Best of the Best Wine Tasting Events

A favorite summer/fall indulgence of many are wine festivals. Unlike other events, wine festivals allow opportunities to enjoy the warm season, try new foods and more importantly sample delicious wines. If you have not had a chance to participate in one as of yet, here are several great wine events across the nation:

Kerrville Wine and Music Festival, Kerrville, Texas Sept 4-6: The Kerrville Wine and Music Festival is one of the largest wine festivals in Texas. Each labor day weekend, wine and music lovers gather at the Quiet Valley Ranch in the Texas hill country to celebrate the art of songwriting and winemaking. The festival features the newest and best wines that Texas has to offer in addition to performances by dozens of the world’s best songwriters. For details visit

Euphoria, Greenvill, SC Sept. 18-2: Wine seminars, live jazz music and hor' dourves created by some of South Carolina's renowned chefs is what you will get at the Euphoria wine event. This amazing event is a true example of "southern class" as you will tour local wineries and relax with friendly people:

Catalina Wine Tasting, CatalinaIsland, CA Sept. 26: For the eleventh year, the Orange County Wine Society will be hosting the Catalina Island Wine Tasting sponsored by the Catalina Island Women’s Forum. This event will feature hand passed appetizers, live music, a silent auction and wines from a variety of wineries. In addition, this event supports a great cause. All proceeds from the event will go towards the support of victims of domestic violence, the Woman’s Wellness Program, student mentoring, and scholarship programs. The tasting will be held in the Courtyard of the Pavilion Hotel, located in downtown Avalon on Crescent Street:

Wine Fest on the Beach, Ocean City, MD Oct 2&3: Wine Fest on the Beach is the Delmar Beach areas major annual wine celebration. It features some of the best wineries and breweries in the US. It also has samples of the best of the Delmar areas local cuisines and an arts and crafts show:

Harvest on the Harbor Portland, Maine, October 22-24: Maine's premier food and wine experience. A culinary mecca, Portland proves the perfect locale for a weekend with top chefs and international wines. The festival will offer tastings, seminars, and dinners featuring local cuisines. Highlights include tastings with caviar retailer Browne Trading Company, the "seafood supplier to the stars." Festivities conclude with a gala dinner by master chef David Pasternack:

Centerpiece Ideas under $20 each

Centerpieces are typically a major accent of a reception, gala or party. Centerpieces add to the ambiance and provide personality to an event. In today's market, centerpieces can be quite pricey ranging from $50 to $1,000 each. However, you do not have to break the bank to have beautiful centerpieces. Here are several centerpiece ideas that can give your event the look you want and save you $$$ as well:

1. Candles, Candles Candles: Nothing sets a romantic mood quite the way candles do. They add a tranquil and romantic ambiance to an event. They are also easy to use and come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes such as floating candles and tea lights. To make them more visually appealing, add mirrors, glass, petals, and colored water to the arrangement. More importantly candles are inexpensive to purchase and can be found anywhere. Use a set of candles to spice up your tables for your next event.

2. Silk flowers vs. Fresh Flowers: Typically when people think of centerpieces they automatically think of an arrangement of fresh flowers. Silk flowers, however, have made a huge comeback in a very big way. Nowadays, silk flowers look and feel as authentic and appealing as fresh flowers. More importantly, silk florals are less expensive as fresh and can be manipulated in many different ways. Try an arrangement of silk flowers to get the same look as fresh with less costs.

3. Downgrade the Fresh flowers: If you are truly committed to purchasing fresh flowers, there are a few tricks to help reduce the costs. You can use a smaller amount in each arrangement. This means less flowers you have to purchase. Also try to use less expensive flowers. Tulips and coronations tend to be less expensive than roses. You may also notice that you can find better buys from warehouse stores such as Costco verses a florist.

4. Use your Creativity: Centerpieces do not always have to be in the form of flowers or candles. Think about ways that you can incorporate your theme in your centerpieces. For example, if you are having your event at a winery you may want to make a display of a nice bottle of wine, grapes and a cork screw for each table. If you are having an event in the fall you may want to use fall colored leaves, a pumpkin and/or pine cones for your arrangement. Tropical fish, coffee beans and Tiffany's boxes are also making huge statements as centerpieces nowadays.
You can get the look you want without breaking the bank. Do some research and find what works for you and your event.