Mike Brenton from the Lansing City Pulse attended the wine fest. In Sampling the Champs he writes about the festival and the Michigan Wine and Spirits Competition:
Complete competition results are posted at www.michiganwines.com, but it is helpful to taste wines before purchasing.
Fortuitously, the Traverse City Wine and Art Festival held its inaugural celebration on Aug. 22 at the Grand Traverse Commons. Twenty-two area wineries and several diverse restaurants rimmed the edges of a circus-sized tent, while wine devotees sampled many of the Gold Medal and Best of Class wines. Forming a perimeter around the tent was a juried fine arts show, featuring many artists recognizable from the East Lansing Art Fair. On a stage off to the side, Okemos’ own Thom Jayne & the Nomads entertained the crowd, along with other bands.
What occurred at The Village Saturday afternoon was no small feat. Had the sun simply offered her face in typical August fashion, hosting a Microbrew & Music festival would have been worry enough. Add to the challenge: rain, rain, rain. Still, not a grim face in the crowd. Smiles protruded from hooded hatters toting biodegradable koozies thermally insulating samples of amber ale and chocolate stout. Huddled and gathered beneath large and small tents, attendees dodged rain drops pelleting the lawn. Despite Mother Nature’s drab set decoration, Traverse City’s Microbrew & Music Festival proved to be a brilliant affair, as folks flooded the lawn of the old State Hospital grounds, sipping suds in the (sometimes) pouring rain…
After Saturday’s event, the only hard evidence we have is that nothing–not even cool wet weather–will stop Michiganders from their microbrews, music and good eats. And yes, they seemed happy. Northern Michigan’s thirst to celebrate with friends and family can neither be quenched or denied. Rain or shine–if you brew it, they will come!
I had the good fortune to be involved with both events – the TC Wine & Art fest as an organizer and the TC Beer fest as a participant. While I have to admit that it was a lot more fun to be on the participant end, the most exciting thing about the week for me has been looking forward to what the week holds in 2010 and beyond.
Plans are already afoot to turn the week into a celebration of community, culture and the culinary offerings of the new foodie mecca that is the Traverse City area. Stay tuned!