Saratoga Wine & Food Festival 2009

The weather once again wasn't ideal, but that didn't stop a lot of people from sampling a wide variety of wines and foods, both local and from afar. Sponsored by The Italian Trade Commission, this year's festival had a decidedly Mediterranean feel to it, with plenty of wines and foods directly from Italy, not to mention those incredible Ferraris.

I was there to man a booth to represent Slow Food Saratoga Region and Slow Food USA, but I still managed to taste a few delightful things. There was a bewildering assortment of wines from around the globe. Amongst many new to me, I found some old favorites like Avignonesi's Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (unfortunately, they did not bring any of their Vin Santo, one of the great nectars of the world) and the Vietti Castiglione Barolo. With so many wines to choose from, I opted to try some other spirits, notably Aperol, an amaro from Italy composed from "herbs and roots." This made quite a nice and bright cocktail when combined with either Prosecco or Spumante. The spumante, sweeter than the prosecco provided greater balance to the Aperol's underlying bitterness. The table next to ours housed New York's Tuthilltown Spirits and their full line of Hudson Whiskeys. Their rye will no doubt make an excellent Manhattan.

Aside from the Italian delights including wheels of Parmiggiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano, an ocean of olive oil and chunks of mortadella and prosciutto, there was plenty of prepared foods from area restaurants. I particularly enjoyed the samples from Church & Main in Canojaharie, Angelo's 677 Prime in Albany, The Sagamore in Bolton Landing and Hattie's in Saratoga, all of which demonstrated skill, imagination and taste.

The day appeared to be a success for Slow Food Saratoga Region as well. We were visited by many with a real interest in what we are doing. It was also great to run into a number of old friends as well as some friends from the internet, who I had never previously met in person. Though the sky was wet, the attendees spirits were not dampened.


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