Last night, my friend Megan and I went with curiosity and excitement to the Buffalo Zoo’s “Wines in the Wild” sold out event. When we arrived in the back entrance of the zoo we were greeted with a smile and a wine glass to carry around for each tasting. Once inside we first encountered a table for a silent auction and ticket tables to try and win prize baskets. I tried my luck at the baskets, (even though I almost never win) but figured, why not it will help the zoo either way! All of the proceeds from the event will go to the Adopt-An-Animal Program which helps defray the high cost of the zoo’s annual grocery bill. The raffle basket prizes ranged from zoo themed, wine themed, summer fun themed, and Buffalo themed.

We walked around the zoo area which had tents set up all around with different wine, beer and food vendors. We first started off stopping at a few winery tents, and then alternated between food, beer, and wine tents while we walked through the zoo paths to different exhibits. The food, beer and wine mostly came from local venders within the Western New York area, and a few from out of state as well. This event gave us the chance to taste their offerings and see where we would love to go back and visit in the future!

The Pizza Plant tent had some super yummy gazpacho, Rich’s Red Brick Market had a wonderful cheese puff, and we had a delicious homemade sun-dried tomato stuffed ravioli with a roasted pepper pure from Lebro’s Restaurant just to name a few.

For the beer, vendors gave out little mini plastic beer mugs for the tastings and a few of my favorites included Buffalo Brew Pub, Rohrbach Brewing Co., and MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co. The list wineries that attended included names like Bully Hill Vineyards, Niagara Landing Wine Cellars, and Willow Creek Winery along with many more tasty wineries.

We ate, drank, and socialized right alongside the many beautiful creatures inside the zoo. We checked out the tigers, lions, polar bears, armadillos and even rain forest animals. It was amazing just being able to have an experience like this right in our own backyard of Buffalo.

I have never been to an event like this before…. so much fun! Along with the animals there were multiple acts of musical entertainment at different locations of the zoo. These performances included DJ Soma, Rich Manzell, and TrakBenders to name a few. They added to the enjoyable atmosphere while walking around.

This event combined the local (and non local) food and entertainment that I love and took it to an exotic place. For the 21 years and up crowd, this is a great event to showcase the Buffalo area and support the zoo. I am already looking forward to next year’s event!