Fellow microbrew-lovers of the Hudson Valley, rejoice! No more must we labor beneath the indignity of being perceived as somehow less sophisticated, cultured or refined than oenophiles. Our time for trendiness has come, and the proof lies in the proliferation of craft beer festivals throughout our region in the past year or two.
This weekend one more such bastion falls to the cosmic transformative power of yeast: The Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest, returning for its 14th annual iteration at the Dutchess Fairgrounds, will include a simultaneous Hudson Valley Craft Beer Fest on the same site. It’ll be your choice whether to pair your culinary selections with wine or beer as you sample the specialties of area eateries at the Restaurant Showcase or the Food Truck Corral. A long list of vendors will be offering their mouthwatering wares in the Gourmet Specialty Foods market, and celebrity chefs Amanda Giblin, Brian Santos and Vincent Tropepe will demonstrate their cooking expertise live.
The wine-tasting component of the festival is scheduled to feature 46 different New York State vineyards, nine distilleries and six cideries. As of presstime, 39 craft breweries, a fair few of them New York-based, were on tap to provide tastes of their products. The weekend will also feature seminars on choosing, serving, tasting and storing both beer and wine.
Rain or shine, the Hudson Valley Wine & Food/Craft Beer Fest goes on from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 12 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 13. One-day tickets at the gate cost $40 for Wine-Tasting, $45 for Beer-Tasting and $25 for Regular (non-alcoholic) Admission. The Dutchess County Fairgrounds are located at 6550 Spring Brook Avenue (Route 9) in Rhinebeck, and parking is free. For more info visit www.hudsonvalleywinefest.com.