Whether it’s to celebrate Octoberfest, Italian Heritage, goetta, or wine, Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati have demonstrated time and time again that the banks of the Ohio is a great place for a festival. I’ve been to several in the past, and have to say they know how to throw a party. Expect one this weekend at the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival.
MainStrasse is one of the best spots for a festival. The tree lined Sixth Street promenade between the Clock Tower and the Goose Girl Fountain is a perfect location for a stroll under the tent from booth to booth tasting Kentucky’s wines. The MainStrasse Village hosts great festivals.
MainStrasse Village is a historic neighborhood, with German heritage and architecture, just off the 5th Street exit from I-75/71. Parking is available in lots nearby, including complimentary parking at the IRS lot at 4th and Johnson. There are shops, restaurants, and taverns in the MainStrasse area.
The Northern Kentucky Wine Festival will be held from 3 to 10 PM, on Saturday, October 18, 2014. Four sample tickets and a souvenir wine glass are available for $10, but you can purchase more tickets or wine from the wineries. Fourteen wineries, including some of Kentucky’s best, such as Verona Vineyards, Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery, and Smith-Berry Vineyard and Winery, will be there, as well as some artisans.
I’ll be there signing my book, hope to see you there.by admin with No Comments
While the weather last week was rainy and dreary, a friend and I were fortunate to have chosen the one day of the week with perfect weather. Wednesday was a beautiful day for a day trip to some wineries in the Bluegrass region.
When you visit vineyards this late in the season, the grapes have generally been harvested. The vines have begun to look like all the other foliage of the fall and are not at their best. To my surprise, when we arrived at Lovers Leap Vineyard and Winery, the Norton grapes were still on the vine and absolutely gorgeous. Since Norton is one of my favorite grapes, seeing the vines covered was a welcome sight. I was, of course, anticipating all that wonderful Norton wine to come. Lovers Leap currently has seven acres of Norton vines. Their wine made from this native American grape uses its other name, Cynthiana. They are planning to also make a Reserve in the future as well. We tasted a lot of new vintages of some of my favorite of their wines and had a great tasting experience.
Our next stop was in Frankfort, at the Prodigy Vineyard and Winery tasting room. We had a wonderful visit with some excellent wine and a lunch of chicken salad sandwiches. Prodigy’s tasting room has an inviting atmosphere that seems to suggest you come in, enjoy the wine, and relax a while. So, we did.
We visited Chrisman Mill Winery at Hamburg and couldn’t resist an order of bread pudding to go. New gift items had been added to the shop, so it was fun to look around.
The day was enjoyable and it is always fun for me to introduce wine lovers to some of my favorite wineries.
Our day at the Incredible Food Show was quite enjoyable. We spent several hours on Saturday looking at exhibits and tasting Kentucky products. There was something for everyone’s tastes from sauces, to meats, to cheeses, to sweets. Though not all the choices were to our liking, it was easy to see that everyone was finding something they enjoyed. We were happy to find some of our favorites from previous years, as well as finding a few that we’ll want to try again and again.
We have been fans of Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese for many years. Kenny Mattingly makes a variety of cheeses at his farm in Western Kentucky. Whether you’re a fan of cheddar, Swiss, or one of his more creative choices, Kenny’s cheeses are excellent. While our favorite is his Swiss, we tried a new one this year, Tomato Basil Cheddar and are looking forward to trying it again soon. Check our their website at www.kennysfarmhouse.cheese.com, to view their products.
Browning’s Country Ham has been a long time favorite as well. Whether you enjoy ham, bacon, or sausage, find those and more at Browning’s. Their products are on display at www.BrowningsCountryHam.com.
A couple other products we discovered a few years ago were there as well. Since we love cheese, we also enjoyed tasting and buying from the Boone Creek Creamery. If you have ever tasted a homemade ketchup and miss that special flavor, you will want to try Grandma Carolyn’s Ketchup, made from an old family recipe; it is one of our favorites.
One of our favorite booths was new to us this year. Kandies of Kentucky is making candy using Bourbon, Wine, and Spirits. We tried some candies and they were amazing. My favorite was the Noire Berry, made with Blackberry Wine from Forest Edge Winery. We spent some time talking with both Barry and Barbara Summer and enjoyed meeting them and talking about their products. Look for them at www.kyagr.com/KDAPage.aspx?id=10013. After tasting, we of course had to buy some candy.
Of course, we also visited the winery aisle and did a few tastings before we left. Chrisman Mill Vineyard and Winery was pouring tastes of their newly bottled Chambourcin. We tried a couple of Nortons, one from Rose Hill Farm Winery and one from Rising Son’s Winery and enjoyed them. Forest Edge Winery and Purple Toad Winery were also pouring some of their excellent wines and we enjoyed visiting with them.
The entire experience certainly made for a pleasant fun day.by admin with No Comments
Don’t forget. The Incredible Food Show is tomorrow at the Lexington Center at Rupp Arena, from 9 AM to 5 PM. Visitors can watch some culinary seminars or enjoy demonstrations at the Kentucky Heritage Kitchen Stage, try out a variety of Kentucky food products from over 100 exhibitors in the Marketplace, or taste some local craft beer and Kentucky wines. Tickets are available at the door for $20.
We’ve enjoyed the food show for the last few years and are looking forward to the day. Some of our favorites are Browning’s Country Ham, Grandma Carolyn’s Ketchup, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, and Rattlesnake Hill Farm, as well as some great wineries, such as, Chrisman Mill Vineyards and Winery, Forest Edge Winery, and Rose Hill Farm Winery.
I recommend it to anyone interested in food, wine, or Kentucky.by admin with No Comments
The wait is over, Northern Kentucky’s Wine Festival will be at MainStrasse Village near the Goose Girl Fountain on October 18, 2014, from 3 PM to 10 PM. Admission is $10, and includes a souvenir glass and 4 tasting tickets. Additional tickets for tasting or a glass of wine may be purchased. Wine is also being sold by the wineries by the bottle or the case.
The following Northern Kentucky wineries will be there pouring tastes: Atwood Hill Winery, Morning View; Baker-Bird Winery, Foster; Elk Creek Vineyards, Owenton; Generation Hill Winery, Inc., Alexandria; Rose Hill Farm Winery, Falmouth; Seven Wells Vineyard & Winery, LLC, California; Serendipity Winery, Florence; StoneBrook Winery, Melbourne; and Verona Vineyards, Verona.
Horseshoe Bend Vineyards, Willisburg; Lovers Leap Vineyards & Winery, Lawrenceburg; Old 502Winery, Louisville; Purple Toad Winery, Paducah; and Smith-Berry Vineyard & Winery, New Castle will also be visiting Northern Kentucky for the festival.
There will also be booths with wine related artisan products. I will be there signing copies of A Wine Lover’s Odyssey Across Kentucky. I’d love to meet you and chat about Kentucky wine. Hope to see you there. It is a great festival.
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After a purchase of mixed wheat, tomato, and spinach shells, I decided to experiment with creating my own recipe for the stuffing and the sauce. Hope you enjoy the results. We did!
Stuffed Florentine Shells
Pre-cook a pound of crumbled sweet Italian sausage.
Cook the shells as directed on the package. Set aside while you are mixing the filling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ingredients for the sauce in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Fill the cooked shells with the stuffing and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with sauce. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
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Readers will know that Barboursville Vineyards remains my favorite winery and generally I choose one of their wines to celebrate special occasions. We recently celebrated a birthday and opened a bottle of Octagon that we were saving for a special day. This was the 2005 vintage.
Octagon is the premier red blend created by Luca Pascina, the winemaker at Barboursville. Vintages of Octagon have been served to Queen Elizabeth and at events in Washington, D. C. Wine competitions and wine ratings have consistently given this wine the recognition it deserves.
The 2005 vintage was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. The complexity of this wine allowed for each of the specific flavors to be tasted, but it was the blend that was noticeable on the finish. The wine was definitely worth waiting for and my only regret is that it is no longer available at the winery.by admin with No Comments
A few weeks ago, an old friend of mine told me she wanted to visit the winery that made the wine that tasted like walnuts. This led to a day trip and an exceptionally fun outing. We spent the day visiting not only that winery but several others that were nearby.
Our trip included three of the Bullitt County wineries. We first visited Forest Edge Winery. Their offerings of a dry Riesling and a Cabernet Sauvignon were the most appealing to me. The winery is located near Kentucky’s Bernheim Forest, and is easily accessible just off I-65. We enjoyed the wine and our visit with Allison, who was pouring our tastes.
Our next stop was Wight-Meyer Vineyard and Winery in Shepherdsville. We had a nice visit with Sandy Wight and tasted some excellent wine. It was a beautiful day and the vineyard was lovely, even with the netting covering the grapes to protect them from the birds. My favorite there is always the Norton.
Then we went to MillaNova Winery in Mt. Washington. Finally, we had arrived at the winery with the walnut flavored wine. John Miller, the owner and winemaker, was pouring our tastes. We enjoyed tasting a couple of the dry wines prior to trying out the Walnut Ridge wine. Walnut Ridge has a sweet taste but makes an excellent dessert wine, or for me a part of my Memories Blackberry Jam Cake. My friend was pleased with the wine.
On our way home, we made a slight detour off I-71 and visited Smith-Berry Vineyards and Winery in New Castle. We enjoyed our tasting with Chrissy, and found many wines to our liking. My favorite there is the Burley, though any of the wines offered are excellent.
It was a great day. The weather, the wine, and the company made it an enjoyable day trip.
For the sixth year, Kentucky will show off its products in Heritage Hall, at the Lexington Center in downtown Lexington. On October 11, 2014, from 9 to 5, visitors will be treated to tastings of Kentucky’s specialty food companies, Kentucky wineries, and demonstrations from local and regional chefs.
This year’s celebrity chef is Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman.
If you enjoy food, wine, cooking, and trying new products, this show is for you. Mark your calendars. Check back for more information when more details about those attending becomes available.
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Sixteen Kentucky wineries will be offering tastings of their wines to visitors at the Bullitt County Fairgrounds, on September 26 and 27. On Friday evening, from 4 to 10, and from noon to 10 on Saturday, visitors can enjoy tasting or purchasing wine by the glass or the bottle while enjoying the entertainment.
This region of Kentucky is home to some of state’s most popular wineries. This sounds like an excellent festival. I think you would enjoy it.by admin with No Comments