Time to Toast New Mexico Wines, May 27-29
The 2006 Southern New Mexico Wine Festival, hosted by the New Mexico Wine Growers Association, is back for the 17th year. You can sample the fun Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29, at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds west of Las Cruces.
Live musical entertainment is a big factor in this year's festival. Featured bands include Incendio, performing Latin Jazz and flamenco music honed over many years in the Los Angeles market, and Last Man Standing, nominated for New Music Weekly Magazine's Best New Country Band of 2005, from Nashville.
Festival Manager Dawn Starostka says, "We wanted to make this event bigger and even more fun this year, and taking the entertainment roster to the next level was one way to do that. Incendio and Last Man Standing are worth the price of admission themselves, but you still get wine, food booths, arts and crafts, and all the rest of the festival elements along with those acts."
Other musical acts include local favorites Double Take, the Garcia Family Band, Guitar Slim and Prime. Other entertainment includes a roaming Bubble Lady, a psychic, and activity booths for children including a moon bounce, duck pond and face painting.
In addition to the music, of course, the festival will have its usual mix of New Mexico wines, arts and crafts vendors, regional agricultural products, and a wide variety of food vendors. Hourly wine seminars will take place at the University of Wine tent, where you can learn more about how wine is made, the qualities by which wine is measured, and how to pair food and wine for the best results.
New Mexico wines have placed increasingly well in local, regional, national and even international competitions. Fourteen New Mexico wineries will be showcasing their wines all three days, through free tastings, as well as for sale by the glass, bottle or case.
Tickets will be available online this year for the first time via www.nmwine.com, until May 23. Tickets will be mailed up through May 17 and then will be available at Will Call at a designated line for online ticket purchasers.
Admission is $13 per adult, which includes a
souvenir wine glass. Monday has been designated "Military Monday," with a $3 discount for
active-duty military personnel with current military ID. The youth price
was eliminated for 2006, so anyone under the age of 21 is free. You must
have a valid picture ID to enter. Gates open at noon and close at 6 p.m.
daily. For more information, call