**Guest post by Susan Garrett of SusanSpouts.com
The Adirondack Winery knew that if you pour wine, they will come….and they did!
The first annual Adirondack Wine and Food Festival was bustling with wine enthusiasts but there was so much more. If you like whiskey and distilled spirit tasting, craft beer and cider sampling, gourmet food savoring and artisan shopping, all set in the Adirondacks, next to beautiful Lake George, then we are kindred spirits! Individual tents were spaciously set in the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons (not giving away my age but…..the site of the old Gaslight Village Amusement Park).
The thoughtful arrangement of vendors made the food and beverage pairing easy and it enabled the crowd to flow. Picnic tables were placed here and there for seating for a break or while eating from one of the food trucks. The farmers’ market setting allowed us to purchase directly from the vendors and our finds were held at the reception tent to be pick up on our way out.
Armed with our wine glasses and Festival Program we started off at the SUNY Adirondack tent where culinary students demonstrated recipes and showed off their culinary skills. It was a full schedule from Tuna Tartar to Lemon and Tarragon Crepes! Here they are preparing smoked house made sausage. All dishes were paired with an Adirondack Winery Wine.
Don’t worry all you sweet eaters, (uh…that’s me too) there were pastries and cookies provided by the students to give a try… I love a good peanut butter cookie!
Time to get to some wine….Since there were somewhere around eleven wineries, I’ll let you know some of my favorites tastings. I enjoyed Victory View Vineyard’s, Abigail LaCrescent. It is a semi-sweet white wine that is clean and crisp and would pair really well with spicy food. From the Finger Lakes, The Swedish Hill Winery’s award winning, Dry Riesling is a drier Riesling and would pair really well with cold seafood. Oliva Vineyards, Italydar, is a bold red that would accompany pasta or some wood fired pizza perfectly! (The winemaker, Tony, named the wine after his thoroughbred race horse!)
I was surprised to find wineries and distilleries so close to home. Ledge Rock Hill Winery and Vineyard is tucked up in Corinth, NY near the Great Sacandaga River and Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery is set on a 200 acre farm in Queensbury, NY. Only a stone’s throw for an afternoon of tastings from anywhere in the region. Check their websites for tasting times and events.
My husband is a craft beer fan and while I was tasting the wines he snuck off to the Adirondack Brewery tent to try a tangerine, limited edition, seasonal microbrew. A refreshing beer for the Lake George summer. Davidson Brothers Brewing Company featured a shandy made with their Ryley Summer ale topped with a splash of lemonade…where’s my Adirondack chair?!
We bought homespun, maple sugar cotton candy from Hidden Hollow Maple Farm….I’d show you the picture of me eating it, but it’s not pretty! Take my word for it…delicious! Just for a little more sugar…we sampled the chocolates from Mountain View Confections out of Schuylerville, NY. They have a giant peanut butter cup that is to die for…
I love sampling new products and there was no shortage of spicy sauces, marinating glazes and salsas. A few favs were Chef William’s Vino Rosso Bruchetta – bought a jar for home…chunky and tangy with Finger Lake’s regional red wine in the ingredients. The Gourmet Gal’s Savory Sauce is a versatile, tangy salad dressing that is great for dipping or marinating….a gluten free product. I grabbed my husband (I wasn’t going in alone!) to sample the Bald Mountain Garlic Farm’s “Big Bear” Habanero Wing Sauce. We found that it wasn’t just all about the heat but a really flavorful sauce.
Happily satiated, we grabbed our purchases and headed home. If this festival is in its debut year, you would never know it! I can’t wait to see what Adirondack Wine and Food Festival has in store for 2016!