Wine festival allows Shriners to keep helping kids

·2 min read

Oct. 14—Wine lovers can expect a variety of wines at the Bedouin Shrine's Flying Fez Wine Festival, even though it's been moved to a different season.

This year's festival, a spring staple for the past 12 years, will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Bedouin Shrine Temple.

For $30, visitors can sample wine, plus an array of heavy appetizers, such as meats, cheeses and fruits. They also get a complementary wine glass.

Festival organizer Rory Robertson said he expects up to nine Oklahoma wineries including Pecan Creek, Arribin Hills, Stable Ridge, Okie Ozark, Native Spirits, Wakefield, Summerside and Coal Creek, plus a new winery, The Flower Shop.

Participating wineries said they'll offer almost the same varieties this fall that they do in the spring, but expect rich reds.

"Regardless of hemisphere, consumers typically drink lighter, whiter stuff in the spring. Then in the fall and winter months, they switch to reds, getting darker and deeper, said Pecan Creek Winery owner Bob Wickizer.

He said the Muskogee winery will bring its latest release of Purple Martin, a cabernet featuring California or Washington grapes.

"People love our Purple Martin," Wickizer said.

Pecan Creek also will bring its 2021 harvest of Vignole, a white hybrid based on sauvignon blanc, as well as its dry Riesling, its dry whiskey barrel red and its estate Vignole. Wickizer said.

Stable Ridge Winery owner April Collins said the winery will bring its usual variety, except for its lemony Soleil wine, which is popular in the spring.

"We have acquired a new dry red blend that we just came out with, it's called Sumptuous," she said. "It has hints of dark chocolate on the back end. We just released it for the fall. Other than that, we keep them around all year long."

Robertson said festival-goers don't have to miss the Oklahoma State University/Texas game, which will be on the bar TV.

He said the spring 2020 Flying Fez raised about $9,000.

"We slid in about three days before the world shut down last year," Robertson said. "We had it on Saturday and by Wednesday was the first major shut-down. Now it looks like Mr. Covid is going the other way, and we could have a large turnout."

He said he hopes to raise about $15,000 this year.

Proceeds benefit operation of the temple.

"This is for our operations, utilities," he said. "Our insurance, $30,000 for our building, and our vans to transport the kids in. We're in the kid business."

Robertson said Bedouin members transport children its hospitals in Galveston, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana and St. Louis.

If you go

WHAT: Flying Fez Wine Festival.

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Bedouin Shrine Temple, 201 S. Sixth St.

ADMISSION: $30, includes appetizers and souvenir glass.

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