It's late April in Wichita, meaning it's time for wine.
And though no one will, or should (or even could), sample all 400 wines that will be at the Midwest Winefest's big grand tasting on Saturday, the event is designed for people to find new wines they like.
The annual Midwest Winefest, now in its 23rd year, wraps up on Saturday with its big finale — its "grand tasting," which always gives wine fans the chance to sample wines and enjoy food provided by some of Wichita’s most popular local restaurants.
The event, which starts tonight with the sold-out Old Town Walkabout and continues Friday with fancy wine dinners at local restaurants, will finish on Saturday at Century II. As usual, the grand tasting will feature more than 400 different wines, which attendees can sample a sip at a time from a provided sampling glass.
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Food fans will be able to sample appetizers made by some of Wichita’s most popular restaurants, including Abuelo’s, Lola’s Bistro, Molino’s, Oak & Pie, Stroud’s, The Kitchen, Two Olives and Sweet Basil. New to the restaurant lineup this year is Chisholm’s American Beef and Ale House, the new restaurant inside the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wichita Airport.
The event is a fundraiser for Guadalupe Clinic, and each year, the 2,500 people who attend help raise about $350,000 for the clinic, which provides medical care to poor and uninsured patients. The grand tasting also includes auctions, both live and silent, and this year, the silent auction items will be bid on using a new web-based bidding system.
Tickets to the grand tasting, which include a souvenir glass, 1-ounce pours of wine, food and a goodie bag, are $69 at the door or in advance at 316-219-4849, at the Century II box office or at www.wichitatix.com.
A few wine dinner tickets may be available to the event’s Friday night winemaker dinners. One of the dinners is at YaYa’s Eurobistro featuring Justin Winery, and tickets are $125 a person. A Pahlmeyer Winery dinner will happen at Siena Tuscan Steakhouse and costs $150 a person. For reservations, call 316-682-5502 or visit http://aiwfwichita.org/.