What’s better than two days of wine and food? Five days. This year the Washington D.C. International Wine & Food Festival has an extended run through Saturday, February 9, with enough vino experiences to fill a new-oak barrel. The main Wine Cooperative Tasting Room is a chance to sample hundreds of wines from around the world, but the real action is at the festival’s can’t-miss events.
International Tasting. Imagine gathering top tasting rooms from across the globe and dropping them in the middle of D.C.. For drinking in a more intimate setting than the main tasting room, $75 buys admission on Friday evening to an exclusive opportunity to meet 100 winemakers pouring their best offerings. Live jazz, a demonstration stage and hors d’oeuvres make this the best pop-up happy hour in town.
Cab Lovers Only. Kendall-Jackson’s winemaker Matt Smith jetted in from Napa on Wednesday to explain the building blocks of the Valley’s most sought-after grape, cabernet sauvignon. If you missed that session, on Friday you can decide which country makes the best cab when Australian sommelier Matt Lane guides guests through a blind tasting and history of the grape in Australia vs. The World. The seminar is $45.
IWFF Showcase Dinner. Local favorite chef Todd Gray of Equinox whips up dishes to pair with the evening’s featured wines. On Thursday night, it was bottles from Peter Lehmann, widely recognized as one of Australia’s top producers. Achaval-Ferrer wines from Argentina flow on Friday. The cost: $95.
The Last Sipper. At this walk-around tasting dinner on Saturday, the feast’s focus is the top toques featured in the recently published cookbook Washington D.C. Chef’s Table. Bonus for responsible foodies: All food and beverages at the $125-per-person dinner highlight sustainable farming practices.
Photos Courtesy of Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival