The Grand Tasting of the Columbus Food and Wine Affair held at the Franklin Park Conservatory last Friday, as usual, was a beautiful evening. Though things began under ambitious clouds obnoxiously dripping rain and seeping out humidity, they eventually cleared away, leaving the 300+ bottles of different wines to be tasted the only moisture worth considering. The colorful and vibrant epicurean playground depicted in the photo was as exciting & fun as it looks.

All the group exhilaration expended on the local Chihuly glass phenomenon feels overblown to me--pun intended--but there was no denying the otherworldly splendor of this piece when positioned in a real world tropical setting.

This was Chris, our favorite wine guy of the night, who instead of grudgingly tipping out a few nervously poured drips of his precious wine, let 'er rip & poured freely (come early and often, he said--who was I to disobey?) from the justifiably popular "zinny" blend called The Prisoner.

The newish Vittoria, a Powell-located Italian (which I plan on visiting ASAP) was the analogue to The Prisoner stand with Vittoria's generous servings of simple but wonderful lamb chops drizzled with a mouth-popping pesto sauce that only added to the chop's meaty charm.

The Palm House inpires pleasantly spacey thoughts glowing above this Chihuly and lit up (fleetingly) "bluely" as it was only for the duration of the snap of this photo.The Palm House has a variable nighttime coloration due to the permanent installation by famed site specific lighting-oriented artist James Turrell--see it any night as the PH alternates tones starting at dusk. Neat.

While typing this, I realized that the evening, which seemed so jam-packed full of expectations, great food, wine & fun was only as ephemeral as Turrell's changing lights & I'm already nostalgic for it all, even the rain--see you there next year?