In last year's piece for NOWFE, I wrote a very vanilla post with a brief synopsis of each event on the calendar. Such blog posts are helpful for the uninitiated and assists in promoting an event which generates a lot of business for the local hospitality industry at a time when they are making one final push before the dog days of summer. However, after my experience at NOWFE 2011, I decided to embrace the spirit behind this year's challenge and ask myself the simple question:
NOWFE: Is It Worth It?
Let's break it down event by event:
- Wine Dinners - Are They Worth It? - It depends. We had great luck in 2009 when Medlock Ames poured at Vizard's but were disappointed last year with the food at Arnaud's, although the wines from Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel were impressive. That's the inherent Catch 22 with many of the NOWFE wine dinners - often times the most interesting wines are paired with restaurants whose food falls below expectations. My best advice is not to short change yourself in either category. If you can't find a menu which peaks the interest of both your thirst and your hunger, then spend your money elsewhere.
- Vinola - Is It Worth It? - I have never been, so I honestly have no idea. Spending $150 to drink wine for 2 hours on a Thursday afternoon seems quite decadent, but the wines are supposedly expensive and the lineup of chefs and restaurants is definitely impressive. The Pope went last year and said that it was a blast, but of course he did not pay for his ticket. If I had the afternoon off from work and had not already committed to some other NOWFE event for this year, I would probably just to see if it lives up to the hype.