It may be called the Virginia Wine Expo, but there's more to it than just wine. (Not that we'd have any fight with an event devoted entirely to wine.) The event takes place over the first weekend in March, and a $55 ticket will give you general admission access to a three-hour walk-around grand tasting. Hundreds of Virginia wines, ciders and spirits, plus wine from Oregon, Australia and New Zealand, will be available for tasting. Don't worry, there will be artisanal food available to soak it all up. With an $80 VIP ticket you'll also get handpicked wines from "many of the most prestigious Virginia wineries around the state." Other sessions at the expo include Burger Blast (freshly-made slider-sized burgers by more than a dozen local chefs) and a Noodle and Dumpling Affair, a grazing event that's exactly what it sounds like. Tickets are available at virginiawineexpo.com.
On March 21, Blue Bee Cidery will hold a five-course meal with cider pairings to raise awareness and funds for human trafficking victims. Local chef Brittanny Anderson of Brenner Pass, Chairlift and Metzger Bar & Butchery will prepare a five-course meal, and women representing seven Virginia cideries will provide and pour cider. Tickets, available at bluebeecidery.com, are $85 per person, and proceeds will benefit the Human Trafficking Institute.
Last week, five breweries represented Virginia across the pond at Craft Beer Rising, the biggest beer festival in the United Kingdom. Champion Brewing Co., which originated in Charlottesville and has a downtown location in Richmond, and Goochland's Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery offered two of their best brews at the Virginia is for Craft Beer Lovers booth. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery also made an appearance at the festival, with beers served through the U.K.-based importer American Craft Beer Co.