***Scroll down to see a slide show of TOTT Atlanta.***
On Thursday April 16, Wine Enthusiast’s Toast of the Town, America’s premier consumer tasting event for wine and food lovers, headed south for its second year in Atlanta. The evening, much like TOTT’S San Francisco opener on March 30, was a huge success, drawing over 1,000 discerning wine and food devotees to the Georgia Aquarium’s stunning Oceans Ballroom.
Despite these less-than-halcyon times, the overall mood was upbeat as the stylish attendees strolled throughout the ballroom, listening to live jazz performances, mingling with winemakers and chefs and indulging in fine wine and food. Opportunities for wine tasting and one-on-one talks with chefs and pourers were plenty, with wineries from all over the globe supplying some of their finest bottles and many of Atlanta’s premier restaurants, including Canoe, Atlanta Grill and Aqua Blue, setting up tables. A testament to Atlanta’s diverse dining scene, the food offerings covered the culinary spectrum, ranging from international to classic Southern to postmodern interpretations of traditional fare.
Setting has always played a major role at TOTT events, with venues carefully chosen for their cultural-historical significance and overall sense of grandeur. The Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium and home to over 60 marine exhibits, did not disappoint with the ballroom’s dramatic lighting, undulating ceiling panels (designed to simulate the ocean’s surface) and floor-to-ceiling glass fish tanks. Sharks and elegant white beluga whales floated by in the tanks, creating a dynamic, dramatic backdrop for the night’s festive proceedings. VIP ticketholders were treated to open admission to the aquarium exhibits, adding to the ambiance.
Originally held exclusively in New York City, Toast of the Town now throws consumer galas in Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. Next on the roster is Chicago (April 30 at the Field Museum), with the New York event scheduled for June 15 at Lincoln Center.
Read more information on Wine Enthusiast’s Toast of the Town series.