Picking between a cold pint and a glass of wine can be a difficult decision, but it doesn’t have to be. Thankfully, lovers of both won’t have to choose this weekend, as two great events bring a torrent of tasty brews and wines to the Capital Region: the Capital Region Wine Festival and the New York Craft Brewer’s Festival.
The 11th Annual Capital Region Wine Festival will kick off at 1pm on Saturday, March 9 at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. Over 20 vineyards will be represented in addition to more than a dozen regional vendors selling everything from food and desserts to clothing and jewelry. The event includes three levels of admission: the Grand Tasting Affair ($55 and a huge variety of wines and restaurant samples), the VIP Club Vin ($100 with all the benefits of the Grand Tasting Affair plus a private reserve wines tasting from 3-4pm, served with hors d’oeuvres) and a ticket for Designated Drivers ($25 and a variety of soft drinks, coffee and restaurant and vendor samples). All ticket holders get to participate in a live wine auction that begins at 4pm on the Harry Apkarian Stage.
Also on Saturday will be the New York Craft Brewer’s Festival from 5-8pm at The Desmond Hotel in Albany. Now in its 6th year, the festival will feature more than 70 breweries and brewers from every part of New York State. Expect 150-plus beers, including some award winners, in addition to tasty bites offered by restaurants and food vendors from across the state. Guests will also get the chance to meet brewers and talk with them firsthand about their brewing process and favorite recipes. VIP tickets are already sold out, but general admission tickets are still available ($40 in advance and $50 at the door with unlimited 3-ounce beer samples), as are Designated Driver tickets ($15 for a selection of nonalcoholic beverages and food samples). All attendees get a free 7-ounce, souvenir tasting glass.
In addition to these two festivals, there’s plenty more to do in the Capital Region this weekend. Check out some of our curated picks below:
Friday, March 8
Krewe Orleans: A Mardi Gras Experience with Hartley’s Encore – 9pm at Putnam Place in Saratoga.
Not Too Far From Home Comedy Tour – 8pm at Prime at Saratoga National.
SPY!: The Manhattan Murder Mystery – Presented by the Glens Falls Community Theater, March 8-10 at The Queensbury Hotel.
Schenectady Restaurant Week – All week, March 4-10 at participating restaurants in Downtown Schenectady.
Maria Schneider Orchestra – 8pm at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.
Saturday, March 9
Boléro with the Albany Symphony– Ravel’s classic and others, 7:30-9:30pm at the Palace Theatre.
Dr. King Community Celebration and Dinner – 4-7pm at the Universalist Unitarian Congregation of Saratoga Springs.
Epilepsy Foundation 31st Annual Confections in Chocolate Gala – 5:30-11pm at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia.
Marcia Ball and Sonny Landreth – Electric blues and R&B, 7:30pm at The Egg in Albany.