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2019 Saratoga Wine & Food Festival: Everything You Need To Know About This Weekend’s Event

Friday night's farm-to-table harvest dinner has already sold out, but tickets to Saturday's Grand Tasting are still available.

One of the platings from last year's Grand Tasting at the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival. (Katie Dobies)

The wait is over! The highly anticipated Saratoga Wine & Food Festival, hosted by the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), is this weekend—Friday, October 4 through Saturday, October 5, at the Saratoga Spa State Park. Presented as a conclusion to SPAC’s classical season, the annual festival is a major fundraiser for SPAC’s educational programming. This year’s event has a fall harvest theme, and organizers at SPAC have gathered some incredible regional, national and international cooking talent to show off their skills at the event.

The Farm-to-Table Harvest Dinner on Friday, October 4 will feature a mix of respected local chefs such as Kevin London, Dan Spitz and Michael Blake, dreaming up creative courses, along with Austin Peltier, an expert in healthy, Ayurvedic cooking. Tickets to Friday night’s event have sold out! Don’t worry, though: The Grand Tasting on Saturday, October 5 still has plenty of tickets available for general admission (from 12-4pm) and VIP (starting at 11am). The Grant Tasting is the festival’s main event and will boast a locally sourced bounty of gourmet tastings, samples, bites and small plates prepared by the best restaurants and culinary heavyweights in the region. And for VIP ticket-holders only, internationally renowned UK farm-to-table chef Tim Spedding, along with his partner, wine specialist Louise Rødkjær Jørgensen; and plant-based, Indian chef Jehangir Mehta will be providing some can’t-miss fare.

Joining the party will be a pair of master mixologists Dave Arnold and Don Lee, owners of the popular cocktail bar Existing Conditions in Greenwich Village and revered for their scientific approach to crafting the best alcoholic concoctions. (Arnold won a James Beard Award for his book on cocktails called Liquid Intelligence.) Throw on top of all this an afternoon full of live folk music catered by Saratoga’s own historic folk venue Caffè Lena, and we’re talking about one highly entertaining occasion. Also featured both days of the festival will be a new “Forest Magic” setting complete with a beautiful photo exhibition by Saratoga-based photographer Terri-Lynn Pellegri, as well as a sculpture garden featuring works by American sculptor John Van Alstine, compliments of Glens Falls’ Hyde Collection.

In addition to the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival, there are a number of other great events happening in town.

Tuesday

The Spa City’s oldest crêperie, Ravenous, is kicking off its month-long 20th Anniversary celebration with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2pm followed by a reception from 3-5pm (October 1)

Wednesday

As part of SPAC’s Cultivate Series, in advance of the weekend’s Saratoga Wine & Food Festival, catch a free conversation with Leah Penniman, author of Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice at Pitney Meadows Community Farm in Saratoga (October 2)

Saratoga’s Diamond Club Grill at the Embassy Suites is opening a second location, and celebrating the grand opening, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park (October 2)

Thursday

Wear your sexiest Halloween costume for the All Hallows’ Eve Witchcraft Masquerade at the historic Canfield Casino in Saratoga (October 3)

Don’t miss the renowned  Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet performing at Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center (October 3)

Caffè Lena presents its monthly Pride Night series with French-Canadian, singer-songwriter Lucie Blue Tremblay (October 3)

Stuff yourself with savory bites and enjoy wine, beer and spirits at the 7th Annual Corks Forks & Brews at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga (October 3)

The Saratoga Film Forum’s fall season kicks off with the screening of the new comedy Sword of Trust at the Spring Street Gallery in Saratoga (October 3-4)

Join local artist Catherine Wagner Minnery for a free outdoor painting workshop, Painting in Nature: Fall Color, at Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park (October 3 and 5)

Get your costumes ready for New York Comic Con, all weekend at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan (October 3-6)

Friday

Get ready for some tall pours at the 5th Annual Drink Albany, a pop-up, craft beverage market and tasting at the New York State Museum in Albany (October 4)

Humorist, writer and panelist from NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, Paula Poundstone will be bringing her comedy to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (October 4)

The Grammy-nominated rock band Incubus stops by Albany’s Palace Theatre as part of its 20 Years of Make Yourself and Beyond tour (October 4)

Save some room for even more delicious, regional food during the 3rd Annual Bites & Brews at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady (October 4)

The Capital Region Guitar Show is coming to the Saratoga Springs City Center, hosted by Saratoga Guitar, which is also celebrating its 25th Anniversary Party during the show (October 4-5)

Saturday

Get your lederhosen ready: The Henry Street Taproom is throwing its inaugural OktogaFest 5K and Block Party on Henry Street in Saratoga (October 5)

Jay-Z collaborator and acclaimed hip-hop artist Uncle Murda is coming to Putnam Place in Saratoga along with DJ King Bully and Var da Allstar (October 5)

Stroll through Downtown Schenectady while enjoying a variety of chicken wing recipes at the 8th Annual Wing Walk, presented by Proctors Theatre (October 5)

One of Nashville’s hottest session musicians and songwriters, Grammy-winner Darrell Scott will perform a set, along with opener Matt Fowler, at Caffè Lena in Saratoga (October 5)

Grab a bowl of homemade chili during the Harvest Bonfire and Chili Festival (with lots of local vendors and even tarot readings) at the Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent (October 5)

Frog Alley Brewing Company in Schenectady presents its Frogtoberfest 2019 with food trucks, vendors, games and a new fall-themed beer release (October 5)

Albany’s Palace Theatre is presenting the premiere of Golden Globe-winning actor James Franco’s newest film The Pretenders (October 5)

Fans of the hit sitcom series The Office will love The Office! A Musical Parody coming to Proctors in Schenectady (October 5-6)

New York City is throwing its own massive food event this weekend, the popular New York Times Food Festival at Bryant Park in Manhattan (October 5-6)

Enjoy a unique event, Oktoberfest Handcrafted at Rhinebeck: A Family Harvest Celebration at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck (October 5-6)

Don’t miss a massive yard sale (more than 500 vendors) at the Warrensburg Garage Sale (October 5-6)

Grab more slices than you can carry at the 2nd Annual New York Pizza Festival on Crescent Avenue in the Bronx this weekend (October 5-6)

Sunday

Don’t miss one of the top events of the season, saratoga living‘s launch party for the “Best of Everything” Issue, featuring Real Housewives of New York City star Dorinda Medley – tickets are still available here (October 6)

The Egg in Albany will present a director’s cut of the 1984 film, The Cotton Club, retitled The Cotton Club Encorefollowed by a Q&A session with the director Francis Ford Coppola and screenwriter William Kennedy (October 6)

Enjoy the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band, a Beatles tribute group, at the Park Theater in Glens Falls (October 6)

Albany’s Times Union Center is hosting its Little Music Festival headlined by hip-hop artists Lil Baby and DaBaby (October 6)

All fall, the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls will be showing Picasso, Braque, and Léger: Twentieth Century Modern Masters, an incredible exhibition of great painters (October 6 through January 5)

Jeff Dingler
Jeff Dingler

Jeff Dingler is saratoga living's Senior Writer. He's a graduate of Skidmore College and a professional musician.

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