- Eric Schwartzberg Staff Writer
The 2017 Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival is raising a glass to a decade of exploring the world of wine with a series of new features.
Filled with more than 90 wineries and more than 400 wines from all over the world, the 10th annual festival at Jungle Jim’s International Market, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, also features bite-size delicacies, charcuterie and other culinary delights.
The business aims to make the festival an intimate, elegant, lively and vibrant two-night event, said Jungle Jim’s spokesman Jared Bowers.
Here are five things to know about this year’s installment of the International Wine Festival.
1. The food options have been revamped
An all-new menu courtesy of the Oscar Event Center’s new executive chef, James Trent, means all-new dishes for Jungle Jim’s Connoisseur ticket-holders.
“This is the first time in several years that the menu has seen a refresh, so we’re excited to give our regular festival attendees something new to look forward to,” Bowers said.
The “Dinner by the Bite” menu items include appetizers Plum Braised Beef Short Rib, as well as an Avocado Mousse. Also featured will be a Smoked Salmon Station, Taco Station and Tapas Station. For more details on all items, visit www.tinyurl.com/iwfmenu.
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2. Friday Connoisseur tickets include early admission to an exclusive seminar
This year’s International Wine Festival also includes an extremely limited pre-festival event with Mary Horn, vice president of fine wine education at Heidelberg Distributing, on both nights for those who purchase Connoisseur tickets.
“This is the first time we’ve offered something like this, and consider it both a perk and a bit of added value to those who purchased a Connoisseur ticket,” Bowers said.
3. A way to keep the good times rolling at home
Anyone who purchases a ticket to this year’s festival will have the ability to purchase the wines they enjoy the most by ordering them at the event, then pick them up a few days later from either Jungle Jim’s location, just in time for holidays, Bowers said.
“We think this is entirely unique to our festival, and love that we can offer it to our customers,” he said. “Think of it as your very own, year-round Wine Festival, and it all starts here. Much like a bottle of wine, our International Wine Festival is best shared with friends and family.”
4. More wines for VIPS, varied selection for the rest
The Connoisseur (VIP) section has been expanded this year to include more wines and there also will be a special Wine Passport-only section for members of Jungle Jim’s Wine Passport e-newsletter, which is a new addition to the event this year, Bowers said.
As for the remainder of attendees, there’s roughly the same amount of wineries and wines from the last couple of years, but the offerings do tend to change every year depending on what’s available, he said.
5. The festival is among the oldest of Jungle Jim’s offerings
Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival is among the 13 festivals offered between the grocer’s two locations. The International Craft Beer Festival held its 12th installment in June and Weekend of Fire held its 11th installment in October.
“Our International Wine Festival brings education and leisure together as we welcome those new to wine and connoisseurs alike to the Oscar Event Center,” Bowers said. “We want everyone to sip, savor and experience these incredible creations in the best way possible.”