Nearly a thousand Southern wine and food fans gathered in the Georgia Aquarium’s stunning Oceans Ballroom on April 8 for the Toast of the Town Atlanta wine and food tasting gala. The event marked the opening night of Wine Enthusiast’s 2010 traveling consumer tasting series.
While sharks and beluga whales glided by in the aquarium’s floor-to-ceiling glass tanks, attendees strolled the stunning space, sipping fine wines and mingling with chefs and winemakers. The museum’s dramatic lighting, undulating ceilings (designed to simulate the movement of the ocean) as well as background music provided by the Rice Latin Jazz Quartet contributed to the evening’s overall elegant ambience.
Participating wineries spanned the globe, from New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay to Simi and Perry Moore in California to the Georgia-based Chateau Elan and Montaluce. Eclectic culinary offerings were also on hand from many of Atlanta’s most lauded restaurants, some Toast of the Town veterans, others new to the event. Standout dishes included almond-crusted skate wings from Canoe; a Vidalia onion trio from the Atlanta Grill; Nueske’s bacon wrapped shrimp from the Sheraton Hotel, and sweet and savory crepes from Crepe Revolution.
Originally held exclusively in New York City, Toast of the Town now hosts consumer galas in Chicago, Washington, D.C. (new this year) Atlanta and San Francisco. Next on the 2010 roster is San Francisco (to be held April 22 at the War Memorial Opera House). For more information on Wine Enthusiast’s Toast of the Town series, visit www.wineenthusiast.com/toast/.