Last year I wrote a post about the Albuquerque Wine Festival, but I was very new to blogging then, and I was scrambling to figure out my place in the web log world. I didn’t even remember my favorite New Mexico Wine Festival until a week before it was going to happen. Yikes! So I am giving everyone over a months notice this time, so you may plan ahead. Here is everything you need to know.
The New Mexico Wine Growers Association
The Albuquerque Wine Festival
Memorial Day Weekend
May 27-30, 2010
Balloon Fiesta Park in North Albuquerque
(see my Google Map for directions from our neighborhood in the center of Albuquerque).
The gates open at noon, and you may wait in a line to pay $15 admission, but if you get your tickets online you can walk right in, get your wine tasting glass and hit the path to the best wine tour in the state. The Balloon Fiesta Park is such a perfect venue for the Albuquerque Wine Festival for several reasons. It has good, close up organized free parking, great cushy grass turf to walk and sit on and is a really large venue able to handle larger crowds comfortably. These things all make the Albuquerque Wine Festival so much better than the one in Bernalillo on Labor Day weekend. The weather is even better at this festival, (it gets so hot in Bernalillo at the end of summer). The sun will be strong at our altitude though, so bring a hat and sunscreen. The Bernalillo Festival is the oldest, but everything you ever heard that is negative about wine festivals is what happens in Bernalillo…heat, crowds, pushing and shoving, paid parking down the street, drunks, long lines for everything…not at the Albuquerque Wine Festival.
All the New Mexico Wineries will have a booth at the Albuquerque Wine Festival, and there will also be booths with great crafts, art, specialty gourmet food items and education opportunities, (I learned the REAL way to taste wine, and about pairing up wine with food at this festival). If this is not enough to entice you there WILL be dancing to the great live music and there will be plenty of food to consume on site to accompany the wine tasting.
There are a few Wine Festival regulars that take great pride in creating and wearing clothes designs for this celebration, decorated with all things grape and wine related. It is fun when you spot them, and I think there shoal deb a contest each year for the best outfit, or hat, etc.
Bring your kids if you must, but you are NOT allowed to bring other people’s kids, even if they are related. I was kind of surprised to hear this, and I am not to sure how festival officials plan on enforcing this rule. Seems strange, but everything changes when alcohol is involved. Important! – This is not a great venue for strollers. It’s hard to push them in the grass, people trip and fall over them all the time, and you look really bad standing in line for booze with your kid in a stroller. Geezze!
There will be a “Will Run for Wine 5K” on Saturday at Balloon Fiesta Park, and the entrance fee includes souvenirs, Wine Festival entrance and VIP privileges at the Festival – see their site to register and for more info.
Don’t come to Albuquerque just for the Wine Festival this year. Plan ahead – plan more time in Albuquerque to see the other sites as well. Plan ahead – some group of guys, gals, pals can book the last room I have left for that weekend at our Albuquerque bed and breakfast – my Suite for a Flock. It’s a big apartment size 2 bdrm guest suite that sleeps up to six, with a great room, (big open living room and full kitchen area), perfect for hanging with your posse. What are you waiting for?
I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!