Pittsburgh Wine Festival held at Heinz Field

| Sunday, May 8, 2011

If you were wondering why your favorite watering hole was completely void of any barstoolers during happy hour on Thursday, then you needn't have looked any further than the line of people stretching halfway down the sidewalk of Heinz Field in anticipation of the Pittsburgh Wine Festival.

Rumor had it that the VIP tasting alone sold out in a matter of hours, thanks to a Groupon deal that was offered a few weeks prior to game time, leaving procrastinators scrambling to score a glass at the last minute.

Inside both the East and West Club Lounges, PWF prez Ed Harrell and General Manager Dale Markham were circulating among a crushing crowd of more than 2,200 that included PLCB chair PJ Stapleton, Engine House 25's resident wineologist Duane Rieder, Greta Rooney, Laura Gutnick, Georges Nony (visiting from Paree) and man du jour/former NFL coach Dick Vermeil, who was on hand to sign bottles of his own label, Vermeil Wines.

"The only time as a football coach I have come in here and can relax," he laughed.

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The Pittsburgh Wine Festival

The Pittsburgh Wine Festival

The Pittsburgh Wine Festival Thursday, May 5, 2011.

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