Twenty-eight years ago, Vintage Albuquerque began as a way to support the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. Since then, the organization has expanded to support arts education programs for children in New Mexico, ensuring that funding doesn’t limit opportunities for kids to participate and learn. In order to provide funding for these programs, Vintage Albuquerque has found success through their Wine & Food Fiesta, a five-day celebration that highlights wine and food while supporting kids programs.
This year, the featured guest is Jean-Noel Fourmeaux, who will act as honorary chair for the event. Fourmeaux, who owns VGS Chateau Potelle winery in Napa Valley, is a 35-year veteran of wine-making and an industry heavy hitter, having recently broken the record for highest barrel price ever at Auction Napa Valley last year, with a barrel selling for $114,300.
There are a multitude of different options to attend and get involved with the group, so if something isn’t your bag on one of the nights, you can find something else that will tickle your fancy. Night one kicks off on June 19, with the Opening Nite Gala Dinner happening at Sandia Gold & Resort Club. Dinner that night will be made by renowned chef Adam Watson, who is creating a multi-course meal designed to match the wines being provided by Fourmeaux. Watson is known for his extensive culinary background working as an executive chef for multiple high-end resorts.
June 20 is when things really pick up steam, with a Wine Seminar happening at Hotel Andaluz starting at noon, featuring the wines from VGS Chateau Potelle. For $75, you can learn more about the process of their winemaking while also learning more about the wines themselves. If that’s not up your alley, you can hang out for any of the dinner options for the night of. Starting at 7pm, a $95 ticket will get you access to one of the winery dinners happening that night. Your options include Savoy Bar & Grill, Piatanzi, MAS Tapas y Vino, Artichoke Café, Seasons Rotisserie & Grille and The Ranchers Club. All of these are high-end restaurants, so you’re not going to make a bad choice picking any one.
Friday, June 21 is The Grand Tasting, happening at the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. Starting at 6pm, an $85 ticket will get you access to a whole slew of different wines to taste and sample, helping you expand your palate and discover new favorites. On top of that, it’s a perfect way to kick off your weekend and to explore the beauty of the Balloon Museum if you’ve never been. Above all else, you’re helping support a great cause while getting to drink, so at the end of the day, you can’t afford to miss out on this.
Saturday, June 22 is the Big Event Auction Dinner at the Albuquerque Country Club. For $225, you get to attend this huge auction full of gifts, goodies and surprise treasures. For those who have never been to a nonprofit auction, they are an absolute blast and you can walk away with some fantastic items for a really good price, all while feeling good about supporting those in need. While there’s no word on what’s up for auction yet, you can expect something that will be too enticing to pass up.
The final event is the Sparkling Wine Family Style Brunch at VARA Wines, happening at 11am on June 23 for $85. We’ve already talked about the amazing breadth of food and drink at VARA Wines now that they have brought on chef Xavier Montano to handle their kitchen, so you know that what you’re going to be sitting down for will be extraordinary. With a weekend already full of awesome experiences, this is the perfect capstone to it all.
Vintage Albuquerque is doing all of this to support local kids, with their beneficiaries this year being Explora, Keshet Dance & Center for the Arts, NM Museum of Natural History & Science, Albuquerque Museum, Baila! Baila! Dance Academy and Opera Southwest. With arts vanishing from our schools, the need for Vintage Albuquerque and their work has never been more important. Learning creativity and self-expression during the formative years can have a dramatic impact on the culture of the city, and it’s one of the reasons why New Mexico is so vibrant and beautiful. Being a part of this event will allow that culture to continue growing. For more information on any of the events or to buy a ticket, drop on by vintagealbuquerque.