The New York Wine and Food Festival just passed, and of course I had tickets for the Grand Tasting again. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. 6 hours of yummy food and wine, what could be better? Either I got soft, or there was more booze this year?? This year I attended the cooking demonstrations of Marcus Samuelsson and the lovely Hannah Hart, I even got to go on stage and make a bunch of Margaritas for Hannah. What a great time I had!

Here’s some of the food and drinks I indulged in this year:

Drinks

Maker’s Mark had a yummy concoction in a pretty cup, so did Four Roses with a drink made of honey syrup, lemon and grapefruit. Whiskey was King next to all the wine. Titos had a yummy drink made of vodka, Ginger Beer, Apple Cider and cinnamon. The Cupcake Winery and Mionetto Prosecco both had new Rosé items that had me coming back for more. My favorite was Cavicchioli Lambrusco Dolce. So delicious. I also loved the Chloe wines and a cocktail in the Food Network lounge consisting of Tequila, grapefruit and Elderflower.


Sweets

Plenty of sweets were handed out that day, here are a few delicious examples: Rita’s Water Ice had a great Passion Fruit Sorbet. Nutella had a sweet French Toast. Gooey & Co.  had a ridiculous Gooey Butter Cake (I had at least 2…). Skillet Rose served a tiny bite of Red Velvet Chocolate Cheesecake that was packed with flavor. We had to wait a while to get our hands on Black Tap’s little milk shake, but it was so worth it. My favorite of the day was Bernard’s Praline of New Orleans. Gave me delicious flashback to my recent trip to NoLa….

Shop Rite

Every year Shop Rite has a huge display in the center of the festival as a major contributor of treats. You can work your way around it, if you can handle the crowd, it’s quite the spectacle! Here are some bites I tried: Campbell’s Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders, and Salmon Cream Cheese on Garlic and Chives Crackers. Colavita served a Butternut Squash Cavatappi. Black Bear’s Rosemary Flatbread with Eggplant and Soppressata was very tasty. Tabasco had a yummy little Basil Crab Cake. Hellmann’s and Knorr delighted with a Panko Crusted Chicken slider.

Standouts

I can’t even tell you how much food I sampled that day. But  can tell you which ones stood out: Christo’s Steakhouse had a great slice of beef with scalloped potatoes. DiLusso had a great little sandwich that ended up being my breakfast the next morning, so good. Bombay Sandwich Co. had a Sweet Potato Sandwich that was delicious and different. I loved Anthony David’s Petite Meatball. Kikkoman’s Panko-Crusted Korean BBQ Chicken was on point, My beloved Mario Batali treated us to a tiny bowl of Rigatoni….

Favorites

So much wine, so much food, you’d think it would be hard to pick your favorites. Luckily I know what I like, and I know good food! These are my favorites from this festival: Chef Huda’s Jerk Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese was incredible. McCormick had tiny Southwest Chipotle Avocado Toast slices that had me coming back for more. South Beach Wine and Food Festival had slow cooked brisket on polenta that was just amazing. Vida Cantina spoiled us with Sweet Corn Esquites. Angry Orchard had a Fondue with cider infused cheese (OMG). My favorite altogether is no surprise to me, it was my favorite stand last year! Chef Shorne Inc. served up spicy Salted Cod Crostini that was to die for….

Besides having had such a great time, let’s not forget that this event gives 100% of its proceeds to Food Bank for New York City and to No Kid Hungry! So you are doing good as you catch a buzz, what could be better?? Can’t wait for next year….