Wine me, dine me sets the table for the Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic: a foodie's dream come true

CINCINNATI - Julie Niesen Gosdin, the voice behind the wine me, dine me food blog,  usually serves up a "Pick of the Week," when she visits a local eatery and samples a signature menu item. This week, she’s picking her favorite events at the upcoming Cincinnati Food and Wine Classic.

Cincinnati Food and Wine Classic

  • Date: Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12-13
  • Location: Washington Park and around town
  • Website

This year is the very first for the event, headed up by former Cincinnati Magazine dining editor Donna Covrett and food blogger-turned-cookbook-maven Courtney Tsitouris.

They had the difficult job of checking out food festivals around the country--where they ate, drank, and met a ton of great talent whom they're bringing to Cincinnati.

RELATED: Francis Lam of 'Top Chef Masters' gets ready to visit Porkopolis for Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic

The festival sets up at Washington Park on Sept. 12-13, with other events around the city. A VIP Indulge Pass is $380, which gets you into everything (plus one after-party), but what if you don't have the time for a two-day extravaganza, or if you just don't have it in the budget to do the VIP pass? MORE ABOUT TICKETS

You have options

To get a taste of Cincinnati Food and Wine Classic without breaking the bank, try the Speakeasy in the City event on Friday, Sept. 12. You'll get information on the secret location prior to the event, but you'll be guaranteed a great time from some of Cincinnati's favorite culinary talents: Rom Wells from Rookwood, Nick Marckwald from Hen in the Woods, Sara Bornick from Streetpops and a bunch of Rhinegeist beer and "bathtub gin.”

This is a great way to get in on the excitement without a huge time or financial commitment.

Want the food festival feel without a full pass? The folks at the Classic added an $85 Culinary Showcase ticket that gets you access to a bunch of classes, tastings, the Street Fight between current and former Cincinnati chefs, a tasting with Edward Lee from TV’s “Top Chef” and the Louisville restaurant 610 Magnolia, and a chocolate class taught by Summer Genetti, currently of Lola.

This is a great choice if you want to learn a lot about food (and taste a few things along the way).

Just want dinner? The Grand Tasting pass ($125, on either Friday or Saturday) allows you to try delicious bites from 40-plus chefs. 

Or, the best money-saver? Volunteer. There are still volunteer positions open, and as a thank you, the Cincinnati Food and Wine Classic will give you 20 percent off of a Grand Tasting ticket.

Wine me, dine me picks

So which events do I consider can't-miss? 

  • Cocktails and a View at Metropole's rooftop cocktail bar
  • Table Talk with Andrew Knowlton (Bon Appétit Magazine), Keith Pandofli (Saveur Magazine) and Francis Lam (Clarkson Potter) and Joanne Drilling, who are all food writers sharing their experiences
  • Street Fight, which is a "Chopped" style food competition amongst six chefs
  • Hog and Hooch, which focuses on Edward Lee's bacon dishes paired with bourbon 
  • Good Tempered, where Summer Genetti demonstrates how to temper chocolate, the basis of so many delicious desserts

Want to go for free? So wait. There's one more option.

  1. Take a picture of your favorite bite
  2. Share it on Twitter, my Facebook page , or Instagram and use the hashtags #wmdmbite #cfwc14 (and feel free to tag @winemedineme and @CinciFoodWine too!) and share your favorite bite.
  3. For more information, check out the official rules here

The person who has best bite – either made by you or from a local restaurant – will win two Saturday Savor tickets (a value of $380). 

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