Monday, March 18, 2013

MidAtlantic Wine and Food 2013

The MidAtlantic Wine & Food Festival took place March 6-10th this year. While it’s not the first year for the event, 2013 put this Wine & Food fest on the map along with the others. This year the MidAtlantic more than tripled their number to 44 events to choose from. They all took place throughout Delaware with the focal points being the Festival Village in Rodney Square and The Hotel Dupont across the street from it in Wilmington. We were lucky enough to attend 3 of the events and you can enjoy a slideshow of all the pictures from this fun weekend at the end of our post.

We attended one of the brand new events this year, Champagne & Caviar. This is something different from our usual chocolate or cheese wine pairings, so we were excited. Ever since the holidays, we have been making it a point to experiment more with sparkling wines. We also were looking forward to some Carter Caviar. Half of Vino & Vintage had never tried caviar before so this seemed like the perfect event.

We arrived in Wilmington Delaware, another first for both of us. The hotel is beautiful. The décor, chandeliers, even the ceilings all have a very glamorous, vintage appeal…just our style. Speaking of style, we had debated at length about what to wear. While Champagne and Caviar has a ritzy sound to it, we definitely did not want to overdress. We finally opted for the stylish blouse, blazer and black pants look. Nude and black heels with some fabulous accessories complemented the outfits perfectly. ;) On to the food and drinks…

We entered the Hotel’s Christina Room and were promptly handed a glass of champagne. However, we were a little confused on what we were supposed to do next. People were crowded around the table in the center of the room, which we soon realized was holding the caviar. It was difficult to get to, but eventually we made our way. Unfortunately we are still unsure of which Caviar we sampled and before we knew it, they announced that it was all gone! Some people seemed in a hurry to get to their next event, one of the several Gala dinners, which would explain the rush and why a few ladies looked like they were dressed for a wedding. lol
Luckily the servers kept the bubbly flowing freely the entire hour. While the Champagne and the (one) caviar we sampled were delicious and top quality, we had anticipated it was going to be a sit-down event where we would be guided through the pairing menu, not buffet style. A little more structure would have been nice. Maybe next year????

All was not lost though. We got to sample all 4 Moët Hennessy varieties: Rosé Imperial, Nectar Blanc, Nectar Rosé, and Imperial. Yum!

On the last day of events we attended the Festival Village at Rodney Square. Under the big white tent were vendors with samples of wine, beer, spirits, cheese, and more. There was a wine shop to purchase bottles too. A stage and benches occupied the middle of the village and when we arrived there was a cooking presentation taking place by Argentine Chef Santiago Macías who left us craving empanadas.

Following the demo we enjoyed one of the musical acts and then a presentation by wine connoisseurs Thys Lombard and Robert Joseph. We were enlightened on wines from South Africa and plan on exploring them some more. We also appreciated the message of forgetting the “rules” and experimenting with your food and wine. What doesn’t taste so good to you might be an amazing pairing to someone else.  ;)

While we had expected a little more variety at the Festival Village, we still enjoyed ourselves and sampled some very good wines, foods, and spoke to some very nice people. We are pretty certain this event will continue to grow over the years. On our way out we had to snap a picture of this amazing cake…yes, this masterpiece is edible! It was made by Desserts by Dana, home of TLC’s Next Great Baker.

With a couple of hours left to spare before the final event, we exited the tent in search of some food…and boy do we regret it!

The grand finale of the entire festival, the Master Chef Tasting, also took place under the tent. In the 2 hours we had left, they had transformed the Village to look like a beautiful dining hall. Little did we know that a “tasting” was really more like a 7 course meal! Derrick Prince, Tracy Kontos, Christian Collins, Dave Miller, Becky Reams, Suzy Singh and Jennifer Behm, contestants from Chef Gordon Ramsey’s “Master Chef” competition on FOX, cooked us up some delicious dishes and shared their experiences on the show. It was fun to hear their stories and watch them interact with each other and of course, taste their delicious food. Master Chef winner Jennifer Behm hosted the event along with Emmy nominated Claudia Gomez from Fox 29.
Appetizer Taste by Derrick Prince

Salad Taste by Tracy Kontos
Fish Taste by Christian Collins
Amuse Bouche by Dave Miller
Meat Taste by Becky Reams
Dessert Taste by Suzy Singh
Another First...we ate Silver!
Special Lemon Home Treat
by Jennifer Behm

We enjoyed some South African wines with our dinner and took home our souvenir wine glasses, along with our very full bellies. It really was the perfect way to end this great experience and we only attended 3 of the 44 events! We can’t wait to see what’s to come next year. We highly recommend that if you’re in the area you make it a point to check out some of the events next year. For more information on the MidAtlantic Wine & Food Festival go to their website and start planning for next year. Enjoy the slideshow!

vinoandvintage's MidAtlantic Wine and Food 2013 album on Photobucket