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Wine Enthusiasts Spend their Wednesday at Grape & Gourmet

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Cal Expo and the State Fair hosted the 15th annual Grape & Gourmet wine event at the Sacramento Convention Center Wednesday. The convention center was a perfect venue for the largest showcase of award-winning California wines in the world.

There were over 700 California wines from more than 200 wineries. Those who attended enjoyed unlimited food, wine, micro-brewed beer and music. Prior to entering the event, each “wino” received a free commemorative wineglass and wine tote to encourage sampling and purchasing.

There were approximately 3,000 guests who attended, and, surprisingly, it was not overcrowded. There were booths and booths of wineries, many with gold, silver and bronze ribbons covering their prized bottles.

A quarter of the booths at the event were Northern California award-winning restaurants handing out samples to complement the taste buds of the wine enthusiasts. Some hungry guests formed long lines for the popular red velvet mini cupcakes with sweet cream cheese frosting from Babycakes Bakery, and for the large helpings of tender rib-tip and pesto pasta from Sandra Dee’s BBQ. Many went back for seconds, and others were not ashamed to stack multiple cupcakes on their plate. Hey, they paid for it.

Some guests paid the big bucks for the $100 VIP ticket and were able to enter before the public to taste and view the State Fair Commercial Wine Competition. At 5 p.m. the doors were open to the public. Some guests were so anxious they didn’t bother to change out of their work attire.

Sacramentan Bryan Imai purchased the VIP ticket and was at the event early. He waited in the long line for Sandra Dee’s while raving about Macchia, his personal favorite winery. He never stopped smiling throughout our conversation. “I’m having a great time!”

There was not much sitting area besides a few standing tables and a couple of larger tables near the entrance. This encouraged guests to keep sampling. Once the band warmed up, the guests were not shy to hit the dance floor and dance to cover songs like “Sweet Caroline,” “Love Shack” or “Tik Tok.”

The California State Fair held a booth for guests to turn in their Grape & Gourmet admittance ticket in exchange for a free fair ticket.

It was a great turnout, and by the end of the event couples and friends were leaning on each other with wine-stained lips and smiles.

 

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