Coming Up: Saratoga Wine + Food Festival 2013

Wine Glasses by Tom Stock

The 2013 Saratoga Wine & Food Festival is in the near future – September 6th – 8th at SPAC.

One of the events you really want to check out is the Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 7th. It’s an entire afternoon of food and wines to sample (and usually a few liquors in there, too). Here’s what last year’s festival was like.

This year, Mo Rocca will be one of the main celebrity attractions. Fish & Game‘s Zak Pelaccio will also be there and giving a demo on butchering a whole heritage pig. Kevin Zraly will also be returning for a wine tasting seminar (I wasn’t sure what to expect from this last year, but he made it entertaining, fun, and educational, all while torrential rain storms were pouring and the tents were shaking from the wind).

Here are some highlights from SPAC’s press release:

GRAND TASTING & CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE | Saturday, Sept 7 – The centerpiece of the festival, the Grand Tasting takes place under large, elegant tents on SPAC’s lawn, and features hundreds of fine international wines, delicacies prepared by the region’s top chefs, wine seminars and extensive silent and live auctions of luxuries featuring opportunities to bid on rare wines, couture fashion, exotic travel, original artwork and more. The festival partners again with The Saratoga Automobile Museum to present a show of luxury collector cars at Saturday’s Grand Tasting including invited classes of Shelby Cobras, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Lancia, Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Fiat-Abarth and more judged by Pebble Beach marquee auto specialists.


  • Learning to Cook with Mo Rocca & Mamma Theresa from DZ Restaurants: Inspired by Mo Rocca’s hit Cooking Channel show, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli,” this session pairs the celebrity host with DZ Restaurant’s beloved Mamma Theresa, as she shows him how to make select family recipes and traditional Italian specialties.
  • Heritage Pig Butcher Demo Led by Chef Zak Pelaccio:  Chef Zak Pelaccio of the Hudson Valley’s hottest new restaurant, Fish & Game, demonstrates the finer points of butchering a heritage pig and innovatively utilizing the various cuts of meat.
  • Zak Pelaccio Chef’s Demo: Chef Zak Pelaccio prepares creative dishes using heritage pork and locally sourced produce from the Capital Region and Hudson Valley.
  • Big Green Egg Grill Games sponsored by the Times Union: TU food writer Steve Barnes judges the final round of competition among Capital Region amateur chefs who will each be given a basket of ingredients and asked to create a unique recipe using Big Green Egg Grills.

THE CONNOISSEUR TENT – Master Wine Connoisseur Kevin Zraly hosts this one-of-a-kind culinary and wine adventure for aficionados at Saturday’s Grand Tasting. This separate tasting experience will feature artisan food, wine and spirits including tastings of rare wines from Kevin Zraly’s private wine cellar. This event will be offered in a luxurious, lounge-style space and feature music from a jazz trio.

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