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Uncorked: Galena to host first Food & Wine Festival

A walk down through downtown Galena feels like time has stood still.

The quaint buildings, old fashioned candy stores and retro street lights build a beautiful sense of nostalgia. Nestled amidst the scenery that inspires a thriving community of artists, however, is a collection of restaurants and chefs that are fully skilled to deliver the finest cuisine in a picturesque setting. 

This fall, the inaugural Galena Food & Wine Festival will combine the culinary skills the talented chefs have honed and a collection of fine wines.   

Winemaker spotlight

Wine Lovers Weekend and the Taste of Galena are so successful, committee members from each decided to collaborate on a new event.  

The result is the Galena Food and Wine Festival. 

“We are excited to be working with the Wine Lovers’ Weekend Committee to launch this new event,” ARC Taste of Galena spokeswoman Sarah Peterson said. “It won’t replace the ARC Taste of Galena we hold in February, but rather it will be a nice compliment featuring 12 area restaurants.”

Tim Althaus, the president of event sponsor Family Beer and Liquor, will select more than 150 wines for the event. Althaus also compiles the wine list for the Grand Tastings at Wine Lover’s Weekend and I trust he will again compile a diverse selection of fine wines.  

With the amazing smoked barbecue meats of Chef Ivo’s Place and classic Italian fare from Fried Green Tomatoes amongst the restaurants participating, the culinary offerings at the Galena Food & Wine Festival should be as stunning as the wines.

A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit the Galena Arts and Recreation Center, which serves as a local community center that hosts programs for artists, children, families and seniors. Live music, a silent auction and raffle also will be part of the event.    

“There is no park district in Galena, but there is the A.R.C., which has day care, preschool, fitness programs and other events for all members of the community,” event spokeswoman Janelle Keeffer said. 

Where to go 

Galena Food & Wine Festival will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Galena Convention Center, 900 Galena Square Drive.

Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased online at

Because Wine Lovers Weekend regularly sells out, and while this is the first installment of the Food & Wine Festival, my advice is to get your tickets early for a chance to experience the collection of epicurean delights. 

• 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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