GENEVA – A favorite for four decades, Festival of the Vine is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary Sept. 6 to 8 with its enticing mix of food, wine, music, craft show, sales and special events.
The festival, a creation of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, is known to draw 75,000 people during its three-day run in the historic downtown.
The chamber-sponsored Flavor Fare and Wine Tent, at West State Street and North Fourth Street, will feature 15 participants: Graham’s Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream with its sister Graham’s 318 Coffeehouse, Geneva Ale House, Nobel House, Gen-Hoe, Inglenook Pantry, Josef’s Elegante Meats & Deli, Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn, Kilwin’s of Geneva, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Stockholm’s, 1910 Bar, Altiro Latin Fusion, Del Barrio and Foy Estate Coffee.
A few of the restaurant food specialties include brisket or lobster quesadillas from 1910 Bar; papa brava potatoes from Altiro Latin Fusion; fried chicken quesadilla from Del Barrio; eggplant Parmesan from Josef’s; lobster roll from Nobel House; jumbo chicken wings from Geneva Ale House; Dijon salmon from Stockholm’s; and lemon chicken with fried rice from Gen-Hoe; plus lobster mac and cheese from Inglenook Pantry.
Dessert offerings include lemon ricotta cookies from 318 Coffeehouse; homemade ice cream from Graham’s; white chocolate raspberry bundt from Nothing Bundt Cakes; chocolate frozen banana from Kilwin’s; and gourmet popcorn from Kernel’s.
New this year will be wine-infused Foy Estate Coffee, chamber spokeswoman Laura Rush said. A Sycamore company joined the chamber to sell hot and iced coffee infused with wine, as well as whole beans infused with wine.
“They read about our event and wanted to be a part of it to see how it goes,” Rush said. “The wine burns off, so you don’t have to be 21 to drink it. And they packaged it just for us – they don’t sell this small 4-ounce bag – but to stay within the ticket limit, they did it especially for us.”
Flavor Fare food items cost one to 10 tickets and wine costs six to 16 tickets per glass. Each ticket is $1.
Returning for a second year is Nothing Bundt Cakes, because they had such successful participation last year, Rush said.
“Nothing Bundt could not believe how much they sold last year,” Rush said. “They sold out of everything by the end.”
As in years past, SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits provides the chamber with 21 wines from around the world for the Wine Tent.
These include Red Guitar Red Sangria, Kung Fu Riesling, Meiomi Pinot Noir, Ruffino Sparkling Rosé, Velvet Devil Merlot and Cooper & Thief Bourbon Barrel-Aged Red.
In honor of the 40th year for Festival of the Vine, the purchase of a 16-ticket glass of wine will come with a commemorative wine glass while supplies last, Rush said.
SavWay has four 16-ticket wine choices: The Prisoner Red Blend, Eternally Silenced Pinot Noir, Cuttings Cab Sauvignon and Snitch Chardonnay.
All the bands are new this year, Rush said, except for Drew Clausen, a singer and acoustic guitar player from Geneva who will be returning. He will perform from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 7 on the main stage at the Flavor Fare.
“It’s just because we were trying to mix it up,” Rush said of the lineup of artists performing on the stage outside the tented seating area for diners.
New bands are The Loose Screws, SonicSoul, Suburban Cowboys, The Davenport Project, GMRC Band, The Dreadnaughts and Gina Glocksen Band.
Glocksen was a top-10 finisher on "American Idol," Rush said.
Other attractions include an arts and crafts show on South Third and Campbell streets, trolley tours and Geneva Ace Garden Center’s flower market on the courthouse lawn, along with face painting.
Other opportunities for wine tasting include Geneva Wine Cellars and Tasting Room, SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits, The Little Traveler, Wine Garden at The Royal Wren, Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery and Fiora’s Festival Wine Tasting.
A full schedule is available online at www.genevachamber.com.