Monday, July 22, 2013

North Market Food and Ohio Wine Festival

A little over a week ago, Dave and I went to the North Market Food and Ohio Wine Festival.  This has been on my list of summer festivals for a while, but I've never made it til this year.  Partly because there were always other things to do, but mostly because it's always like 90+ degrees that weekend.  Drinking outside when it's disgustingly hot and humid really isn't high on my list of things I enjoy. 

But if you run into a Saturday like we did that weekend...right before a heat wave hit and very little humidity (for central Ohio), the North Market Food and Ohio Wine Festival is actually pretty darn fun.  For $15 you got 10 tasting tickets, a souvenir glass, and a $5 voucher to use at any food vendor inside the market.  2 oz pours cost between 1 and 4 tickets, depending on the winery and type of wine you want to try.  I stuck with mostly 2 ticket tastings, splurging for one 4 ticket ice wine from Firelands Winery (worth it!  So rich and delicious).  There is a huge list of wineries and wines to choose from, so you're sure to find something you like. 

Dave and I had fun deciding on a winery to try, then we would each get a different wine and try each other's.  It was great to take it slow and just enjoy the wine and the weather, although we did look for shady seats when we could find them!

The only thing I found kind of annoying was the small space the festival was crammed into next to North Market.  It certainly made for close quarters with everyone else out to taste that day.  There really didn't seem to be a solution (space is limited down there), so it's just something you have to deal with if you go.  Most people are friendly and understand that a little bumping and elbowing is just what happens when you put a bunch of people in a small space and serve them alcohol. 

We used about half our tickets, then headed inside to look around North Market and grab some food with our vouchers.  We each got a delicious polish kielbasa sandwich.  In retrospect, that break was a good way to recharge for more tasting.  Plus, I always love looking around the market.  Here's a sneak peek of the amazingness you can find inside (although that really deserves its own post!).

If you go next year:
-Wear closed shoes...I saw patches of broken glass from the untimely demise of someone's souvenir tasting glass.
-Take your time.  Sip and relax or you'll miss the experience and just get drunk.  Not cool.
-Don't try to park in the North Market parking lot.  You will just get frustrated.  Park a little ways down Vine street in a $5 lot or at a meter nearby.
-Expect crowded conditions.  Take a deep breath and just work your way just can't be avoided. 

For more information: (next year's date not set as of post date, so check here for future info)

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