Taste of Parkersburg event slated

PARKERSBURG – The eighth annual Taste of Parkersburg is taking place earlier this year, moving to the first of June instead of waiting for late September.

The event will be 5-11 p.m. June 1 at the Blennerhassett Hotel and Bicentennial Plaza on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg, offering a variety of food and beverages provided by local and regional businesses for sampling during the evening.

Carrie Nesselrode, executive of Downtown PKB, which has taken over organizing the Taste, said a new part of this year’s event was the ability to reserve tables for the evening. Organizers set aside 16 tables for reserved status and all of them sold out quickly, she said.

This year’s event will also see some new food and wine vendors. Along with attempting to get more volunteers involved, Nesselrode said the change from fall to spring was requested by many of the wine vendors, who are busy in the fall with grape harvesting and preparation.

For a fifth year, a special wine tasting seminar will be 7 p.m. May 31 at the Blennerhassett Hotel.

The wine education program will be presented by Robert Cavanaugh, a former Vienna resident and owner of Adventure Wine, a wine education group in Washington, D.C. The cost is $50 for the seminar, which will include hors d’ouevres and wines.

This year, Cavanaugh’s program will focus on Bordeaux wines. Cavanaugh is an award-winning educator and Bordeaux’s official U.S. Wine Ambassador. The program is aimed at beginners and intermediate wine fans and will teach them how to taste, judge and evaluate wines.

Advance tickets are $12 and will be available until May 28 at various locations, including the Blennerhassett Hotel, Huntington Bank (Market Street), Community Bank (Juliana Street and Vienna), WesBanco Bank (Market Street, Vienna, Mineral Wells and Gihon), United Bank (Market Street), Williamstown Bank (Seventh Street), Peoples Bank (Pike Street, Emerson Avenue and Vienna), BB&T (Avery Street), First Neighborhood Bank (Emerson Avenue) and the Parkersburg/Wood County Convention and Visitors Bureau on Seventh Street in Parkersburg.

Tickets are $15 at the gate. Admission includes a complimentary Taste logo wine or beer glass for sampling. Once admitted to the event, visitors will purchase $1 tickets that can be used with food or wine vendors at the event for specific foods and beverages, ranging from $1 to $5 in value.

The food vendors will be serving food until 9 p.m., and the wine vendors will serve until 10 p.m. The entertainment will end at 11 p.m. during the event. This year’s entertainers will include the Smoot House Band, Jazz Spoken Here and Lenox Avenue Express.

The participating restaurants are scheduled to include Angelos Great Steak Grill, Blacksmith Barbecue Shack, Da Vinci’s, Lui Lui, Mango Latin Bistro, Spats at The Blennerhassett, The Galley, Tampico’s Mexican Restaurant, The Polo Club, Cafe Blue, El Mariachi, Shorty’s, Thrive, Hometown Cake and Yancy’s Five-Star Catering.

The wine and beer vendors will include Alexander Valley Vineyards, Capitol Beverage, Clos Du Val, Keysela Pere et Fils, Laetitia, North End Tavern, Proud Eagle, Stone Road Vineyards, Vu Ja De, Wine Connection, The Wine Group, Bouchaine Vineyards, Toscano in Appalachia, Wine Tree Vineyards, Winesellers, Accolade, Aerovin, Broadbent, Cape Classics, Chakana, Five Grapes, Galaxy, Heston Farm, Majestic, Stone Road Vineyards and others.