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7 tips to survive & thrive at the Fleurs de Fete wine fest

Fleurs de Fete, Dayton’s largest wine and food festival, can be great fun — even moreso if you follow these few survival-and-enhancement tips from a savvy veteran who went to the first one in 1990 and darn near every one of ‘em since then.This is the 27th year for the festival, which will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 20 at Carillon Historical Park. 

This year’s festival will include more than 400 wines available for sampling at no additional cost beyond admission, along with complimentary dishes from local restaurants, caterers, food trucks and other food vendors. It will also feature a Stella Artois Belgian Beer Garden, live music, and a silent auction showcasing fine wines, baskets, travel packages and other experiences donated by local businesses.

>> PHOTOS: Puppy patio party at Lily’s

Follow these tips, and you’ll thank me later:

• Arrive early.

• Don’t wait too long to sample the foods.

• Use the dump buckets and don’t be afraid to pour out wines you don’t love. 

>> More than 40 food trucks will serve their finest at HUGE rally and competition this weekend

• When you've poured a sample of wine — and there's a line of folks with empty glasses behind you — get out of the way! 

• Wear sensible shoes. Leave the stilettos for another occasion when you're not tromping around in grass.

• Don’t wear white. White clothing is a magnet for red-wine spills and mustard.

• Drink water — lots of water.

Tickets cost $70 in advance, $75 at the door, and are available until May 19th online at or at the following locations: Arrow Wine & Spirits,  Carillon Brewing Co., Carillon Historical Park, Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets in Beavercreek and Centerville, and Ray's Wine Spirits Grill.

>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you at Dayton Beer Company’s 6th anniversary party?

Here’s a list of the participating restaurants and vendors, as supplied by Dayton History/Carillon Park: 

Basil's On Market 

Blue Note Bistro & Lounge 

Brock Masterson's 

Butter Cafe 

Carillon Brewing Co. 

Carver's Steaks & Chops 

Central Perc 

Citilites at the Schuster Center 

CoCo's Bisto 

Dewey's Pizza 

elé Cake Co. Bistro & Wine Bar 

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market 



Jay's Seafood 

Khmericano Coffee 

Melt Bar & Grilled 

Ray's Wine Spirits Grill 

The Oakwood Club 

Tiers of Sugar 

Watermark Restaurant 

Zombie Dogz

>> NEW FESTIVAL: Adventures Fest to include music, beer, food and fun along the river

 The outdoor wine and food festival was founded in 1990 by Heidelberg Distributing Co. and Arrow Wine & Spirits as a charity event. The festival was held at Carillon Park for a few years following its inception, spent several years at Lincoln Park Civic Commons in Kettering, returned to Carillon Park from 2001-2014, briefly changed its name to  “Fleurs et Vin,” spent 2015 at Welcome Park near Welcome Stadium, then returned to its roots in 2016 with its original Fleurs de Fete name and its original venue at Carillon Park. For more information, go to

Sip some of the finest local wines in one spot at new wine festival

Local wineries begrudgingly accustomed to being overshadowed by their brethren in the northern half of the state are eagerly anticipating their chance to shine at the first-ever Vintage Ohio South wine festival. 

The festival —scheduled for 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12 inside a facility at the Clark County Fairgrounds in  Springfield — will include wineries and wines from all over the state. But it’s designed to showcase those wineries in the southern Ohio, according to organizers with the Ohio Wine Producers Association (OWPA), which is sponsoring the festival.

>> WINERY GUIDE: Where to enjoy local wine in southwest Ohio

Northern Ohio wineries, and especially those in the region northeast of Cleveland, capture most of the attention inside and outside Ohio, and understandably so, since they grow more wine grapes and pack in more wineries into a tourist-friendly region. But southern Ohio has a long winemaking tradition, a solid core of wineries, and a promising future, which might just start May 12. Several have signed up to pour their wines at the event.

>> Legislators give Ohio’s wine drinkers something to toast

“We’ve never had a festival this close to us,” said Kelly Brandeberry, whose family operates Brandeberry Winery in southern Clark County between Enon and Yellow Springs. “A lot of people in this area just don’t go to Ohio wine festivals, so we’re looking forward to this one.”

>> RELATED: Clark County Fairgrounds to make $170K improvements to buildings

Donniella Winchell, executive director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association, says she’d like to turn Vintage Ohio South into an annual event.

Wines, vines and fine times are only a short drive away (March 2015)

In northeast Ohio, the OWPA has offered the Vintage Ohio Wine Festival for 23 years. The wine producers association has sponsored a wine festival in the Dayton-Springfield region before, but it’s been a few years.

New winery in the works in Champaign County

From 2003-09, the wine producers association brought an annual Ohio wine festival to what was then the National City 2nd Street Market (now the Five Rivers MetroParks 2nd Street Market) in downtown Dayton. After a one-year hiatus, the OWPA brought an outdoor wine festival to the Boonshoft Museum that lasted a couple of years. Bad weather thwarted any chance for success at the outdoor events, but the Clark County Fairgrounds festival will be held indoors, rain or shine, for at least the first year, organizers said.

SW Ohio winery Meranda-Nixon captures ‘Best of Show’ in wine competition

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. The deadline for purchasing tickets online is 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 4. The last chance to purchase tickets in advance (and save $5) is prior to 4:30 p.m. May 9. Phone orders will be accepted at (440) 466-4417. More information (and ticket links) can be found at this web site

2 Valley Vineyards wines tie for ‘best in Ohio’ award

The entrance fee includes a wine glass to take home, 12 wine sampling tickets, and a six-bottle carrier tote for taking bottles of wines home. Additional wine sampling tickets may be purchased for $5 for three tickets. Designated Driver tickets are available for $10 and includes four  complimentary sodas or waters.

RELATED: Clark County plan calls for modern fairgrounds (July 2017)

The event will include local craft artisans, restaurant vendors and food trucks, as well as live music, cooking demonstrations and wine-education events. Parking is free. For more information, call (440) 466-4417.

5 restaurants that shut down at or near the Mall at Fairfield Commons

Participating wineries include:

AR Winery, Arcanum 

Brandeberry Winery, Enon 

Caesar Creek Vineyard, Xenia 

Debonne Vineyards, Madison 

Hanover Winery, Hamilton 

Heineman's Winery, Put-in-Bay 

It's Your Winery, Medina 

Maize Valley Winery & Craft Brewery, Hartville 

Meier's Wine Cellars, Silverton 

Meranda-Nixon Winery, Ripley 

O'Bannon Creek Vineyard, Pleasant Plain 

Old Mason Winery & Vineyards, West Milton 

Olde Schoolhouse Vineyards, Eaton 

Plum Run Winery, Grove City 

The Winery at Versailles, Versailles 

Valley Vineyards, Morrow 



Travelers chug $1,300 bottle of wine at airport security

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Two men drank an entire $1,300 bottle of aphrodisiac wine after airport security told them they could not bring it on the plane, Shanghaiist reports.

The men had last names of Wang and Yang. They were caught by a security officer at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, China, with a “liquid-filled tiger inside one of their bags” at airport security, according to Road Warrior Voices.

Wang responded to the security officer and said, “Little girl, it’s good stuff inside. It’s aphrodisiac wine that was bought from my buddy’s hometown. You know, it’s very, very expensive,” Shanghaiist reported.  

Wang and Yang were told the wine could not be brought onto the plane as checked luggage, so they decided to drink the entire bottle.

According to Shanghaiist, once their “faces turned red” a security manager said intoxicated passengers were not allowed onboard.

Wang replied, “We both can drink like a fish, but we’re afraid of wasting the aphrodisiac! We won’t bring this kind of stuff anymore. If we do, we will register it as checked baggage.”

American wine market moves into first place worldwide

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Fueled in part by the growth of the American wine industry, the United States last year became the world’s biggest internal market for wine, pushing France into second place for the first time. (Reuters

Wine consumption in the United States rose .5 percent from 2012 to 2013, while wine consumption in France fell nearly 7 percent in the same period. 

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Despite the overall market comparison, per capita wine consumption is still about six times higher in France. 

That may change, if the downward trend continues in France. According to the BBC, more than half of French adults were daily wine drinkers in 1980; now only 17 percent are daily drinkers, and 38 percent don’t drink wine at all. (BBC

New study shows wine glasses affect your pour

Had too much to drink last night? Don’t blame yourself. Blame the wine glass.

"Researchers say people who hold the glass while they pour and those who pick white wine will drink more. Also, the wider the glass, the more you’ll end up pouring." (Via Bay News 9

The new study by researchers at Iowa State and Cornell Universities found simply holding your wine glass while you pour leads to a 12 percent larger pour. (Via The Daily Meal)

I knew I was getting a little heavy-handed.

And it’s not just the type of wine or the way you hold your glass, but the glass itself. (Via The Today Show)

An Iowa State researcher told the Pentagon Post, “People have trouble assessing volumes… They tend to focus more on the vertical than the horizontal measures. That’s why people tend to drink less when they drink from a narrow glass, because they think they’re drinking more.”

There you have it. The extra calories, the extra headache, all of it the wine glass’ fault.

For more on this story, visit

Area fighters boxing to benefit vets

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