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May 22

Northern Ky Wine Festival – In Review

On Saturday we went to the Northern Ky Wine Festival with a large group of friends. After reading Jen’s detailed review of the West Chester festival yesterday, I feel as if I am depriving you. I took no notes. I can tell you very little about the wines and wineries. I do know that I was just too busy having fun to care, which is nice.

Usually, we attend a festival and I’m furiously writing things down in awkward positions as we move along and try to talk and taste with everyone. This time, having tasted most of the wines during our judging, we stood back and let our friends do most of the tasting.

My three favorite wineries of the day were Talon, Elk Creek, and Chrisman Mill.

  • Elk Creek was our favorite (and last) winery. They are the winners of the single gold medal, for their sangiovese, and many of their other bottles medaled as well. These folks make good wine, and they’re located in Owenton, which is not even an hour south.
  • We enjoyed Talon a lot, but I have some suspicions about their wines and the presence of brett. We preferred a couple of their whites, in particular the Traminette.
  • We loved Chrisman Mill. I believe their Chef Jeff (?) Scott was behind the table pouring and he was an absolute riot. It wasn’t the wines we came back for when we returned to the table – it was Chef Scott. He also poured us a Blackberry Wood, which is a mixture of their Blackberry Wine and Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Very tasty! Other tables recommended mixing the fruitier wines with brandy instead of bourbon. I’ll have to try both here at home.

This was certainly the most laid-back wine festival I’ve attended. Our last, the Cincinnati Fine Food & Wine show, showcasing Ohio wines, was slightly pretentious. The wineries weren’t, but the overall ambiance was a little stuffy. The Cincinnati Int’l Wine Festival is
also a whole other ball game. The Northern Ky festival was mellow and
fun. Everyone was having a great time. The vendors seemed as relaxed as
the patrons most of the time. It was all enclosed under a great big
barn at the fairgrounds. One admission ($15) got you five tasting
tickets. Each table took one ticket to taste at least 5 of their wines,
if not all of the wines on the table. Some places didn’t even bother
with the ticket. At the end of the day, Kevin and I had a total of 3
tickets left out of our initial 10.

Creepy Doll Thing
There were some great craft booths and as some strange ones. I’m not
sure how I felt about all the creepy handmade doll-like things. Several
of our girls were fascinated by the booth with the Tarot cards and
divining crystals. I liked a lot of the jewelry we saw, and our friends
Jessica and Sean purchased a few pieces. We were pretty thrilled with
the food as well. We’d started the day at Jessica & Sean’s place
for a fantastic brunch (thanks for a great party!), so we arrived on a
full stomach. But heat and wine can make you hungry. I had a wonderful
little box filled with grapes, cheese, and sourdough bread. Kevin had
at least two Chicago-style hot dogs and Sean had one. There were also
neat little pastries and cookies, as well as sandwiches. The guys just
really wanted those hot dogs though.

Watch for this event next year. It’s a wonderfully relaxing day and a great way to learn more about Kentucky wines.

Our rating:

You can read more about our adventures with this festival:

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Posted by Michelle at 3:53 pm in Cincinnati, Local, Local Wineries, Wine Events, Wineries | Permalink | Comments (3)

3 Responses to “Northern Ky Wine Festival – In Review”

  1. Michelle – Thank you from the NKY Wine Festival for your very nice review. We work very hard to provide exactly the atmosphere you descibe – a fun and mellow event. Part of the allure is exactly as you describe, the variety of vendors and wineries on hand. (Even if the dolls are creepy…) We look forward to an even better event next year!

  2. Jen Rizzo says:

    Hey – you were a judge! You get to have fun without awkwardly scribbling notes everywhere! It sounds like you guys had a good time.

  3. Col. J. Scott Congleton says:

    Thank you so much!!! I always enjoy pouring wine & meeting people at the events. Thanks for the kinds words and come visit us at Chrisman Mill Vineyards & Winery!!
    Col. J. Scott Congleton,
    Executive Chef- Chrisman Mill Vineyards & Winery.

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