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Going Upscale: Wine fest ditches ‘carnival food’ for more elegant offerings

A newly refined wine event is what attendees of the Santa Fe Wine Festival can expect this weekend.

Organizers have ditched what they described as “carnival food” and are going with more elegant offerings from about a dozen vendors.

“This year, the other new thing is we have a new caterer,” said Vic Macias, events manager at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. “Their name is Two Sprout Farm. They are going to be serving special plates designed specifically for the wine festival. … They have different plates designed specifically for the wine festival that go well with wine. We kind of eliminated carnival food that we had in the past. We didn’t think it matched the festival and the sophistication of the festival and the different crowd. We wanted to meet and match that feel.”

Arts and crafts vendors also will meet the new criteria.

“As far as arts and crafts vendors (are concerned), we’re looking at about 46 if you include our museum shop,” Macias said. “It’s a mix match of different products. It is going to be all matching the festival, complementing the festival, not left field.”

Ticketholders ages 21 and over will receive a commemorative glass and will get to sample wines from 20 New Mexico wineries, including newcomers Wicked Kreations Winery. Eventgoers also will be entertained by two bands each day: New Orleans’ Sweet Jones and JJ & The Hooligans on Saturday and Half Broke Horses and Baracutanga on Sunday. Organizers have added a dance floor.

“One of the unique things about our wine festival is the audience likes to ask about the wine itself, where they age it, where it comes from, and compare it to other wineries,” Macias said. “They like to talk about the wine itself. Also, if they like that particular glass, they can get a full glass, which I think is a 5-ounce pour, and pay the winery for that and they can buy bottles. I think for the most part the wineries offer special prices. We get a lot of people who get cases of wine and stock up on their collections.”