Gourmet On Display by Trolley, Foot, or Bike: Sample Ashland’s Best Eats and Drinks at A Taste of Ashland
A Taste of Ashland sounds a bit like Disneyland for food connoisseury adults and wine lovers. Ticket holders follow a trail of decadent eats and drinks through 17 of Ashland’s art galleries. And, at each gallery there’s a different regional wine to try—one that has been paired with food from one of 23 local, participating restaurants.
While all galleries involved are in walking distance from each other, another option is spending the day in (lazy) style on a trolley. AllAboard Trolley is offering a free shuttle service. So unleash the inner sommelier your friends all fear, and don’t shy away from food coma potential; a ride awaits you the entire afternoon.
The gallery trail extends through most of Siskiyou Blvd. and some of the Railroad district, with six trolley stops along the way. Restaurants and wineries include EdenVale, Beasey’s On the Creek, Grizzly Peak Winery, Eleven, Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine, Smithfields Restaurant and Bar, Platt Anderson Cellars, and DeVitt Winery, to name just a few.
Event organizer Jeffery Jones emphasizes the rare opportunity to experience and enjoy some of the regions best food, wine, and art in one setting. Ashland restaurants are innovating delicious dishes, and local vineyards are making big names for themselves in the wine world. What puts this Taste of Ashland in a different category than any other tasting event, Jones says, is “each winery and restaurant are painstakingly matched and work together to create unique pairings.” And, the event is a once a year chance to “experience artwork from wonderful galleries that represent hundreds of local, regional, and international artists.”
At this year’s Taste of Ashland, a pop-up art show, hosted by Southern Oregon University’s Thorndike Gallery, will display art from 15 Gallery Association artists. This is the first time that the huge, light-filled gallery will be utilized to display art during the event.
A Taste of Ashland has a 27 year history as an event, and Ashland Gallery Association has being the organizing force behind all. Previous event goers might have AGA to thank for finding the perfect Rogue Valley Merlot, or a go-to date night entrée from a local restaurant. Good food, fine wine, and thought-provoking art certainly bring community together. But the work of AGA doesn’t end with this event alone. First Friday art walks, increasingly popular monthly events, are put on by AGA. And, “Gallery Guides,” with maps, pictures, and gallery descriptions are printed by AGA and are available at any AGA gallery. The Association unites over thirty local galleries with dozens of artists. They provide not only a venue for terrific artists to show their work, but bring innovation and inspiration to the Ashland community.
Locals may recognize some of the wineries, restaurants or artists contributing their crafts to the event. However, out-of-towners have plenty to explore and appreciate as well. A Taste of Ashland is “the ultimate Ashland experience,” says AGA’s Board President, Sarah Burns. Tasters can take the afternoon to stroll the town in style, amongst sipping, sampling and art ogling—and still, Jones adds, “have time to relax and attend an Oregon Shakespeare Festival performance in the evening.”
A Taste of Ashland
Noon – 4 pm, Sat. and Sun., April 23 and 24
Various locations, Ashland
$65 for both days, $55 for Sat., $45 for Sun.