FORKSVILLE - Some of the area's most talented brewers, vinters and chefs will prepare quite the spread for the eighth annual Wine Tasting and Food Event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Sullivan County Fairgrounds.
The event promises to take guests on a culinary journey of the most decadent kind, as visitors fill up on portions of delectable cuisine, handcrafted beers and fine wines. In the past, more than 1,000 guests have come out to the tasting.
"We want to encourage people to try everything," said Vivan McCarty, administrative assistant for the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event.
"The things being offered are not just the usual items you'd get at a store or buy on tap. This is a chance for vendors to promote some of the specialty items they make," she added.
A selection of restaurants an catering businesses will round out the menu with delectable dishes. The Crestmont Inn will serve crab sandwiches, barbecue duck over Asian slaw, chimichurri skirt steak, and Thai chili chicken wings.
The Eagles Mere Inn will serve mini crab cakes, Dr. Baker's chicken lettuce wrap featuring locally grown lettuce, and bread pudding created with croissants, cherries and white chocolate.
Pulled pork sandwiches, filet on a bagette, and a beef brisket will be offered from Hurley's First Class Catering.
Just Ask Us Catering will serve chicken fingers, fried gnocchi and mini cupcakes, among other delights.
The chamber will round out the menu with their own Florence's champagne chicken breast. The dish was created by Florence Suarez, administrative director for the chamber.
"It's very good. We cook the chicken in champagne and serve it with green beans and peppers. For desert we have Greek yogurt and fruit," McCarty said.
Wines will be offered from a battery of vineyards, including:
Red Shale Ridge Vineyard, of Hegins;
Sand Castle Winery, of Erwinnqa; and
For beer-lovers, several microbreweries will offer their specialties. They are the:
16 Mile Brewing Co., of Georgetown, Del.;
Guests will be able to purchase tickets for $1, which can be exchanged for small portions of food and drink. The most any vendor can ask for is three tickets per portion, according to McCarty.
The chamber has arranged staff to assist with larger orders, for those who would like to purchase a case of wine or beer during the tasting, but don't want to lug it around. Equipped with a golf cart, staff will take large orders to the fair office. When they're ready to leave, the staff even will help guests take their orders to their vehicles.
"When you buy something like a case of wine, you'll get a wine-check ticket. When you're ready to go home, present your ticket at the office and they'll load your order in the golf cart and take it right to your car," McCarty said.
"That way you don't have to wander around all day lugging these heavy cases," she added.
Picnic tables will be set up in the shady fairgrounds for guests' enjoyment. The event will feature live music throughout the day and more than a dozen vendors offering handcrafted goods.
"We have someone doing mini massages, two people with cheeses, several people offering homemade dips, someone selling honey and teas, and many other local artists," McCarthy said.
"We're hoping people will do a little shopping and support small businesses," she added.
The event will take place rain or shine. If the weather is poor, vendors and tables will be moved into one of the larger buildings at the fairgrounds, according to McCarthy.
Those who would like to attend may purchase tickets in advance at a reduced price through the chamber and pick them up on the day of the event. Tickets also will be available at the gate on the day of the tasting.