State College Magazine

Festive Wines


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Emerging from the pandemic, most wine lovers are ready to get back out there. The promise of warmer temperatures, longer days and spending more time outdoors is something we look forward to each year. June also is a great month for kicking off some of the year’s most exciting and entertaining wine festivals in the country.

If you like top-notch wine, great food and plenty of music — and, really, who doesn’t? — then consider planning a trip this year to a wine festival.

For those who don’t want to venture too far from home, there’s the 31st annual Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival, held at Split Rock. Food and craft vendors join numerous Pennsylvania wineries, pulling out all the stops (and corks). Three stages host musical talent for two days. The festival this year takes place June 18-19.

If you like mountain air, celebrity chefs, great food and wine, then the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is the perfect spot for a summer getaway. This year’s festival takes place June 17-19. Chefs Tyler Florence, Justin Chapple, Andrew Zimmern, Nancy Silverton and others join leading winemakers and sommeliers for a weekend packed with cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, food and wine tastings and cookbook signings.

If New York wines are your thing, the 25th Anniversary Finger Lakes Wine Festival runs July 7-10 in Watkins Glen — less than a three-hour drive from State College. The festival showcases nearly 100 New York state wineries, along with cooking classes and musical performances. While in town, you also can check out Watkins Glen State Park’s Gorge Trail with its 19 waterfalls or take a dinner cruise on Seneca Lake.

So why not include a wine festival in your summer plans?

Robert D. Richards, CSW, is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and has passed the first-level certification of the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. He is the author of the book Wine Savvy: Exploring and Enjoying American Wine.

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs Rosé NV
(#85637, $21.99)
A refreshing sparkling wine made mostly from pinot noir grapes and shows hints of cherry.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Blanc de Blancs Finger Lakes 2013
(#77852, $17.99)
Made in the traditional French style, this wine has mineral notes and hints of pear.

Moet and Chandon Imperial Champagne Brut
(#5938, $47.99)
Just the right amount of acidity, citrus notes and a touch of apple highlight this widely available sparkler.

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