Local Pleasures

Wine bottles Dean Miller, a sales manager at Visit Fairfax (fxva.com), has found that local microbreweries and wineries often are willing to provide their wares at a significant discount to visiting groups with an interest in gourmet food and drink. In exchange for the price break, invite the owners to give a short presentation on their products -- and take orders for shipments home. (Be sure to ask the venue to waive the corkage fee.) Not only will this ease your budget, but most attendees will be delighted to taste local wines and beers.