USA Today newspaper launched their 2018 Food & Wine Experience on June 16th in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 12 city tour will end on December 1st in Los Angeles, California and on Saturday September 8th, the tour arrived in New York City.
It’s an American culinary tour “showcasing the best food, wine, beer and spirits from local and national Chefs and Mixologists”. At the New York City event, Martha Steward was the featured celebrity Chef.
The festival was held at the Lefrak Center at lakeside in southeastern tip of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. This venue is an ice and roller skating ring when not used for events.
There were several themed areas, you entered through a kitchen mock-up, passing the beer tent and then passing “The Cellar” which hosted the seminars and the meet and greet with Martha Steward. This took you to the main pavilion which is the skating ring and the pavilion was ringed with restaurants serving samples of sweet and savory dishes with an island in the middle serving wines and spirits. A two-piece string duo and a strolling saxophone player provided the musical entertainment with cooking demonstrations in the main pavilion. As is the case with many of these consumer events when general admission was let in, the lines at many of the popular food and drink stations got a bit too long for my taste but I was still able to sample several food and drink. The expected rains didn’t matterialize and everyone was able to enjoy the event.
Seminar: Unsung grape varietals of the world led by Sommelier A.J. Ojeda-Pons
NV Marques de Plata Cava Brut (Penedes): Light yellow with a greenish tint, sweet, funky nose, aged green apple on the finish.
2016 Jean Boisselier Bourgogne Aligote (Burgundy): Light yellow with a greenish tint, ripe honeydew on the nose, moderate, lemony, peachy fruit with moderate to low acids.
2016 Hayton Vineyards Viognier (Calif.): Light gold, canned peaches on the nose, melon and lime notes on the fruit, good acidity.
2012 Bambera Tempranillo (Valdepenas): Opaque dark red, tar, leather and black cherry on the nose, tight and lean with crisp acidity on the red leather and black pepper finish.
Some of what I sampled:
2016 Racine Cote de Provence Rosè
2016 Marquis de Bacalan Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Caducseus White Blend
2015 Franciscan Chardonnay
2017 Marchese Antinori “Bramito” Chardonnay
2015 Erath Winery “Resplendent” Pinot Noir
2015 Kenwood Vineyards “6 Ridges” Pinot Noir
2015 Arrowood Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
2016 Girard Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
2015 Chateau Ste Michelle “Indian Wells” Merlot
2016 Michael David “6 Sense” Syrah
2015 El Portal Red Blend
2016 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon
Ommegang “Rosetta” Cherry Beer