheduled to open soon near 21st and Greenwich, will be there offering a preview, and several restaurants have signed up to participate for the first time, including The Kitchen, Luciano’s out of Mulvane and Freddy’s Frozen Custard, which will be offering not only green chili-topped hotdogs but also a signature drink made with frozen custard.

“We have more restaurants than we have ever had before,” said organizer Jodi Guillemette. “We have so many.”

▪ Return of the food truck patio: An outdoor area that was introduced last year featuring food from local food trucks will return. Attendees will be able to stroll outside and try food samples at no extra charge from Cameo Cakes’ new food truck, Street Sweet’s, as well as Lynn’s Curbside Cookout and B.S. Sandwich Press.

▪ Hundreds of wines-plus: As usual, the grand tasting will feature more than 250 different wines, which attendees can sample a sip at a time from a provided sampling glass. The festival also will offer an expanded presence of beers and flavored spirits to sample as well.

▪ Auctions and a raffle: The festival always includes tempting live and silent auction items, including lots of rare wine and dinner experiences. There’s also a new raffle that will be open not only to attendees but also to participants who can’t attend the festival. Only 150 $100 tickets will be sold, and the winner will get a seven-night vacation package plus $1,000 spending money. People interested can visit http://midwestwinefest.org and click on the “WOW Raffle” tab.

▪ A chance to help the cause: The Winefest each year attracts nearly 2,500 people and raises around $350,000 for the Guadalupe Clinic, which provides medical care to poor and uninsured patients. The festival also included Thursday night’s sold-out Old Town Walkabout and two largely sold-out wine dinners on Friday.

Denise Neil: 316-268-6327, @deniseneil

Midwest Winefest’s grand tasting

What: A wine-sampling event featuring at least 250 different wines plus food from local restaurants

When: 6-9 p.m. Saturday

Where: Century II, 225 W. Douglas

How much: Tickets, which include a souvenir glass, 1-ounce pours of wine, food and a goodie bag, are $66 at the door or in advance at 316-219-4849, at the Century II box office or at www.wichitatix.com.

Info: www.midwestwinefest.com