The 10th annual Food Network New York Food & Wine Festival was held on October 12-15. It was four days of 100+ events including dinners, wine tastings, classes, seminars and late night parties with 100% of the net proceeds going to the Food Bank for New York and the No Kid Hungry campaign.
I began the festivities on Thursday evening by attending the Tacos & Tequila late-night party held at the boutique Hudson Hotel at 237 58th Street in Manhattan. It was hosted by taco aficionado Aaron Sanchez and featured many styles of tacos and much tequila infused cocktails.
On Sunday I attended a couple of events, I began at the Grand Tasting held at Pier 94 at 55th street and the West Side highway. The event space was a 130,000 sq. foot “culinary wonderland” of food, wine, spirits and culinary demonstrations by Food Network and Cooking Channel stars.
I have covered this event in the past and was somewhat disappointed this year. In past years there was a separate room that featured higher end wines that were not available on the main floor. That was not the case this year, they omitted that room which for me took away much of the excitement of the event. It became just another large consumer event with a lot of mid-level wines.
Afterwards I walked next door to the Coca-Cola Backyard BBQ event held at the top floor of an unused multilevel parking garage. The event was hosted by Andrew Zimmern, Chef and host to the Travel Channel show, Bizarre Foods, and by Pat LaFrieda of Pat LaFrieda Meats. The event had pit masters grilling all sorts of meat, and even squid which was washed down with cold beer, wine and cocktails. An excellent live band provided the music and as this years event was “family friendly”, there were plenty of kids enjoying the event as well.
Some of what I sampled at the Grand Tasting:
Tablas Creek Winery. Winery in Paso Robles California that specializes in Rhone varietals.
2012 Esprit de Tablas Blanc: Gold in color, honey notes on the nose, kiwi, melon on the fruit, nice balance.
2014 Esprit de Tablas Noir: black in color, black olives on the nose, chewy dark chocolate on the fruit, nice grip, good balance.
2014 Patelin de Tablas: Dark amber, closed nose of crushed herbs, tight with firm acids and tannin on the bitter red cherry finish.
2015 Pinot Gris: Medium yellow with cantaloupe on the nose, dried herb on the finish with nice acidity.
2015 Grand Reserve Chardonnay : Medium gold, toasty nose, with big oak notes on the fruit.
2013 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark black, slightly closed nose of crushed dark berries, very concentrated with dusty, silky tannins and good balance.
2014 Ferrari-Carano Siena: Dark red to black, closed nose, juicy and concentrated, tree bark on the fruit, good, firm finish.
2014 Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon: Black, crushed ripe plums on the nose, thick and concentrated with some mint notes, balanced.
2014 Cambia Winery Pinot Noir “Benchbreak”: Medium amber, crushed blueberry and mint on the nose, tight, smoky finish.