Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My Worthless Opinion: Wine and Chocolate Festival at the Desmond March 18, 2017

Jammed into the hallways, lining up before the first session opened at 1:00, $25 tickets plus fee in hand - ah, the smell of humanity. The waiting crowd snaked through the corridors for what seemed miles. We were a polite crowd so at least we didn't moo when it started to move.
Lovely venue
OK I'm not 29 again but they were checking everyone's IDs at the door as we burst into the central courtyards at the Desmond Hotel, not far from the airport on Albany Shaker Road. The area was very warm and sunny on one of our first mild days of the impending spring, with balloons and vendors all around. Of course we went right for the wine, all of which, I think, were from NYS. However, of the 80 plus vendors only about 25 were wineries, including a few that were, well, just OK. The chocolate tastings were few and far between, although the homemade chocolates from G&A Sweet Treats that I bought for my colleagues I ended up eating all by myself - try the peanut butter patties if you ever get a chance. Otherwise alot of jerky and scarves and jewelry and sauces and body tonics - not why I was there.

Friendly vendors

The best thing I had was a gingery Sundog Cider, but the Adirondack Wildfire cinnamon whisky from Lake George Distilling Company was also amazing. I guess I like that spikey stuff. East Hill Creamery Underhill Pass Reserve cheese was a revelation, tart, creamy, inspired.
Love the ginger cider from Sundog (Chatham, NY)
Adirondack Wildfire shots. Nuff said. 

Lovely cheese from East Hill Creamery (Perry NY)
After about an hour and a half of fighting crowds to get to the vendors to taste the wine and nibble on stuff we were hot and tired and buzzless. Time for a REAL glass of wine, so we went into The Tavern and loved a couple of cold glasses of sauvignon blanc, great service, laughter and conversation, and that we had a DD. I'd never been before but it was a wonderful bar, and only a few miles from home....

OK these things are always hit and miss - some are more crowded than others, the price can be high, the takeaway limited, some are a genuine hoot and I learn alot.  I liked trying the NY wines but none impressed - too bad. Mostly I hope that next year the organizers focus on WINE AND CHOCOLATE and maybe a few ciders and let the rest go - it dilutes the event, one with so much potential.

Zena, Goddess of Fire

PS: I'd link you to the event but 2017 is down and 2018 is already up. Sheesh.


Anonymous said...

Do you post on your blog very often?

Zena G.O.F. said...

Once a week until the latest string of excuses!!! Hope you enjoy - I should have something up today. Best, Zena