Monday, September 25, 2017

MCFW 2017 Wrap Up

The 2017 Music City Food + Wine event has ended. It seemed to go by so much faster this year than in year’s past. As I mentioned in my previous post there were some changes & tweaking to the schedule this year. I was very curious as to how it would play out to move the Saturday & Sunday General Tasting sessions to Friday night & Saturday. On one hand I can see the appeal of a night time event to a lot of people. It makes for a fun “date night”, and the atmosphere is just different at night. But on the other hand, I personally found it harder to try and consume ALL the food & drinks that Music City Food + Wine has to offer in the 4 hour period at night. I also noticed that the panels seemed to have lower attendance than they typically have during the daytime sessions. In the daytime I think a partial reason people attend the panels is to seek out relief from the hot sun. Resting & entertainment/information. But at night, especially with 1 less hour than the day sessions, people are too busy eating & drinking to pop into the sessions. So, I kind of think if they do a night session again, cut the sessions WAY down.


Saturday brought back the MCFW festival magic I’ve been accustomed to the previous 4 years. There is a definite air of excitement when you walk in and are handed your cup. Speaking of cup, I noticed the cups are a little than before, and the bags had a redesign too! I enjoyed the Toyota experience where you could get a sturdy canvas tote screen printed with cute & unique designs, made specifically for the festival. It was also nice to make my own batch of Tim Love’s poultry seasoning.

One of my favorite aspects of the festival is connecting in new ways with brands & restaurants I already know and love; as well as discovering ones that are new to me. Two standouts on the alcohol front for me were Cooper & Thief, a red wine blend aged in bourbon barrels, and Owl’s Brew Radler. While I may be married to a craft beer nerd, I’m not nearly as enthusiastic about beer as my husband is. But I do enjoy radlers, and both the Watermelon & That’s My Jam varieties of beer + tea + fruit juice hit the perfect fruity/refreshing spot. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Cooper & Thief red blend was such an interesting array of flavors; rich, velvety, spicy. I sent quite a few friends over there to try it! I’ve already picked up a bottle for the house. We were also big fans of the bourbon slushes offered up at both Wild Turkey/Eli Mason Syrups, as well as Green Briar Distillery‘s “Cold Fashioned”. And, as always Hendrick’s Gin wows every year in both presentation as well as flavors. I loved the paper fans they gave out, providing much needed relief from the Saturday heat!

Some of my favorite bites from restaurants included both offerings by Deb Paquette from Etch & Etc. (pastrami beets, say wha-?!, as well as some kind of mashup between salmon & cheesecake!), Farm House/Black Rabbit, Sinema, and the AMAZING rib we were lucky enough to score hot off Martin’s BBQ & Friends. I can’t confirm, but I think I was told they were prepared by Greko, Nashville’s new Greek street food spot.

Another bummer of having a night session, is it was hard to get a good photo of all the dishes!

Another solid year of Music City Food + Wine just reminds me what a top notch festival this is. I already can’t wait for 2018!

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