Sip and cycle at Fête d’Eté wine dinnersWritten by Amy Campbell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
For some of us, the words “bike tour” bring to mind impossibly lean cyclists bent over impossibly slender racing bikes, gritting their teeth as they power up steep inclines and steering to avoid crashes on the way down. But imagine a different kind of bike tour, one in which participants kibitz about the delicious appetizer and perfectly paired wines they’ve just enjoyed, as they ride on to another restaurant for their next course. Sound like your kind of tour? Then oil up your bike and get your ticket for the Fête d’Eté, a pedaling progressive dinner featuring the wines of Anne Amie Winery in Willamette Valley, Ore.
Touted as being “unlike any dinner you’ve ever ridden,” the Fête d’Eté — French for “festival of summer” or “summer party” — will take place in four cities on consecutive nights, starting in Ann Arbor on May 14. The event will then move on to Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus.
The Fête d’Eté puts a new spin on the traditional winemaker’s dinner, typically a straightforward evening featuring a multicourse meal and matched wines all in one place. Adam Mahler, president of Ampelography Wine Marketing and local organizer of the event, said the change of format was meant to liven things up and reacquaint participants with their cities’ landscapes.
“The event has been embraced by the restaurants in each community,” Mahler said. “Everyone has worked together to bring a freshness and energy to a format that can often seem stuffy or intimidating.”
Thomas Houseman and Kimberly McLeod, Anne Amie’s winemaker and national sales manager, respectively, will be riding along and educating diners on the wine at each stop.
Cost of the event is $75 all inclusive, and each rider will receive a Fête d’Eté T-shirt designed by Toledo’s Glass Wear. Rides will be no more than seven miles round trip. Participants must provide their own bicycles, and each ride begins at 6 p.m. The Fête d’Eté schedule is:
- May 14, Ann Arbor: Vinology, Sava’s, The Earle, Palio.
- May 15, Toledo: The Toledo Museum of Art, Mancy’s Steak House, Real Seafood Co., Rockwell’s at the Oliver House, Registry Bistro.
- May 16, Cleveland: Flying Fig, Fat Cats, Ginko, Noodlecat, SOHO Kitchen & Bar.
- May 17, Columbus: Barrel & Bottle, Alana’s, Till, Rigsby’s Kitchen.
Tickets can be purchased at www.anneamie.com/biketour. Tours are limited to 30 cyclists, so early reservations are encouraged.