BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss Wine Week is in its second year, and it offers anyone in Switzerland who loves food and wine a great chance to discover new wines and restaurants. The national “week” is organized by Swiss Wine Promotion, the industry’s marketing arm, and the Vinea Association.
Here’s the deal: 20-30 November more than 200 restaurants and 260 wineries are taking part in a matchmaking project designed to help the Swiss and anyone else lucky enough to be in the country to explore food and wine pairings. The event is seeing a 76% increase in the number of restaurants, and the groups behind it aim to build it up in coming years, as a showcase for Swiss wines that makes it easy and affordable for consumers to try new ones, new wineries, new regions.
Restaurants, cafés – anyplace that serves meals – are invited to offer a special set price house menu, preferably featuring regional food. The eatery must offer either three dishes paired with three wines or three dishes with the wines à la carte. The wines must be from three of the six official wine regions: Geneva, Vaud, Neuchatel/Three lakes, Valais, German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino.
The selection is up to each restaurant owner, but the goal is to expand their familiarity, and that of diners, to a broader group of Swiss wines.
Every canton is taking part. The SWW web site provides an interactive map where you can search for restaurants by location. It also lets you search by winemaker, so if you’d like a wine from your favourite Valais winery, but you want to eat in Geneva, you can see if you find a match.
Prices range from CHF20 or 25 for a menu to 10 times that in some of the country’s top gourmet dining spots.
Geneva and Vaud have the greatest number of participating restaurants, 22 and 26 respectively Wednesday evening – if your favourite corner restaurant isn’t listed, call them tonight and suggest they sign up by tomorrow, when the week starts!