One of the vineyards in the Clemens Busch family of wines, which is featured in Winefest’s Grand Tasting take-home pack.
Writer: Wini Moranville
While two of Winefest’s most popular events—Sips in the City and the Community Choice Grand Tasting—will not go off exactly as planned, don’t call them canceled! Instead, organizers are deeming 2020 “The Year of the House Party.” To this end, they’re offering hosting packs that let wine lovers bring the celebration home.
- Sips in the City packs can be snagged on Friday, Aug. 7, for $200, $400 or $600 to serve four, eight, or 12, respectively. Each party-in-a-box comes with choice of wines (four bottles for the four-person pack, and incrementally more bottles at each tier), plus appetizers and desserts, including a Maytag Four-Cheese Macaroni with Balsamic-Fig Glaze from Cyd’s Catering, as well as delights from Cheese Bar, Bubba, Lola’s Hot Sauce and Crème.
- Grand Tasting packs will be available on Saturday, Aug. 8, and cost $325, $650 and $975 to serve four, eight, and 12, respectively. These come with a choice of wines (equivalent to a bottle per person) plus a windfall of great food, including a cheese board from the Cheese Shop of Des Moines, cold-smoked salmon with sweet-corn pudding from Table 128, seafood toast from Splash, Italian beef stuffed pepper from Aposto and an almond-chocolate cake from Crème.
For an inside scoop, I asked Winefest Executive Director Natasha Sayles for a few under-the-radar finds among the other great bottles guests get to choose from. For the Sips and the City pack, she pointed to the Vietti “Tre Vigne” Barbera d’Asti from Piedmont, hailing its “bright acidity, soft tannins, good integration of oak, good complexity and a lingering cherry finish.” For those splurging on the Grand Tasting pack, Sayles championed the 2015 Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken, adding that Busch is considered to be the master interpreter of the natural winemaking philosophy in Germany.
Additional swag for both packs includes Winefest wine glasses and a wine tote, a Winefest table runner (with the Sips pack) and Winefest coasters (with the Grand Tasting pack). Packs must be ordered by Aug. 1 to pick up at Cowles Commons on the specified date. For more information, see the Package Options. To purchase, a pack, head to tikly.