Athens Wine Weekend Scheduled for Feb. 3-5 in Downtown Athens

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The third annual Athens Wine Weekend is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, February 3-5, 2012, at The Classic Center in Downtown Athens. A benefit for The Classic Center Cultural Foundation, the event kicks off with a V.I.P. reception Friday evening at the Rialto Club at Hotel Indigo, the headquarter hotel for Athens Wine Weekend.

Many renowned wine experts, including the Michael McNeill (the first Master Sommelier in the state of Georgia), will be on hand to share their expertise with wine aficionados and novices alike. McNeill is the Director of Wine Education for Quality Wine and Spirits and was twice named  Best Sommelier in America.  

 This event has really evolved into an amazing weekend in Downtown Athens,  said Paul Cramer, Executive Director of The Classic Center.  Last year the seminars were so popular they filled up. We re ready to accommodate an even bigger crowd this year and want to invite everyone the The Classic Center to experience a very unique weekend of wine education coupled with some very impressive culinary opportunities.

 Expanding from two to three days, Athens Wine Weekend opens with an  Amuse Bouche  (A Little Surprise) on Friday night. Several ticketing options are available, and only those purchasing the two-night all-inclusive package with lodging at event headquarter Hotel Indigo will take part in the the V.I.P. reception. Four of Athens  top chefs will be cooking  a little surprise  table side while rare trophy wines selected specifically to team with the food are served.

 Saturday features the Grand Tasting from noon to 5 p.m., with hundreds  of wines available to sample. More than 425 people attended last year’s tasting, and this year attendees will be treated to 11 seminars covering a variety of topics presented by wine experts. 

 The crown jewel of the weekend, a seven-course gourmet dinner with special wine pairings for each course, is slated for Saturday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. As each course is served, the dish and the wine are introduced with an explanation of the interplay between the two and why each wine was selected. 

 The weekend closes with a brunch Sunday morning highlighted by a sparkling wine seminar.

 Several ticketing options are available, including one- and two-night hotel packages featuring deluxe accommodations at Hotel Indigo, the event s headquarter hotel in Downtown Athens. Single event tickets are also available for the Grand Tasting and Seminars, Gourmet Dinner and Sunday Brunch.

For detailed information regarding ticket options, menus, seminars and presenters, call 706.357.4444 or visit the event website at .