Sat | Jul 31, 2021

Caribbean flavours for Atlanta Independence Rum & Wine Festival

Cheers to Reggae and Soca Wines

Published:Thursday | June 24, 2021 | 12:06 AMDave Rodney/Gleaner Writer
The founders of Reggae Wine describe their collection of wines as ‘a reggae party in a bottle’.
The founders of Reggae Wine describe their collection of wines as ‘a reggae party in a bottle’.
A mesmerising mojito made with Barbancourt, lime juice, club soda, a splash of syrup and fresh mint leaves.
A mesmerising mojito made with Barbancourt, lime juice, club soda, a splash of syrup and fresh mint leaves.
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Food and beverage lovers in the Atlanta, Georgia region are thrilled that the city is again opening for Epicurean adventures. An exciting upcoming event is the Atlanta Independence Rum & Wine Festival, scheduled for Piedmont Park on Sunday, July 4.

The festival is a first-time event and will showcase some of the best rums and wines from both Stateside and the Caribbean for sampling, as well as for purchase. Among the rums that will be on display is Barbancourt from Haiti, made from sugar cane juice, aged in oak barrels and described by The New York Times as possibly the finest rum in the world. El Dorado, another world-class brand from Guyana, which is lauded for its aged rums, will be on display at the festival, too. In addition, Bacardi rums from Puerto Rico and Brugal from the Dominican Republic will be in abundant supply. Jamaica will arouse the taste buds with Appleton and Wray & Nephew, and Barbados will thrill with their centuries-old tradition of fine rums, represented by the Mount Gay and Cockspur trademarks.

Wines are currently a big seller among all age groups, and a lead sponsor for this year’s festival is a sensationally delicious collection of vins called Reggae Wines. The collection is manufactured in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, and the brand boasts 11 sweet wines, including Reggae Red, Reggae Rose, Reggae White and Reggae Blush. All 11 are sweet, fruity, refreshing and party-ready, all with a twist-off cap, eliminating the cumbersome need for a corkscrew. Mark and Meredith Easley, the brand’s founders, describe their product as “a reggae party in a bottle”. A parallel brand called Soca Wines is sold by the same company, and the soca brand will be there, too.

EXCELLENT PAIR

An excellent reggae and soca pairing, since the performing artistes at the festival will include Bunji Garlan, Inner Circle, Ky-Mani Marley, Cham (formerly Baby Cham), Afro B and Lil Mo.

“This is our first year, but the Rum & Wine Festival has been in the planning for a long time,” Atlanta-based festival CEO Clinton Garibaldi told The Gleaner. “After the burdensome lockdown, folks are now ready for some good rum, some delicious wines, some mouth-watering food and sizzling entertainment. We are a multicultural event, so we’re targeting various ethnic groups across the region, and we plan to deliver a first-class experience,” he added.

Whenever there’s reggae and soca at an event, there’s also the expectation for great Caribbean food. This extravaganza will be no exception. There will be a number of food vendors led by Premier Bar & Lounge in Atlanta who will provide not so much heavy traditional dishes, but a light summer fare that will create a perfect unison with the spirits and wines. So, patrons can expect salads, crab cakes, kebabs, salmon, fish, shrimp, jerk items, and light and medium-heavy hors d’oeuvres.

The Atlanta Independence Rum & Wine Festival kicks off at 12 noon on American Independence Day and ends at 9 p.m. Tickets and ticket packages are available at eventbrite.com, search term Atlanta Rum & Wine Festival.

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