Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Finger Lakes Taste of Wine-But Not Cheese?

I spent today at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in Watkins Glen, NY.

After the Ultimate Blog Challenge is over I will speak more of the wine aspect of this festival. 

For now: Since I like to talk about farmers markets and local foods on Saturdays (although it is not an official Saturday feature of this blog) I wanted to spend a little time today on something about this festival that disappointed me.

When you think of local New York food, there are several  foods you should think about.  There is sweet corn, and our grapes and our apples, our onions (we are a top grower of cooking onions and we, personally, grow fantastic cooking onions in our community garden) and our wine industry - but our state also has a thriving dairy industry.  Our state is blessed with a number of local cheese makers, and some national brands.

So, you would think, there would be a lot of local cheese being featured along with the wine. After all, is not cheese a natural to go with wine?

Well, there were flavored oils (many were very good), flavored balsamic vinegars (ditto) hot sauces, and someone featuring garlic in various forms.  But, not much in cheese, and I was disappointed.

Yancey's Fancy was one of the sponsors of the festival, and they had a number of their cheeses available for sampling, including one I haven't seen in any local market, a steakhouse onion.  And, the Yancey website offers some pairings of their cheeses and wine.

(Incidentally, I am not paid to mention any products).

But...why no other local cheeses?  There were some 130 wineries presenting their products (this is an all-you-can-taste event, by the way) along with many breweries. But why only a limited amount of cheese?

Especially as 40,000. people were expected to attend, and I think 39,000 were there by the time we left.  My head is still spinning (and not from the wine, either.)  That's a lot of people to expose your product to.

I'm puzzled.

1 comment:

  1. You make a valid point. Wine and cheese are like peanut butter and jelly.

    I'm thinking a wine and book festival would be a great idea. What goes better with wine than a good book (after cheese, of course)? ;-)

    We were both late posters today, and I too could not go to bed without cranking one out. Blogathon trained us well!


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