Four Cures for Festival Fever

Do you have some frequent flier miles that are about to expire?

Are you tired of having your money parked in a savings account that’s generating virtually zero interest?

Did you just win the lottery?

If you’re looking for a reason to get out of town—not to mention the country—for a while, allow us to offer four compelling reasons.

Summer may be waning, but festival season continues in Europe. Following is a look at four fabulous fests. You’ll note that one is mostly about music, and another is all about beer. But even in those two cases, wine-tasting opportunities are readily available.

So get out your suitcase, and start making plans for a vinous getaway…

  • Rheingau Music Festival
    We wouldn’t expect you to jump on a plane just to hear the final few classical concerts of this year’s festival, which takes place near Frankfurt, Germany. But do check out the website; it may motivate you to start planning now for next year. And keep in mind that the Rheingau region is one of Germany’s wine quality capitals, renowned for its Riesling, but also a source of tasty Spatburgunder (a.k.a. Pinot Noir) and Muller-Thurgau.

  • Budapest International Wine Festival
    Now in its 20th year, this festival, held in the Buda Castle district of Hungary’s capital city, showcases both home country and imported wines. A big concert kicks off the festivities, and there will be plenty of additional music and lots of food offered throughout the event, scheduled for September 7-11. Organizers promise wines from 220 vintners and 15 countries.

  • Oktoberfest
    Extend your European vacation and head to Munich for one of the great celebrations on Earth: Oktoberfest. The 2011 edition will be the 178th and—like Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro—it’s something one should experience at least once. While Oktoberfest, which runs September 17 through October 3 this year, is mostly about beer, be aware that Munich is home to many wine-friendly restaurants. Among them: Weinhaus Neuner, where you must start your meal with Ricotta- and Fontina-stuffed ravioli with white truffle cream. You simply must…

  • Okanagan Fall Wine Festival
    This festival, held in Kelowna, British Columbia, offers an array of ticketed events, ranging from the opening night B.C. Wine Awards Reception and Tasting—featuring nothing but medal-winning wines—to the three-hour Grand Finale Consumer Tastings (there are two), at which more than 240 wines will be available to taste. In-between, other events shine the spotlight on the province’s top young chefs, wine-and-cheese pairing and more tasty topics.

Tomorrow: Upcoming wine events that are a lot closer to home (assuming you live in the United States).

Meanwhile, do you have a favorite wine festival? Tell us about it in the comment box below.

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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