Chatham Courier Raves About Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Fest!
Posted: Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:02 pm | Updated: 11:17 pm, Sat May 24, 2014.
The Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Festival is back and, in my opinion, even better. As Dominique DeVito of Hudson-Chatham Winery said, it's all local flavor from in and around the Hudson Valley — and even fuller than last year. That says a lot about our region. Who needs the Finger Lakes? Just kidding, they still have good wine too.
Last year, the weather was not the best; it was cool and rainy. Not to say it stopped people from coming out; wine has a way of gathering the masses, but with the better weather this weekend, it just was nicer. More inviting. And maybe even encourage people to taste more.
My friend and I didn't get to the Fairgrounds until 4 p.m. and we were ribbed for getting there so late, but honestly, there was still plenty of tastings to go around. And, it had quieted down, so it wasn't so crowded. They set up the Fair House differently (no tables in awkward corners this year), so it felt a little easier to navigate. I wasn't pushing to get to the tables.
Our first stop, Tousey Winery (in Germantown). Helping hands Amy Kneller from the Chamber of Commerce and Tara Buffa (advertising for Columbia-Greene Media) were pouring the wines and doing a very good job. (Side note: Tara and Amy said the fundraiser for the Peacocks last week went very well, so thank you to anyone who attended that.)
Next was Brookview Station Winery at Goold Orchards. They had a really good semi-dry white wine. They host a wine tent every at their Apple Festival every Columbus Day weekend. Several wineries/distilleries from this weekend will be there, especially the ones that are part of the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail.
We turned around and stopped at Hudson-Chatham Winery, of course. I tried one of their table wines. I've tried several of their wines, but I always come back to their Ghent Blush or Salmagundi. Lindenwald White is also a favorite.
We stopped at Helderberg Meadworks. Last year, they had their Mead. My dad purchased a bottle, but due to his untimely death in July, never go to try it. Mom and I drank it at Thanksgiving. This year, they brought Apple Mead, same Mead made with Apple Cider. I brought myself home a bottle.
We turned around and tried some of Furnace Brook Winery's offerings, like their ice wine. It was so smooth. I tried a bottle of their Moscato last year and regretted not buying a bottle. Well, after dad died, I found a bottle of it at the house with the Mead. Not sure how he pulled that off. Well, I polished that bottle off and was going to replenish; they were all sold out. Thankfully they are only across Route 22 in Richmond, Mass.
Julie Drahushuk was manning the Dutch Desserts (Kinderhook) table and kindly let us taste the chocolate tourte. It was a nice break from all the wine tasting.
Next was Clinton Vineyards with some champagnes. And I tried their black raspberry dessert wine. OMG! Didn't buy a bottle, but their only located in Clinton Corners.
I tried the Niagara, a sweet white. This is how their website describes it: This traditional North American variety has a distinctive aroma and flavor of fresh, plump, white grapes. It does! A flavor all its own.
We tried the riesling from Cereghino Smith Winery out of Bloomginton (a hamlet in Rosendale, I found out). I tried the sweet, my friend tried the dry. We both loved the sweet. I came home with a bottle.
At the next table, Warwick Valley Winery, we had a wonderful moment with two couples. They wanted to taste test the bourbon, but the woman said it wasn't for tasting, they didn't bring enough for that, but her fiance said bring it and we'll try to sell it. The man joked that how do you sell it without tasting it. The owner mentioned they were getting married in June and the one guy said the two couples would be celebrating their anniversaries soon, his next week. I suggested the bourbon would be a wonderful anniversary gift.
We made it around to the center aisle where the breweries and distilleries were. I tried a rum at Still The One Distillery. Woh! Then we stopped at Harvest Spirits. I tried the grappa and asked Derek Grout how you would serve it. He said most people just drink it as is, no ice. It's really a very interesting beverage. I just think their bottles are beautiful.
By now, I was feeling it. Should have just stuck to the wine. Our last stop was Adirondack Winery, where we tried the Stawsling. Yep, strawberry riesling. It doesn't taste like an outright wine, so it's dangerous. That was my last purchase of the day. My friend picked up the Prospect Mountain White.
I once hiked Prospect Mountain in Lake George.
There were food vendors and workshops throughout the day. But here's the best part — the festival is back tomorrow (today, Sunday). It runs 11-5 and it's $25 for a (full size) tasting glass you get to keep.
To see who's on the schedule for Sunday or details, go to www.hudsonberskhirewinefestival.com.
It's a great place to meet the winery/distillery owners; ask them questions, like I did; see familiar faces (some in front of and others behind the tables); and to taste unique wines and find new favorites, like I did. Cheers!
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