I think this is year 5 of Taste of Atlanta that we’ve been to. And our fourth year with VIP tickets.
If you haven’t been to Taste of Atlanta, it’s a large food festival with booths from many Atlanta area restaurants providing samples of their menu. With your ticket purchase to the festival, you get a set of “taste coupons” that you can redeem for the tasty samples being offered.
The VIP tickets get you additional food coupons and exclusive access to the tasting tent where you can sample wine and beer. As many wine and beer samples as you want. This usually makes for a fun time.
The first two VIP experiences we went to were really cool. Murphy’s Wine Shop was a major sponsor, if not the only sponsor, and provided a list of wines that were available for tasting. As you made your rounds tasting the different varieties, you could reference the list, which also provided pricing information. Try a wine variety, and if you liked it, make a note. Once through the tent, you were given the opportunity to place an order for the favorites that you indicated. After a week or so, you would then be able to stop by Murphy’s and pick up your order.
That was awesome. We ordered two cases on those occasions.
But things changed. A new sponsor appeared and the tasting tent seemed to become less about sampling and more about drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy drinking! And, as much as I enjoyed sampling the offerings of the various restaurants and plan to visit a few in the coming months, I don’t have that same feeling for any of the wines. Yes, there were some fine tasting wines, but there wasn’t a one-stop-shop atmosphere as there used to be when Murphy’s was part of the deal.
Yes, I still enjoyed the festival and plan to return next year, most likely with a set of VIP tickets in hand again. I expect we’ll still have a great time, although we probably will not make any wine purchases based on our tastings.