DAYTON, Ohio (FNS) -- Several hundred people sampled the lamb, nibbled on the smoked salmon and tried a number of other fresh dishes at Dorothy Lane Markets' eighth annual Holiday Food and Wine Fair.
Each year, the three-unit chain here sponsors the festival to showcase foods prepared in the store's own kitchens and wine straight off the shelves.
DLM's Springboro store proved to be the hottest ticket in town last month. A crowd of 450 filled up the supermarket for the 2 1/2-hour tasting event.
"We offer the Holiday Food and Wine Fair to educate consumers about the great food items and wines we offer," said Todd Templin, beer and wine director. "Our guests get real excited about the event. They consider it a big evening out."
Each $60 ticket holder received a show book listing the menu offerings, the 99 featured wines and a Reidel wine glass. Tickets are sold in advance.
"This year we were sold out a few days in advance," Templin said. "For the comfort of all, we limit the number of tickets. Then we start a wait list. The supply and demand helps to build excitement for the next year."
Attendees had a chance to enjoy the store's culinary prowess, sampling rosemary and garlic lamb, Italian antipasti, smoked salmon, oysters on the half shell, a variety of cold and warm hors d'oeuvres, an assortment of cheeses and breads, and a selection of sweets and sorbets. More than 100 pounds of King Crab legs were served.
The retailer conducted the festival at the Springboro unit because of the space. With wider aisles and two levels, the store was able to stage the event on both floors, with food and wine stations positioned throughout. Associates also offered samples on trays. A three-piece jazz band provided the evening's entertainment.
"What a great way to thank our customers and showcase our capabilities before the chaotic holiday season," Templin said. "What we put out was straight out of our cases and off our shelves. We like to showcase our incredible food and the incredible talents of our chefs. In the wine offerings, all the major wine regions are represented. We had everything from a $7 Spanish wine to the newest release from Silver Oak. We also had some French estate champagnes priced at $50 and up."
Vendors were on hand. Mel Coleman Jr., chairman of Coleman Natural Meats, could be seen at one of the three meat-carving stations. Local chocolatier Ghyslain Maurais showed off his handpainted sweets, marketed exclusively at Dorothy Lane Markets. Wine producers from France poured glasses of champagne.
During the event, the store remained open, so additional staff members were on duty to assist shoppers.