The 2010 NYC Wine and Food Festival
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 2010 NYC Wine and Food Festival that took place in various parts of Manhattan. The events varied from grand tasting, daytime events, evening events, wine seminars, cocktail clinics, demos, dinners and tours. If you could afford it there was no shortage of things to do. While events were high in price, 100% of the net proceeds benefit the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength. Massive amounts of money were collected to help those in need. Some of the highlights were “Chelsea Market After Dark” which was hosted by the charismatic Alton Brown. With him there are many laughs and never a dull moment. Bobby Flay hosted “Tacos & Tequila” which was a taco cook-off with plenty of tequila to go around and a DJ spinning the music away.
One event that I particularly enjoyed and would like to focus on was “Bold New Eats with Brave New Wine” hosted by Mark Oldman and Harold Dieterle. This seminar was quite the experience because it was true to its title, exotic wines paired with delicious and inventive food. This event took place at the Astor Center in NoHo. The food was fantastic. Made by Harold Dieterle, we received bites of edamame falafel, fluke tartare, a prosciutto and date bite and a duck meatball. But the real stars of the meal were the wines. We were presented with two champagnes, a white wine and two reds. My favorite by far was a d’Arenberg “Peppermint Paddock” McLaren Vale Sparkling Chambourcin. This was a surprising bubbly, red wine. While you might be thinking that the name means you’ll never afford it, you’re wrong. All the wines we drank are on the low side of cost, my inner student was jumping for joy. I actually looked up the Sparkling Chambourcin when I got home because I wanted a bottle, I found to get it from Nevada, a bottle is $28, which is not too bad.
I was very pleased with what I experienced as far as cost goes. Wines were meant to be purchased by everyone and even though I was not dressed like many of the people who purchased many expensive tickets, I was treated with great respect from all staff and fellow tasters I encountered. My only complaint was the transportation. It was up to each individual to find where the individual shops were and many were not near a subway station. I know lower Manhattan well and I still had trouble bustling from place to place because subway construction affected every move. But in the end, I intend to try and get back next year because I had so much fun.