hudson valley wine festival (and food)
- bob gaj
i'll be going tomorrow, will report on it. the website is hudsonvalleywinefest.com , held in red hook at grieg's farm.
30+ wine reps, and some food reps as well. wine is all=inclusive in the $20 ticket price, food is purchased separately.
i know that baldwin will be there (from pine bush), and they've got some wonderful light fruit wines. clinton vineyards will be as well - fruity, more alcohol, wines are their specialty. i've sampled some of the others, but am looking forward to the trip.
(and must pack some extra food, in case i have lots o' samples).
I live in Putnam County, and I've been to many of the Hudson Valley wimeries and sampled many of their wines. If you actually find a Hudson Valley wine at this festival that doesn't taste like Formula 409 with grape juice, I'll be shocked.
It's sad, and I wish it wasn't so, but Hudson Valley wine is just dreadful.
ok, here's the report.
first - got there around 1030, that was wonderful timing - very few people in there, got to sample the wines / talk to the people with absolutely zero rush.
since i like fruitier / lighter wines, this worked out well for me. the main difficulty was too *many* wineries; since i drove, i had to be careful not to drink too much, and after a while, many started to taste the same.
there was about 32 there, with most from either the hudson valley or finger lakes region. there was an option to have the wines purchased at the booths, and then the helpers would keep it at a pickup area outside. i didn't choose this, instead preferring to take purchases out to the car. this was a smart move when i left at 3:00; there must have been 50+ people on the 'pickup' line. i didn't even get to half the wineries for samples.
in between the wine vendors were lots o' food people. bread alone, catskill cake co. have been discussed here; clinton vineyards had some venison pepperoni (and other products, such as quail?), jeff's jerky had all sorts of different jerkies, nunda mustard had about 6 or 7 flavours of mustard. i picked up some apple pie topping and an apple butter from la provencale cellars (from virginia), a maple syrup person, picked up some quiche for my wife (but people there said it was good) with feta / tomatoes / spinach and something else from pika's quiche, and i'm sure i'm forgtting others inside.
outside, they had terrapin not doing anything fancy (more on this), a soul / caribbean food vendor whose jerk chicken was disappointing (fell off the bone wonderfully, but the jerk spices were neither spicy or sweet, and the rice had minimal flavour), a german wurst seller, the hickory pit, and a couple others.
HOWEVER...they had food demos. i saw three; one was chef wilson (?) from terrapin, who made a delicious lobster corn custard (i believe), and a duck comfi (spelling? pasta like lasagna). there was a chef later who cooked up a thai infusion - loose terms, it was salmon on a plank, with flavorings associated with thai food...and someone else showing how to make sushi. so there were tastings offered on these, and i know there was a dessert one scheduled for later in the afternoon.
music played all day, and there was plenty of tent space not in the wineries section for people to be comfortable.
please note; the times for the cooking demos were way off, as were the foods to be prepared there.
anyhow, i had a good time. i'm no wine expert, but i will say if heavier wines (ports, merlots) are your thing, there won't be too much in the drinking section for you.