Listen up, Central PA foodies and winos! This coming weekend was made for you.
At the Lancaster County Convention Center Nov. 16-17, taste your way through the Pennsylvania Food & Wine Show. Whether you're hosting a family get-together or a five-course dinner party, you can learn how to impress even your fanciest guests. Local chefs and more than 100 exhibitors makes this THE event of the year for anyone who likes to cook, eat, throw parties, shop or sample fine wines and craft beers. You can purchase tickets online for $20 or at the show for $25. Tickets purchased for Saturday are good for both days.
My favorite part: the wine and spirits sampling area. Why? Because you get to taste before you buy. It's an ideal way to discover and bring home a unique wine for Thanksgiving dinner. Hint, hint.
In addition to all the goodies I've mentioned, here are some highlights:
• Chef Anne Burrell Live on Stage – While brunch with The Food Network's Chef Burrell is sold out, you can still attend her special live presentation that is guaranteed to be action-packed with cooking and personal stories.
• Wine, a Tasting Course with Marnie Old – Nationally renowned sommelier, author and wine educator Marnie Old puts the complexities of the wine world into layman's terms.
• Chopped PA – Some of the top American Culinary Federation chefs in the area will battle it out in this cutthroat kitchen competition.
• Holiday Mixology with Chris Chamberlain – This award-winning mixologist will deliver an interactive entertaining lesson that includes a gift bag.
• Wine & Food Pairing with Chef Moeller – Lancaster native Chef Moeller has prepared meals for three White House first families and their guests. He'll also be signing copies of his book, "Dining at the White House."
For a more local perspective on wine, the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail is open for business. It's not often that winemakers fling open their doors to let you sample nouveau wines from the 2013 harvest. But that's exactly what happens during the Wine Just Off The Vine event.
If you missed it last weekend, 22 wineries and one distillery will be welcoming visitors on Nov. 16 and 17. Tickets are only $15 on site and can be used both days. In addition to admission to the Central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland wineries and distillery, your ticket also includes wine tastings, light food items, educational presentations by the winemakers, a souvenir wine glass and, my favorite perk, a 10 percent discount on purchases. Stock up!
Many of the newbie wineries are in Maryland, which makes for an excellent road trip. Pack the car with friends and snacks and prepare to have a divine time sampling wine!
I've mapped out the 23 locations and broken them down into manageable road trips. Take note that the wineries only be open noon to 5 p.m., so planning an efficient route is key. Cheers!
Capitalize on Capital Wines
• Mount Hope Winery, 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim
• Tamanend Winery, 759 Flory Mill Road, Lancaster
• The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey, 598 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown
• The Vineyard at Grandview, 1489 Grandview Road, Mount Joy
• West Hanover Winery, 7646 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg
Gustations in Gettysburg
• Detour Winery, 7933 Forest & Stream Club Road, Detour, Md.
• Hauser Estate Winery, 410 Cashtown Road, Biglerville
• Reid's Orchard & Winery, 2135 Buchanan Valley Road, Orrtanna
Go on a Wine Spree along I-83
• Four Springs Winery, 50 Main St., Seven Valleys
• High Rock Winery, 7982 High Rock Road W., Hanover
• Hummingbird Ridge Winery, 735 Kise Mill Road, York Haven
• Logan's View Winery, 8892 Susquehanna Trail South, Loganville
• Old Republic Distillery, 47 Cherry St., Seven Valleys
• Seven Valleys Vineyard & Winery, 885 Georges Court, Glen Rock
Pop a Cork around York
• Allegro Winery, 3475 Sechrist Road, Brogue
• Fiore Winery, 3026 Whiteford Road, Pylesville, Md.
• Moon Dancer Vineyard & Winery, 1282 Klines Run Road, Wrightsville
• Naylor Wine Cellars, 4069 Vineyard Road, Stewartstown
Get Merry in Maryland
• Basignani Winery, 15722 Falls Road, Sparks, Md.
• Boordy Vineyards, 12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes, Md.
• DeJon Vineyard, 5300 Hydes Road, Hydes, Md.
• Harford Vineyard & Winery, 1311 W. Jarrettsville Road, Forest Hill, Md.
• Royal Rabbit Vineyards, 1090 Jordan Sawmill Road, Parkton, Md.
Where will you be this weekend?