Capital Wine Festival kicks off January 19th

Looking for something to take away those winter doldrums? Attend the Grand Opening Reception to the third annual Capital Wine Festival or one of the 10 wine dinners all celebrating some of the country’s finest vineyards. Photo: Experience different flavors of the vine.

EASTON, Md., January 17, 2012 — The Third Annual Capital Wine Festival kicks off this Thursday, January 19th at 7 p.m. with a Grand Opening Reception event at the Fairfax Hotel. The opening event will feature wines from the 10 wineries that will be hosting wine dinners during the 10 week celebration along with local wineries Tarara, Boxwood and Barboursville.

The opening reception menu includes passed hors d’oeuvres such as Beef Tenderloin with Stilton Cheese on Garlic Toast and Italian Risotto Cakes with Fontina Cheese. There will also be red and white wine buffets along with a Viennese pastry display for dessert.

2100 Prime is creating innovative farm to table menus for the opening reception and the wine dinners during the Capital Wine Festival. (Photo credit: Scott Suchman )


“The Capital Wine Festival has been a successful event in the Washington, DC area and we’re pleased to host this event again this year for visitors and residents of the Washington Metro area,” says Stephen Johnston, general manager of The Fairfax at Embassy Row.

The Capital Wine Festival is modeled after the Boston Wine Festival started by Chef Daniel Bruce that is now in its 23rd year. The festival features 10 wine dinners hosted by a winemaker or proprietor where each course is paired with the farm to table cuisine of 2100 Prime restaurant located in The Fairfax Hotel. 

The opening reception as well as the vintner’s dinners give guests an amazing opportunity to taste these wines with local cuisine while connecting with the winemakers. Dinners are planned from January 25-March 28, 2012 with wineries as diverse as household names like Beringer to smaller wineries like Cliff Lede.

Tickets for The Capital Wine Festival can be purchased on The opening reception tickets are $65 per person and wine dinner are priced in the $125-145/person range and includes gratuity or tax.

Wine Dinner Schedule:

January 25, Beringer Vineyards: Beringer Vineyards is the oldest continuously run and operating winery in Napa Valley. Longtime winemaker, Laurie Hook, will host this dinner featuring many varietals including the Private Reserve chardonnay and cabernet.

February 1, Frog’s Leap Winery: Founder John Williams hosts this event as he displays the full scope of Frog’s Leap’s philosophy in sustainable farming and their organic approach.

February 8, Heitz Wine Cellars: The winery situated near the eastern hills of Napa Valley, is know for its earthy Bordeaux-style wines, especially its production of cabernet sauvignon. Jeanne Cabral returns to share wines from Heitz’ portfolio and discuss the winery’s unique single-vineyard concept.

February 15, Argyle Winery: Founder Rollins Soles will lead a discussion of Oregon’s premier winery including his single-vineyard pinots and sparkling wines.

February 22, B.R. Cohn Winery: Award-winning winery, B.R. Cohn, founded by Doobie Brothers manager, Bruce Cohn, will focus on the aroma and balanced flavors of this prestigious winery. His son, Dan Cohn, will also host the event.

February 29, Cakebread Cellars: Owner, Dennis Cakebread will host an evening featuring a variety of their sauvignon blanc, merlot and reserve wines from the Napa Valley.

March 7, Cain Vineyard & Winery: Join Chris Howell, winemaker and general manager, as he shares Cain’s blended cabernets from Napa’s glorious Spring Mountain district.

March 14, Chappellet Winery: Second generation co-owner Cyril Chappellet will host this dinner as she explains and tastes the wines with wonderful fruit extraction from a winery devoted to sustainable farming.

March 21, Martinelli Winery: Consulting with legendary winemaker Helen Turley, Martinelli Winery has positioned itself as one of the premier wineries in Sonoma. Regina Martinelli returns, by popular demand, to host this event.

March 28, Cliff Lede Vineyards: A relative newcomer in Napa Valley, Jack Bittner presents an opportunity to sample an assortment of their wines, including the meritage blend, Poetry.

Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach®, is a wine educator, author of the award-winning book The Sipping Point and host of a weekly radio show by the same name on WBAL 1090AM. Her specialty is delivering wine edu-tainment for corporate events, group tastings and team-building seminars. She is also a sought after guest expert on radio shows across the country, including Martha Stewart Radio. You can reach her on twitter @thewinecoach or on Facebook at

Read more of Laurie’s work at The Sipping Point in the Communities at the Washington Times.


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Laurie Forster

Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach® is a wine educator, dynamic speaker and author of the award-winning book The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine. Laurie was not born with a silver corkscrew in her mouth. In fact, growing up Laurie thought wine was pink and came in a box. After several stressful business dinners trying to order off wine lists the size of a phone book, she began educating herself on wine. In 2001 she left the business world to professionally study wine and save others from these awkward moments. Laurie began her wine career in Manhattan where she studied with the American Sommelier Association to earn her certificate in Viticulture and Vinification. She has since earned an Advanced Certificate with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET), completed her first step towards certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers and has trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. Laurie’s specialty is creating unique corporate keynotes, team building events and group tasting seminars where she can deliver on her mission to demystify wine one glass at a time. She is also a regular contributor to several magazines; a sought after guest expert on TV and radio stations across the country, including Martha Stewart Radio. For more visit:

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