Browsing articles in "wine festivals"
Sep 25, 2014
Terri Judson

What worked and what didn’t at inaugural Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic

The inaugural Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic wrapped up late into the night September 13. It seems the city’s food community is still basking in the afterglow. 

In an audacious move, Donna Covrett and Courtney Tsitouris sparked the gathering of more than 90 local and national chefs, writers, winemakers, brewers, cocktail experts and television celebrities. Food and wine were front and center, but just as importantly, quality programming led by top culinary talent gave the event depth and distinction. 

Covrett and Tsitouris, the founders of Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic, were determined to shine a light on the area’s culinary community. They wanted to show off Cincinnati to the rest of the country as a city of culinary consequence. 

Now that the food has been served, the wine poured, and the competition winners crowned, I caught up with Covrett and Tsitouris at Cheapside Café to see how things went.

State of being

On her way to the café, Covrett said her car battery sputtered and gave out. A metaphor perhaps, of the toll this event took on the two of them.

“How are you feeling?” I asked. “Tired. Bone tired,” came Covrett’s answer. “We’ve really just been sleeping the last couple of days.”

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the community, and the people who came out to support us. We took this risk that was pretty terrifying on a lot of levels, and there were a lot of dark moments,” Tsitouris added.

Donna Covrett (L) and Courtney Tsitouris (R), the organizers of the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic (Photo by Grace Yek)

Their model

Neither Covrett nor Tsitouris had organized an event of this size before. I asked them how they even put their arms around something as ambitious as this. 

They said they traveled around the country and took notes. 

“We looked at other cities of similar size that have food and wine festivals, and cherry picked the ideas. We looked at Charleston, Austin, Portland, Atlanta and even South Beach,” Covrett said. 

They followed Atlanta’s lead in its emphasis on daytime programming, like demonstrations, seminars and competitions. According to Covrett, South Beach had a burger bash, which they redesigned into Pork Chopped, a chef competition for the best pork inspired dish.

Talent

For having no track record, the pair had to start from scratch to get the food celebrities to sign up.

“There was no shortage of cold calls and passionate emails, but it was never a difficult sell,” Tsitouris said.

She remembers her email exchange with Francis Lam, a New York food writer and Top Chef Masters judge. 

“When I emailed him, I never expected him to answer.” Not only did Lam answer, he gave her his number and told her to call him.

Chefs from the area who were on the executive committee also helped to recruit national talent. According to Tsitouris, Michael Paley brought in Andrew Knowlton, and Paul Sturkey landed Pat LaFrieda. 

Covrett added, “We also reached out to chefs who have roots here, like Nate Appleman, Tony Ferrari and Anita Hirsch, who have gone on to do other things.”

Become a WCPO Insider to find out what the pair has in store for next year, and to read more about how the event went.

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Sep 24, 2014
Terri Judson

Food and wine festivals and fundraisers coming this fall

Food and wine events are a welcome addition to the fall season. The cool weather offers the perfect occasion to gather up friends and head outdoors.

The lineup ranges from large outdoor festivals to more intimate fundraisers that often feature our best chefs competing against each other. Wine classes, tastings and music add to the fun.

Here’s a look at many of these upcoming outings:

September

Shag at the Foodbank Sept. 25

When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula. Copeland Industrial Park, 2401 Aluminum Ave., Hampton.

Admission: $35 in advance, $45 at the gate. 757-596-7188; shagatthefoodbank.com.

This “dine, dance and donate” fundraiser presented by the Kiwanis takes place in the Foodbank’s warehouse. All-you-can-eat seafood includes steamed shrimp, crab bites, fried oysters and fish, oysters on the half shell plus pork barbecue, baked beans, cole slaw, hush puppies and sweet potato fries. Wine, beer and music by The Deloreans. Bring jars of peanut butter and jelly for the collection bins.

ShinDIG at Jamestown Sept. 25

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Jamestown Island. 1368 Colonial Parkway, Jamestown

Admission: $30, purchased in advance online. 757-229-4997. historicjamestowne.org.

Bluegrass music, barbecue and beautiful views of the James River are the draw for this fundraiser. The Who Ever Shows Up Band will perform at the island’s Dale House Café. Barbecue dinner is provided by Carrot Tree Kitchens. Beer and wine available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the archaeological research, educational programs and operations of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project at Historic Jamestowne.

Guinea Jubilee Sept. 26-27

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Saturday

Where: Abingdon Ruritan Club Festival Grounds, 8784 Guinea Road, Hayes.

Admission: Free. 804-642-2572. Guineajubilee.com.

Celebrate the history of the neighborhood’s working watermen with arts and crafts, entertainment, parade, good food and fireworks. Music by The Janitors (7 p.m. Friday) and Crazy X Band (6 p.m. Saturday).

Art D’Vine Sept. 26

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Sep 24, 2014
Terri Judson

Beer and Wine Festivals in Salisbury

SALISBURY, Md. — With summer fading and fall right around the corner, minds are turning to the anticipation of cooler weather, leaves changing color, pumpkin carving and of course, Wicomico County’s fall festivals.

The Good Beer Festival, Delmarva’s largest craft beer event will return to Salisbury, Maryland’s Pemberton Historical Park on October 11 12, followed by the Autumn Wine Festival on October 18 19. Organizers say early bird tickets and hotel packages for both festivals are on sale now.

The Good Beer Festival is first on tap, offering festival-goers unlimited tastings of over 125 different American craft brews – no tasting tickets needed. A favorite from last year’s event, the Local Beer Garden will return, offering the chance to experience the flavor of Eastern Shore breweries.

Xtreme Brewing will host the Home Brewer’s Garden all weekend, featuring instructional sessions and the return of the Home Brew Competition on Sunday.
In addition to great beer, the festival offers live music on two stages, the weekend’s biggest games in the Sports Zone, games, delicious food and craft and commercial vendors.

Tickets are on sale now, but organizers say early bird ticket sales for the Good Beer Festival end Friday, October 3 at 6 p.m.

The following weekend, the Eastern Shore welcomes its second fall staple – the Autumn Wine Festival.

In partnership with the Maryland Wineries Association, the festival offers the perfect opportunity to explore a variety of Maryland wine from one location. Over 20 wineries are anticipated this year, offering unlimited samplings – again, no tasting tickets needed.

Those interested in a more intimate experience can upgrade their tickets to receive the VIP treatment on Saturday. The VIP experience offers a covered tent area, reserved parking, private restroom facilities, a television lounge area, hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings, festival t-shirt and gift bag. A limited amount of VIP tickets are available for $55 per person, advance sales only.

Wine connoisseurs and first time samplers alike enjoy the annual festival, which also features live music, the weekend’s biggest games in the Sports Zone, regional cuisine and craft and commercial vendors.

Tickets are on sale now and organizers say early bird sales for the Autumn Wine Festival end Friday, October 10 at 6 p.m.

Both festivals are hosted at Pemberton Historical Park in Salisbury, Maryland. Just off a clam shell road on the western side of Wicomico County, the park’s rural backdrop boasts sprawling meadows lined with trees of vibrant orange, red and yellow. Pemberton’s 207 acres are highlighted by a charming 18th century plantation home.

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Sep 23, 2014
Terri Judson

Garden State Wine Growers to Hold Jersey Skyline Wine Festival September …


Garden State Wine Growers to Hold Jersey Skyline Wine Festival September 13th 14th

PRWEB.COM Newswire

PRWEB.COM NewswireRidgefield Park, NJ (PRWEB) September 09, 2014

The Garden State Wine Growers Association will hold the 2nd annual Jersey Skyline Wine Festival this weekend at Overpeck County Park, in Ridgefield Park, NJ. The festival will be open from 12-5pm each day, featuring 12 terrific NJ wineries, local foods, arts and crafts and live music each day. This will be the third of five annual statewide wine festivals produced by the GSWGA this fall. The event gives northern NJ and New York City residents a chance to enjoy and learn about the award-winning wines being produced right in their back yard, from the Highlands of northwest New Jersey to the sandy shores of Cape May.

The skyscrapers of Manhattan etch the skyline upon entering the park, which sprawls over 800 protected and preserved acres in 5 neighboring municipalities. Stretching along the Hudson, it provides an ideal setting for local wine enthusiasts to toast the harvest season, and savor the last whispers of the summer. NJ wineries have exploded in number, from 10 in the early 2000′s to nearly 50 today. With a wide range of soil and weather across the state, local wineries produce a equally broad spectrum of wines, from dry traditional European varieties, to sweeter native grapes. Some producers even ferment other local fruits such as blueberry and peach. With hundreds to sample, the festival guarantees a wine to suit every palate.

Overpeck County Park allows responsible consumption on the property, so attendees can enjoy their favorite wines on the lawn in front of the bands. On Saturday, Abraham The Groove will play RB and reggae. On Sunday, Total Soul returns from last year to play on Sunday. The band was wildly popular, playing Motown, RB, and today’s pop covers. The bands play from 12-5 each day.

Foodies will feel at home with food trucks offering delectable bites from flatbread wood-fired pizzas and BBQ, to seafood soups. “The Empanada Guy” will be on site in one of his food trucks, fresh off an appearance on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay.” Artisan food and craft vendors will have their wares available; with everything from spices and sauces to chocolates and other seasonal treats. The event is family friendly, with a crafts activity tent for kids to enjoy as well.

Tickets are $25 for adults; while those under 21 are free. Designated drivers receive complimentary admission to the festival. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at a $5 discount, which is available through Saturday the 13th. Admission includes a souvenir wine glass that can be used to sample the wines. Overpeck County Park has entrances at 199 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park (best for approaching from NJ) and 40 Fort Lee Rd in Leonia (easier for driving from NYC), or a 20 minute bus ride from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Manhattan will drop visitors from New York City at the southern entrance. The park will operate a shuttle from the parking areas to the festival grounds each day as well. The Jersey Skyline wine festival will run from noon to 5 p.m. each day. Ticket information, a festival guide, and the full list of winery participants can be found by visiting http://www.newjerseywines.com.

The GSWGA is a coalition of nearly 50 wineries and vineyards across New Jersey, dedicated to raising the quality and awareness of the New Jersey wine industry. For more information, please contact Executive Director John Cifelli at 908-866-6529 or John(at)newjerseywines(dot)com.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/jersey/skyline/prweb12154499.htm

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Sep 22, 2014
Terri Judson

Apulia, Italy’s hidden wine star

Is your idea of the picture-perfect holiday relaxing with a superb red wine while watching the Adriatic or Ionian seas or strolling through charming vineyards and olive groves?
Then the Italian wine region of Apulia with its long beaches is just the place. It is situated in Italy’s most South-Eastern region and has several less known villages that rarely see travellers. Because of its shape on a map Apulia or Puglia, as it is known in Italian, is referred to as the “spur” or “heel” of “Italy’s boot”.

Apulia: trulli and wine

Numerous castles can be found in this area, reminders of the multitude of foreign leaders that conquered this region before it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

In recent years, Apulia has become a great wine region, discarding its label as Europe’s “wine reservoir” with the bulk of Apulian wine exported to be blended with more famous Italian and European wines. Currently Apulia produces one-fifth of Italy’s wine and one-tenth of Europe’s wine. Small-sized wine producers concentrate on producing high quality wines with unique features. The region is now one of the ten best wine producing regions in the world, producing around 185 million gallons of wine every year of which about 45% is white and 55% red wine. Apulia’s hot Mediterranean climate, sunshine and sea breeze boosts high-volume vine growth.

Apulia’s wine-makers mostly plant indigenous vines which produces authentic wines with a strong character. One such wine, which is higly recognised, is Nero Di Troia, a soft medium red wine with chocolate and vanilla aromas, and a spicy twist. The most popular wine seems to be Primitivo, made from grapes of the same name that is allowed to shrivel after harvesting, to produce an intense wine.

Another esteemed wine is the full-bodied Negro Amaro with a garnet red colour and intense fruity aromas and taste. Salice Salentino is a strong red wine produced in the Lecce province where some of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Italy can be found.
Castel Del Monte, outside the town of Andria near Bari, has gained international credibility for a fine rosé and well-structured reds. The interesting Rosso Castel Del Monte is a wine made from over-ripened grapes. The colour of the wine can be quite dark due to a 10 month period of maturing in barriques and 9 months aging in the bottle. It has note of cherry, slightly dry.
Another great Apulian wine is the full-bodied ruby and violet coloured Rosso Puglia with aromas of coffee and spices. The ruby red Primitivo Gioia Del Colle is aged in concrete tanks as was the custom in Roman and Greek times.

While most locals seek to enjoy a wine of good quality for a good price, wine experts in Apulia associate the drinking of wine with special occasions and fine dishes, comparing it to the experience of fine arts or music, a way of expressing one self.

Apulian wines are straightforward and uncomplicated, earthy and some refreshingly bitter with smoky flavours. They complement the abundance of fresh seafood and vegetables, the staples of locals, as well as other typical Apulian food like slow baked lamb and potatoes, peperonata or grilled tuna steaks.
Food and wine festivals are abundant in Apulia during summer, such as the annual Puglia Wine Festival, the annual Negroamaro Wine Festival usually held in June in Brindisi and the Calici di Stelle, a yearly wine-focused event in Lecce.

So, how badly you want to experience Apulia now, and drink its special wines? We can’t wait to do it again!

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Sep 22, 2014
Terri Judson

A lineup of fall food and wine festivals and fundraisers

Food and wine events are a welcome addition to the fall season. The cool weather offers the perfect occasion to gather up friends and head outdoors.

The lineup ranges from large outdoor festivals to more intimate fundraisers that often feature our best chefs competing against each other. Wine classes, tastings and music add to the fun.

Here’s a look at many of these upcoming outings:

September

Shag at the Foodbank Sept. 25

When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula. Copeland Industrial Park, 2401 Aluminum Ave., Hampton.

Admission: $35 in advance, $45 at the gate. 757-596-7188; shagatthefoodbank.com.

This “dine, dance and donate” fundraiser presented by the Kiwanis takes place in the Foodbank’s warehouse. All-you-can-eat seafood includes steamed shrimp, crab bites, fried oysters and fish, oysters on the half shell plus pork barbecue, baked beans, cole slaw, hush puppies and sweet potato fries. Wine, beer and music by The Deloreans. Bring jars of peanut butter and jelly for the collection bins.

ShinDIG at Jamestown Sept. 25

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Jamestown Island. 1368 Colonial Parkway, Jamestown

Admission: $30, purchased in advance online. 757-229-4997. historicjamestowne.org.

Bluegrass music, barbecue and beautiful views of the James River are the draw for this fundraiser. The Who Ever Shows Up Band will perform at the island’s Dale House Café. Barbecue dinner is provided by Carrot Tree Kitchens. Beer and wine available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the archaeological research, educational programs and operations of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project at Historic Jamestowne.

Guinea Jubilee Sept. 26-27

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Saturday

Where: Abingdon Ruritan Club Festival Grounds, 8784 Guinea Road, Hayes.

Admission: Free. 804-642-2572. Guineajubilee.com.

Celebrate the history of the neighborhood’s working watermen with arts and crafts, entertainment, parade, good food and fireworks. Music by The Janitors (7 p.m. Friday) and Crazy X Band (6 p.m. Saturday).

Art D’Vine Sept. 26

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Sep 19, 2014
Terri Judson

Two wine festivals on tap for the weekend


Kinney, Dorothy

Dorothy Elizabeth Turk Kinney A resident of Westminster-Canterbury retirement community in Lynchburg, Dorothy T. Kinney departed this life on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Born in Carthage, Mo., on January 27, 1909, she was the eldest of two living children born to Ella and Elza Turk, dirt poor farmers in Southwest Missouri. She and her brother, Paul, helped their parents tend the small herd of dairy cattle, plant and harvest crops, and tend other livestock around the 160 acre farm. Graduating from Sarcoxie High School in May of 1927, Dorothy then enrolled in Rude’s Business College in Carthage, Mo. Two years later, she was hired as an accountant to keep books for the Kellogg Marble Company in Carthage. While at Rude’s Business College, Dorothy met Lucille Kinney, the sister of her future husband, Charles W. Kinney. Dorothy and Charles met at a Valentine’s party in 1928, at the Kinney home, and began their courtship that culminated in a life-long marriage on January 1, 1932. Charles persuaded his father, Olin W. Kinney, to hire Dorothy as a bookkeeper for the Farmer’s Exchange where the father worked in Webb City, Mo., a small business that catered to area farmers. Dorothy and Charles’ only child, Charles Herbert Kinney, was born on September 20, 1934. She, along with their newborn son, moved to join her husband in 1934 while Charles finished his education at the University of Iowa, receiving his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1934 and his M.S. degree in hydraulics in 1935. From Iowa, the young family moved frequently as Charles took a succession of jobs in the depressed job market of the mid-1930′s. They lived in Knoxville, Tenn.; New Orleans, La.; moved back to Knoxville; then to Little Rock, Ark.; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Ore.; and then Springfield, Mo. Dorothy worked for a while in the early 1950′s as a salesperson and sewing instructor at a local branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Washington, D.C. After a short time, she left the Singer Company to go to work as a salesperson at Sears, Roebuck, and Company, finally leaving the job after more than eight years to accompany her husband to Portland, Ore. Both enjoyed life in Portland for the next several years working in their gardens and she with her talents in darkroom photography. As he climbed the corporate ladder, she was always supportive of his endeavors. A series of medical issues forced his early retirement and they subsequently settled in Springfield, Mo. She took on increasing homecare duties fulfilling the role of loving caregiver for her husband until Parkinson’s Disease eventually took his life on January 1, 1984 (their 52nd wedding anniversary). Following her husband’s death, Dorothy moved to Carthage, Mo., to be near her brother, Paul. She was a member of the First Church of the Nazarene and resided in Carthage until 1998, when she moved to Lynchburg, Va., to be near her retired son, the late Charles H. Kinney, and his family. She continued to be active with her gardening, church activities, family and friends until the final weeks of her life. Left behind to cherish Dorothy’s memory are her three grandchildren, Catherine K. Konoza of Warrenton, Va., Karen K. Davidson of Duluth, Ga., and Olin M. Kinney of Triangle, Va.; six great-grandchildren, Christina M. Konoza and Emily M. Konoza, both of Warrenton, Va., Steven T. Davidson and Jessica L. Davidson, both of Duluth, Ga., Isabel M. T. Kinney and Jacob M. T. Kinney, both of Triangle, Va.; and sister-in-law, Vera Turk of Huntersville, N.C. The family will receive friends on Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 3 until 4 p.m. at Tharp Funeral Home in Lynchburg. A memorial service will be conducted on September 20, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. in the Chapel at Westminster Canterbury, Lynchburg. Interment will be at Dudman Springs Cemetery, in Sarcoxie, Mo., beside her husband, Charles, on Saturday, September 27, 2014, at 11 a.m. Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, (434) 237-9424, www.tharpfuneralhome.com.

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Sep 18, 2014
Terri Judson

New York Wine Festivals to Present 2nd Annual NYC Autumn Wine Festival at …

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Catch the NYC Autumn Wine Festival at the Broad Street Ballroom, November 22 - 2 sessions, 3-6pm  8-11pm.

New York WIne Festivals hosts the 2nd Annual NYC Autumn Wine Festival at the Broad Street Ballroom in lower Manhatan on Saturday, November 22, 2014.

The extensive wine selection curated by Vintry Fine Wines, our all-new VIP upgrade, entertaining live jazz, and the stunning setting of the historic Broad Street Ballroom will provide our guests with a memorable wine and entertainment experience

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 17, 2014

New York Wine Festivals will host its 2nd Annual NYC Autumn Wine Festival: A Celebration of Wine Downtown at the Broad Street Ballroom in lower Manhattan on Saturday, November 22, 2014. The autumn tasting will feature 200+ wines curated by Vintry Fine Wines, light fare including hors d’oeurves, cheese and cracker selections, and pasta, plus artisan food sampling tables. Guests will also enjoy live contemporary jazz performances during each session from internationally acclaimed guitarist Matt Marshak and his band.

Tasting tables located throughout the venue will offer a wide array of high-quality wines from around the globe including lush reds, crisp whites, intriguing grape blends, and more. Festival attendees can choose from two tasting sessions, Afternoon: 3-6pm or Evening: 8-11pm, and sip wines from a complimentary tasting glass that is theirs to take home after the event.

This year, a VIP level ticket (limited to 40 people per session) has been added to the event that includes the main tasting plus admission to a private VIP wine tasting lounge featuring 20+ high-end wines and a premium selection of butler passed hors d’oeuvres including caviar, foie gras, and filet mignon. Varietals and regions will include Bordeaux (France), Rioja (Spain), Super Tuscans (Italy), and Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel (California).

Guests may also add an exclusive wine class to their festival experience to enhance their wine knowledge. Classes feature additional selections and are led by a wine expert who will provide tasting and pairing notes as well as intriguing facts about the varietals. Two class times are featured during each session.

“We’re excited to return to downtown Manhattan for our autumn wine event,” notes S.W. Kimball, Founder, New York Wine Festivals. “The extensive wine selection curated by Vintry Fine Wines, our all-new VIP upgrade, entertaining live jazz, and the stunning setting of the historic Broad Street Ballroom will provide our guests with a memorable wine and entertainment experience,” he adds.

Located in the heart of Wall Street, the Broad Street Ballroom was built in the late 1920s as the Headquarters of the Lee-Higginson Bank. Today, the spacious site is recognized today as “the most impressible building on Broad Street” and is one of the premier event spaces in New York City.

Musical guest, guitarist Matt Marshak has built a sound based on inspiration, improvisation and spontaneity, one that infuses new energy into the golden era of contemporary jazz and RB. He recently completed a world tour, invited to play at prestigious events like the Dubai International Jazz Festival and the Mallorca Jazz Festival in Spain. Stateside, Matt is a familiar figure on the US jazz circuit, performing at Jazz on the Vine in Wisconsin (opening for Fourplay), the Rehoboth Jazz Festival in Delaware, and the River Raisin Jazz Festival in Detroit, and regularly performs at such clubs as Yoshi’s in San Francisco, Scullers in Boston, and many other respected venues nationwide.

Sponsors to date include Brotherhood Winery – America’s Oldest Winery, Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, and OneHope Wine; more to be announced shortly.

Standard tickets for the NYC Autumn Wine Festival are on sale now, priced at $99. (Final week: $109) VIP tickets including admission to the VIP tasting area are $199 (Final week: $219). An additional $25 fee applies for those adding a wine class to their festival experience. Space is limited at the festival, classes, and for the VIP option; advance purchase is recommended.

For more details or to purchase tickets to the 2nd Annual NYC Autumn Wine Festival, visit http://www.nywinefestivals.com.

About New York Wine Festivals

New York Wine Festivals hosts elegant wine tasting events at first class venues around the city. The company’s goal is to provide a wine tasting experience that allows guests to sample as many diverse wines as possible while enjoying great music and the company of other wine lovers. Visit http://www.nywinefestivals.com.

About Vintry Fine Wines

Vintry Fine Wines brings fine wine to NYC’s revitalized downtown. With 2,500+ selections focusing on both collectibles and drinkables, Vintry is a destination in bourgeoning Battery Park City. Featuring iconic design marrying classic and modern elements by architecture firm Rogers Marvel, this indicates what the store is all about: the best wines from both old and new world regions. Visit http://www.vintryfinewines.com.

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Sep 18, 2014
Terri Judson

As grape harvests come to an end, fall wine festivals flourish

By Ron Saikowski / Wine WalkThe grape harvest in Texas is nearing an end with the wineries at their very busiest.

The grapes are fermenting in vats with many wineries working 12-to-18 hour days during this very busiest of times for wineries. Wines are being transferred from stainless steel tanks to thousands of oak barrels for aging wines. Although the romance of making wine is in the air, the reality for winery operations is that 90 percent of winery work is cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing for the various winery operations.

However, all during these 60-hour weeks at wineries, the harvest festivals abound in our Texas with wineries invited to pour wines and host tastings at a multitude of fall harvest festivals. For those hard-working winemakers, our Texas winemakers will still find time to join in the festivities and provide Texans with the ongoing fruits of their labors. We have several local wine festivals that I suggest you consider over the next few weeks such as:

Saturday – Historic Montgomery Wine Festival features 16 Texas wineries paired with outstanding Texas music and foods. Wineries include Bernhardt Winery, Chisholm Trail Winery, Circle S Vineyards, Cork This! Winery, Dionisio Winery, Flat Creek Estates, Griffin Meadery, Haak Vineyards and Winery, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Messina Hof Winery, Peach Creek Vineyards, Pleasant Hill Winery, Red 55 Winery, Saddlehorn Winery, Sweet Dreams Winery and Windy Winery.]]

• Oct. 11-12 – Old Town Spring Wine and Art Festival pairs Texas wines and art in one free-flowing event. Wineries include Bernhardt Winery, Calais Winery, Clear Creek Vineyard, Dionisio Winery, Fall Creek Vineyards, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Maydelle Winery, Messina Hof Winery and Pleasant Hill Winery.

• Oct. 18 – Madisonville hosts the 13th Annual Mushroom Festival with Texas wineries attending this festival including Bernhardt Winery, Dionisio Winery, D’Vine Winery, Granny Muffin, Landon Winery, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Messina Hof Winery, Maydelle Winery, Perrine Winery, Peach Creek Winery, Pleasant Hill Winery, Red Wine Dove, Sunset Winery and Texas Legato Winery.

With the weather cooling down, now is the time to enjoy the fruits of the harvest at these various festivals.

October is Texas Wine Month

Join us in celebrating October as “Texas Wine Month” as designated by the Texas Department of Agriculture. There will be many celebrations of Texas wines throughout our state of Texas. Texas wine trails in the Texas Hill Country, Houston Hill Country (north and west of Houston) and throughout Texas will provide you with opportunities to enjoy a huge variety of wines. SPEC’s will be celebrating through the month of October with many specials on Texas wines.

They pride themselves on their wide range of Texas wines. Another great venue to enjoy wines is at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. More than 40 Texas wineries will be featured over the course of the Fair. There will be a new vintage to try at the State Fair Wine Garden presented by GO TEXAN and Texas Monthly. Each day, fair attendees over the age of 21 can sample three to four wines from featured Texas wineries. Samples may be purchased by the tasting, the glass or the bottle. You might even have the opportunity to chat with the wine makers.

In addition to some great Texas wine, the State Fair of Texas Wine Garden is also a great place to sit and relax. Nestled in a courtyard of Nimitz Drive under a huge oak tree between the Food and Fiber Building and the Pan Am Arena, the Wine Garden is the perfect spot to escape the bustling Fair before your next adventure.

Ron Saikowski may be reached at rsaikowski@comcast.net.

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Sep 17, 2014
Terri Judson

Newport Food and Wine Festival begins Friday

Newport Food and Wine Festival begins Friday




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 Rainer Schwarz of Driftwood Kitchen is among local chefs who will present demos and hand out samples.



If you go

Tickets are $350 for the opening night VIP party 6:30-11 p.m. at Red O, 143 Newport Center Drive. $195 per day, or $350 for an all-weekend pass, for events 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive. Online at newportwineandfood.com

The Newport Beach Food and Wine Festival hopes to deliver first-rate cuisine and stimulating jazz. Best of all, foodies will have an opportunity to get up close to chefs such as Bravo’s “Top Chef” winner Richard Blais and contestant Sue Zemanick, Food Network “Cutthroat Kitchen” winner Jamie Gwen and others presenting cooking demos, with all proceeds benefiting Project Hope Alliance and the Hoag Hospital Foundation Circle 1000

The introductory event is set to kick off Friday with a VIP opener …

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