Top 20 Food and Wine Fests in Europe
Bacchus Food and Wine Festival
When: April 1-3, 2011
Where: Place d’Armes, Toulon, France
French foodies wouldn’t be fools to flee hotels in Paris for the CÃ´te d’Azur’s superb Bacchus Food and Wine Festival in Toulon.
Prague Food Festival
When: May 2011
Where: Zofin Palace, Prague, Czech Republic
Slavonic Island (Slovansky Ostrov), site of Prague Food Festival – Photo credit
What a remarkable milieu for a festival. Sip and sup while you admire Zofin Palace and the Baroque confines of Slovansky Ostrov.
White Truffle Festival
When: October 8 – November 13, 2011
Where: Alba, Piemonte, Italy
The Fiera del Tartufo Bianco dâ€™Alba humbly celebrates that most vaunted of luxury ingredients: the white truffle. Gawk at the choice fungi on display as you rub shoulders with Piemonte peasants and Michelin three-star chef purveyors.
Slow Food Festival
When: mid-October, 2011
Where: Torino, Piemonte, Italy
Now a worldwide movement, Slow Food’s apotheosis took place in Italy in the 1980s, when Carlos Petrini led a campaign against a new McDonald’s outlet near the Spanish Steps in Rome. Take it slow in Torino (Turin) this October.
The Great British Cheese Festival
When: September 24-25, 2011
Where: Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, Wales
Though cheese is the obvious honouree, this UK extravaganza features a royal banquet of native products, from fruit ciders to charcuterie, ales to breads.
AÃ¿ Champagne Festival
When: July 2012 (biennial)
Where: AÃ¿, Champagne-Ardenne, France
Raise a glass of bubbly – or five – in the home of Krug, Bollinger, Gosset, Ayala and Deutz & Gelderman.
Bordeaux Wine Festival
When: July 24-27, 2011
Where: Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France
The Bordeaux Wine Festival exalts the UNESCO World Heritage Port of the Moon city’s prime export in elegant fashion.
Stuttgart Wine Festival
When: late August – early September, 2011
Where: Stuttgart, Baden-WÃ¼rttemberg, Germany
Most associate Germany with fine craft beer but oenophiles know better. Discover the Neckar Valley’s over 1,000 years of viticulture in the birthplace of the automobile, Stuttgart.
VieVinum International Wine Festival
When: end of May, 2012 (biennial)
Where: Hofburg, Vienna, Austria
The regal environs of Vienna’s spectacular Hofburg are as good a place as any to sample Austria’s superb GrÃ¼ner Veltliner, BlaufrÃ¤nkisch and dessert wines.
Dubrovnik International Wine & Jazz Festival
When: May 27-29, 2011
Where: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik – Photo credit
Chablis with Chet? Merlot with Monk? The brain trust behind the Dubrovnik International Wine & Jazz Festival couple taste and sound in a standout event on the Adriatic.
Basel Autumn Fair
When: October 30 – November 13, 2011
Where: Basel, Switzerland
The most venerable festival in Switzerland lures tens of thousands of people to the streets of old Basel to sip on Pinot Noir, Chasselas and Gamay and suck on MÃ¤ssmogge candy.
Tokaj Wine Festival
When: September 19-20, 2011
Where: MÃ¡d, Hungary
Time to give Hungary’s age-old wine history some credit. The Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2002.
Rioja Harvest Festival
When: September 20-26, 2011
Where: LogroÃ±o, La Rioja, Spain
The capital of Rioja wine country throws a riotous harvest bash every September.
Dingle Peninsula Food & Wine Festival
When: October 2011
Where: Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland
Irish cuisine has finally come of age and why not? The Emerald Isle is home to a cornucopia of phenomenal products and purveyors. Discover them all in Dingle.
Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight
When: September 3-18, 2011
Likewise, Scotland is rather de rigeur as a new culinary force. With events all over the country, the admirable Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight elevates sustainable, organic food production and partnerships between farmers, chefs and the public at large.
Madeira Wine Festival
When: September 1-4, 2011
Where: CÃ¢mara de Lobos, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Madeira – Photo credit
The birthplace of Cristiano Ronaldo fiercely protects a singular viticulture and culinary heritage with a fabulous annual party in CÃ¢mara de Lobos.
When: August 19-28, 2011
Where: Copenhagen, Denmark
With native son RenÃ© Redzepi, of Michelin three-star Noma, as the indubitable best chef in the world this side of Roses, Girona, Copenhagen is a hot culinary commodity.
Matstreif Food Festival
When: September 29 – October 1, 2011
Where: Oslo, Norway
Oslo’s Matstreif Food Festival is way under the tourist radar but is a wonder for epicures, with over 120,000 people in annual attendance.
Rethymno Wine Festival
When: June 2011
Where: Rethymno, Crete, Greece
No food and wine festival list is complete without Greece and, to be more specific, Crete, where the Minoans were crushing grapes as far back as 4,000 years ago. The Rethymno Wine Festival is a can’t miss affair.
Taste of London
When: June 16-19, 2011
Where: Regent’s Park, London
London hotels in the vicinity of Regent’s Park bustle with activity as the excellent Taste of London wines and dines by the thousands.