Get ready to party with the Asheville Wine & Food Festival

Test your mettle, win a medal: The French Broad Vignerons host a wine-making competition that’s exclusively for amateurs. Cami Calnan
Test your mettle, win a medal: The French Broad Vignerons host a wine-making competition that’s exclusively for amateurs. Cami Calnan

Maybe you're not big on planning, or you're doing the Zen thing, or your calendar has a really small space to write in.

That's understandable. But occasionally, a good party merits planning ahead.

Here are three reasons to mark your calendar, or update your iPhone, or adjust your sundial — whatever you do —  for the Asheville Wine & Food Festival.

Tickets sell out: The Grand Tasting (samples galore) takes place on Saturday, Aug. 24, and several thousand tickets are available, but smaller events lead up to the big day, and you don't want to miss them.

Chefs battle it out for the title of Best Chef in WNC and a $5,000 cash prize in the final rounds of WNC Chefs Challenge. On Tuesday, Aug. 20, crews from Tomato Jam and Zambra face off. The following evening, Strada and Dough throw down. The winners take part in the final round at the Grand Tasting.

Many Asheville restaurants will celebrate the festival with their own food events. Dough invites diners to “Be a Commis” (chef's assistant) on Saturday, Aug. 17, and MG Road and Strada are also planning collaborative events with the festival. (Visit the “pairing dinners” tab of the ashevillewineandfoodfest.com for details

You make wine: The festival gives amateurs a chance to test their vintage. The French Broad Vignerons, a WNC-based group that enthuses over grapes, wine and the like, judges the entries (which must be submitted by Saturday, Aug. 10).

For more information, contact info@ashevillewineandfood.com.

You're a mixology master: This year, the festival includes a cocktail contest, Elixir. It's a bartenders' shakedown — or stir-down, as the case may be — using local and regional liquors. To enter, email kris@ashevillewineandfood.com.

For details about any of the above events, visit ashevillewineandfood.com. Tickets are available online through Eventbrite.

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