"Our intention is to make the Wine Walk a twice-a-year event, once in the winter to kick off the new year, and then once in August, " Downtown Wheaton Association Executive Director Paula Barrington said. "January is traditionally a very quiet month, and you are oftentimes stuck inside because of the weather and people get cabin fever. We thought the latter part of January would be a great time to encourage folks to come out into the downtown, patronize the businesses and enjoy the restaurant dining scene. And what better way to encourage them to come out than to offer a variety of wines, especially a variety of red wines and a few ports and some winter white wine."
This year marks the third year of the association's Wine Walk, which debuted in 2016. Previously, the association had partnered with the Wheaton Park District for a wine and cultural arts festival in Memorial Park.
The Winter Wine Walk will begin at the association's offices at 108 Wesley St., where participants will pick up their wine glass and swag bag, along with a walking map to all the tasting locations. From 4 to 7 p.m., participants will be able to sample wines at more than 20 tasting locations in the downtown.
The $35 ticket price includes a souvenir glass, a dozen 1-ounce wine tastings and coupons from various downtown merchants. Additional wine tastings will be available for purchase at the event.
Tickets are available by going to the association's website at downtownwheaton.com. Tickets are $40 per person at the event. The Winter Wine Walk will be held rain, snow or shine.
Complimentary trolley rides will take participants to select tasting locations. The majority of the businesses that participated in last year's Wheaton Wine Walk will participate in the Winter Wine Walk, Barrington said.
"We're also pleased to note that the Westside Improv Studio, which is our comedy club here in downtown Wheaton, along with our newest restaurant addition, The Burger Social, will also be participating in the event," she said.
The Westside Improv Studio will put on a show at 8 p.m. and also host a wine tasting.
"You can enjoy the Wine Walk and stay later for the show," Barrington said.
In addition, participants can purchase a Paint and Sip ticket for a chance to paint their souvenir wine glass at The Sipping Muse in downtown Wheaton.
Barrington said she hopes the Winter Wine Walk will become an annual tradition.
"We are telling everybody to bundle up in their favorite winter attire and have some fun," she said.
If you go
WHAT: Let's Wine About Winter Wine Walk
WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 20
WHERE: Downtown Wheaton
COST: $35 per person in advance, $40 day of event