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Global Wine Pavillion

Rick Coates - July 4th, 2011
Global Wine Pavilion offers ‘outdoor wine bar’ at Cherry Fest
By Rick Coates
Master Sommelier Ron Edwards has been busy tasting a lot of wine in recent days. Not for his personal benefit, but rather for the hundreds of attendees at the National Cherry Festival’s Global Wine Pavilion Wednesday - Friday (July 6 - 8) from 5 to 10 pm each night.
Edwards, who is based in Charlevoix, serves as a wine consultant to restaurants and wine events throughout Michigan. He is busy finalizing a wine menu that will feature 90 plus wines from around the world.
“Your exploration can include at least 30 different grapes, and wines from Michigan, South Africa, Portugal, California, Argentina, and beyond,” said Edwards in his blog. “You haven’t tried a Tempranillo, Nebbiolo or Viognier; well come find at least one of each.”
The Global Wine Pavilion is the brainchild of Matt Sutherland, who co-founded The Epicurean Classic and has lent his wine and event planning expertise to several events in the area.
“This partnership was born out of my interest in expanding wine tasting opportunities in the region and the Cherry Festival’s goal of expanding their audience,” said Sutherland. “We have seen this event grow each year and even earlier this spring at sneak preview night under some pretty cold conditions several people came out to get a taste of what is in store for them during the Festival.”

So exactly what is in store for wine enthusiasts at the Global Wine Pavilion?
Located on the grounds of the former Clinch Park Zoo, the three-night event offers a different theme each evening. Participants may purchase tickets to attend one or all three nights.
The $10 advance entry fee ($12.95 at the gate) includes an Andrea Robinson (Master Sommelier) designed wine glass, “The One,” considered by many experts to be the world’s perfect wine glass. Plus, your first pour as selected by Edwards (each night will feature a different pour).
“On Wednesday night we will celebrate importer Select Fine Wine which is owned by local resident Barry O’Brien. He will put the spotlight on his selections from New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. It will be a night of Cool Whites and Hot Reds,” said Edwards. “On Friday we will show Monterey and Santa Lucia Highlands California through the stylings of Morgan Winery. Morgan makes such delicious wines, and we will experience their Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah and the Syrah/Grenache blend.”
According to Sutherland the format of the tasting will work for the expert and novice alike.
“Wines will be available in 2.5 ounce and 5 ounce pours in prices ranging from $3 to $30,” said Sutherland. “At least 50 wines to be priced at $3 per 2.5 ounce pour.
“These are not corporate conglomerate wineries; rather these wines are from the small guys that most in the wine world have never heard of. What is cool is these are exceptional wines that, had Ron not sought them out, most attending would never get a chance to taste otherwise.” said Sutherland.

He emphasizes that food will complement the event as well.
“There will be a feature selection of imported cheeses, cured meats and other authentic foods saluting major grape growing regions of the world. Food will be sold in $3.00 portion sizes and Wednesday night Bay Leaf will host, Thursday will feature The Cooks’ House and Friday, Chez Perez.”
Sutherland wants to emphasize that this is not a sampling or a wine festival; this is a tasting experience.
“While certainly coming out and enjoying the Pavilion one night is great, it is really structured to be a three-day tasting expedition,” said Sutherland. “It is an opportunity to get educated while having a lot of fun. We are not pouring little tastes, rather half glasses, so you really get to experience the wines you choose. Obviously you have to limit your selections so ask lots of questions. Basically what we have created is a three-day outdoor wine bar.”

The National Cherry Festival Global Wine Pavilion is Wednesday - Friday (July 6 - 8) from 5 to 10pm each night. Advance tickets and additional information at
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