Naperville debuts Winter Wine Festival

Last summer’s Wine Festival was so popular Naperville decided to add a winter event.  |  Submitted Photo
Last summer’s Wine Festival was so popular Naperville decided to add a winter event. | Submitted Photo

The folks that bring Naperville the annual late summer Wine Festival are looking to chase away the winter blues with an international, high-end wine tasting.

The inaugural Naperville Winter Wine Festival will from 1 to 4:30 p.m. March 9 at the Hotel Arista at CityGate Centre. The Winter Wine Festival is presented by Calamos Wealth Management and coordinated by Vin Chicago and InPlay Events. InPlay Events organizes August’s annual Naperville Wine Festival.

“I can’t believe it took us 11 years to get the thought in our heads to do something like this,” said organizer Scott Janess. “It made a lot of sense when we moved the Naperville Wine Festival from the Naper Settlement over to the CityGate Center, because now you’ve got that built-in infrastructure that can hold 300 to 350 people, which is going to be a nice, intimate setting for a world-class wine event. The caliber of wines that Vin Chicago was able to get together — personal invites actually — for these distributors to come out was fantastic.”

This event is designed to complement the summer wine festival, he said.

“This one is a little bit more higher-end, it’s a little bit more expensive to go to. The caliber of wines, most of them are with a 90-plus rated point system,” he said. “Supplies and distributors want to participate in something like this. The sweet spot on wine sales is still that $15 bottle, and we’ve got bottles that are up to $150 being presented at this event. We’re offering an opportunity to sample, literally, some of the best wines in the world.”

Guests will be able to sample reds, whites and sparkling wines from California, Italy, Spain, France, South America and Australia. They will receive a Reidel wine glass, festival guide and 24 sampling tickets, each redeemable for about an ounce of wine. Additional sampling tickets will be available for sale.

Additionally, there will be hors d’oeuvres, classical jazz music and complimentary break-out sessions featuring master sommeliers and other leaders in the industry, he said.

“It will be a well-rounded event,” he said. “I think it’s a wonderful outlet in this very long winter that we’ve had where it’s a great Sunday afternoon activity that’s going to benefit a charity. You’re going to be able to taste wines you may have heard of before that are highly rated throughout all the rating systems. With the complimentary food that’s included in the ticket price, it’s going to be a sensational day. It’s a day to try new things and support the community. It’s also a day to have fun with your friends and family.”

Advance tickets are available at Vin Chicago in Naperville and by phone.