Tobago’s first wine festival achieved its objective, says event organiser Tobago Entrepreneurs.
The business association, which represents over 400 cottage industry entrepreneurs, hosted the event at the Cafe Bistro Restaurant, Store Bay Local Road, last Saturday.
TE chair and founder Krystal Manswell said it was used “to create a platform showcasing both local and international wines to tantalise the taste buds of entrepreneurs and members of the public.”
Patrons were lucky to be the first in the Caribbean to taste a blue wine created by Gik, a Spanish winemaker.
Manswell was glad the festival created this opportunity and noted that like the wine, the festival was created out of a need to do something different. She said the idea for the festival was borne out of the desire to get people to appreciate good wines and cheeses while associating with like-minded people.
“I realised that people love wines and we needed a platform to celebrate the love for wines whilst showcasing local suppliers and winemakers and other entrepreneurs,” Manswell said.
Patrons were served with internationally renowned wines and crowd-pleasers such as sparkling wines, cabernet sauvignon, prosecco and Moscato. They were also served local favourites made from sorrel, mango and passion fruit, as well as pepper wine.
She said although patrons enjoyed all the wines, “the pepper wine was a conversation starter.”
Manswell, managing director of Colours Promotions Marketing and Event Planning Company, said patrons were also educated on how to sample wine for an enhanced experience.
“We performed a series of blind testing by concealing the bottle of wine being served and encouraging patrons to use their senses to assess the wines,” she said.
This, she said, was really a new experience for many as they used their scorecards to rate the wines in accordance with the beverages’ aroma and taste. She said patrons were given cheeses and hors-d’oeuvre to clean their palates between wines, as is customary at such events.
Riding on the success of this year’s event, she said the festival will expand to two days in 2019 and will be renamed the Tobago Wine and Food Festival. Winemakers, distributors and retailers in T&T and the Caribbean will be invited to take part in the event.