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Uncorked: Galena set for Wine Lover’s Weekend

Wine Lover’s Weekend has blossomed into one of the state’s premiere wine events. 

A pair of Grand Tastings at the Galena Convention Center and a plethora of events are the ideal way to kick off spring. 

Winemaker spotlight

The Grand Tastings at Wine Lover’s Weekend will have 45 wine vendors packed into the Galena Convocation Center. They are the star attractions in a weekend loaded with events. 

Now in its eighth year, Wine Lover’s Weekend continues to grow. The Friday Grand Tasting has already sold out. Tim Althaus, president of Family Beer and Liquor, which sponsors the Grand Tastings, expects an imminent sell-out of Saturday’s Grand Tasting.   

The weekend’s popularity stems not only from the great wine, but the way the entire business community in picturesque Galena comes to life. 

“It’s great when you get a group of couples or friends at the event just getting away and enjoying what is a great event and beautiful and romantic location,” said Althaus, who also is a member of the Wine Lover’s Weekend Committee. “Just this week 10 ladies that are wine lovers from central Illinois called to share they were coming up for a weekend getaway.

“It’s a great event with a vast selection of wines. It’s a fun chance to educate your palate and really find out what you like or don’t like. We will have a large variety of red, white and sweet wines. People are amazed at the large amount of wines that are open to taste,” he said.

Galena Cellars spokeswoman Janelle Keeffer marveled at the repeat attendees she’s noticed at Wine Lover’s Weekend. 

“It’s been great to watch the event grow throughout the years,” she said. “Wine lovers of all backgrounds come together. There are novices, experts and people just looking to enjoy the company of friends. It’s fun to see after eight years we have some of the same groups of people coming year after year.”

Where to go

Wine Lover’s Weekend, Galena, March 22 to 24

More than just the pair of Grand Tastings, Wine Lover’s Weekend has become a phenomenon that encompasses restaurants, wine stores and wineries in the Galena area. 

“It seems like there are events added daily as the weekend approaches,” Althaus said. “There are winemaker dinners, seminars and meet-and-greets with winery owners all weekend.”

Fried Green Tomatoes and Frits and Frites serve delectable dinner dishes. Be sure to make reservations. 

Also, make your way to the Galena Cellars 2013 Vineyard Opening from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a series of events, tours and tastings. Situated high above downtown Galena, amidst the sprawling countryside, there’s not a better vista in which to enjoy a glass of wine and the company of good friends in the entire state. 

Tickets are available only online this year; no tickets will be sold at the door. Visit for an updated event list and more information.

• James Nokes writes a bi-weekly wine column for the Daily Chronicle. He’s been tasting, touring and collecting in the wine world for several years. Contact him at

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