Whine for Wine

by Joanne on April 17, 2010

Amazing how quickly Saturday’s fly by.  I was running, blogging, bathing, eating, shopping then all of a sudden it’s the middle of the afternoon and Ted is saying “Let’s go”. 

We made a stop at the bike store and picked up some different mirrors for our bikes.  The ones on our helmets don’t work for either one of us.  Maybe we’ll get used to them but right now, we don’t like them.

We stopped at the mall to see if we could get new batteries for our phones.  Ted is wearing them out with all the conference calls for work.  As we were walking to the electronics store, I was in the lead and Ted says  “Hey! You alone?”   It was true.  My feet were flying because these other stops were delaying our arrival at the Wine & Chocolate Festival at the Utica Auditorium.  It was almost 3 pm and we needed to get there to beat the crowd.  As everyone knows, when you go to a wine tasting event, the lines for tasting can get 30 deep.  We wanted to pull a “first in – first out” routine. 


We did it!  We made it through the doors at 3pm and were one of the first to arrive which made us privy to a couple of extra gifts:  1. The chocolate rose (we each got one) and 2.  The Mega Millions lottery ticket (buy one get one free).  Okay – so we don’t play the lottery but we do eat chocolate roses aaannd… in this case, since there was a lottery table set up, we cashed in our tickets. Fingers crossed that when Tuesday April 20th arrives, we’ll be MEGA MILLIONAIRES!  Let me know if you’d like to share the wealth. 

As we made our way around, the crowd began to grow.  We were familiar with some wineries since we’ve done the Finger Lakes wine trails quite a few times. We tried some we weren’t familiar with and also sampled old favorites.



The eats and treats were attracting my attention because I had a big breakfast at 9:30 am and forgot to eat before we left the house. By the time we arrived at the event, my stomach was screaming  “FEED ME!!!”.  I fed it….


Chocolate covered toffees.  I had the pecan one in the upper right corner.



Wonderful dipping oils.  Little pieces of bread were in a basket on the side for sampling.  I tried 4 different oils. 


This cheese was great. It began with a hint of horseradish and then after swallowing, it began to build in your mouth for a super strong finish.  I liked the cheese but don’t like horseradish.  Ted wasn’t thrilled with it, and he LIKES horseradish.  Go figure???!!!!


Italian Lemon Cookies from La Cucina Toscana.  Magnificent!


Among all the different flavors of cookies and biscotti, this one was by far the best.  The owner concurred.


She put up a fight, but I got her to pose eventually. 

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Fudgy chocolate pies that were not sugary, gritty sweet. So good!  Mouth watering blueberry, peach, and apple pies. My heart be still!!!!


Ted tried the “Stoney Bones” cheese stuffed pepperoni.


I stayed with sampling the chocolate… potato chips?  Actually, I snagged a dark chocolate pretzel sample  Salty, sweet, and chocolate…. all the items you’d find on a banquet table in Paradise.


Oh yeah.  Chocolate covered strawberries.  We didn’t taste these but our eyes inhaled enough to fill the bellies of our minds.


There were jewelry venders.  Vendors selling scarves.  Customized beer glasses for sale.  The above photo is a really cute hand painted wine glass “fetch me my wine” with a little doggy on it.

The auditorium was filling up.


It was time to go.   We went around for a final time, only hitting the tables where we wanted to make a purchase.  This is what we came home with:

A Chardonnay from our favorite NY State winery.  A Cabernet that both of us thought was one of the best.  A Reserve Red, blended wine from Pazdar Winery.


Of course we had our roses and our glasses (not pictured).  My picks were the white truffle dipping oil and the Cantuccini Tuscan Wine Dipping Biscotti.  Ted picked the fudgy pie and both of us fell victim to the blueberry pie.

What a day.  What fun. 

Have you been to a wine tasting? If so, do you use the “dump bucket” or do you drink every drop?


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    • At 2010.04.18 10:50, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

      I have never really been to a wine tasting because I don’t drink wine (I’m a beer girl), although I would have been all over those strawberries LOL!

      .-= Lori (Finding Radiance)´s last blog ..Fly by day. =-.

      • At 2010.04.19 00:18, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

        I would be more than happy to share your fortune 😉 should I send you my banking details?

        WOW, all those foods look so good!!! I’m curious about the horseradish cheddar!
        .-= Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear´s last blog ..Sun, Stew, Sauna and Sleep =-.

        • At 2010.04.19 11:11, Dawn Hutchins said:

          OH MY GOSH I am SO jealous of this! I would have left ten pounds heavier but I wish we had wine and chocolate festival!!!
          .-= Dawn Hutchins´s last blog ..A Clean Porch and a New Grill! =-.

          • At 2010.04.19 11:11, Nancy Jean said:

            So sorry to have missed out on the Wine & Chocolate Fest … no wonder I couldn’t find anyone on my staff to work Saturday! It was quite a slow day here at MWPAI .. sure, everyone was at the Aud!
            The chocolates all looked wonderful, especially those strawberries. Sounds like you & Ted had a great day, you deserve it!
            Maybe this weekend for the Seneca Lake Spring Wine & Cheese Weekend? Hazlitt’s got rarebit and there will be cheddar biscuits w/riesling apricot jam at Cascata Winery – – YUM!!!!!!!

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