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Wine & Dine for the Arts at the Albany Hilton, Preview

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The Holidays are Over: Time to Keep Eating!

A Preview of the 5th Annual Wine & Dine for the Arts Festival

Angry Clams. Photo Courtesy of The Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts Festival.If you’re suffering from cabin fever from all the cold weather, then the 5th Annual Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts Festival might be just the event to get you out of the house and have your taste buds tantalized!

This annual event features 250 global wines, spirits and New York State craft beers, up to 70 area chefs as well as numerous events that will be held at the Albany Hilton from January 16-18, 2014.

The three-day festival promotes Albany’s finest restaurants, chefs, as well as their innovative cuisine, while at the same time, enlightening participants on the importance of healthy and sustainable agriculture. The festival also seeks to provide funding for the support and preservation of the non-profit arts community in the Albany area. This year’s beneficiaries include: Albany Barn, The Albany Institute of History & Art, The Albany Symphony, Capital Repertory Theatre and The Park Playhouse.

This year’s highlights include:

Mayor Kathy Sheehan and the Festival’s Board of Directors will kick off this year’s festival with an elegant cocktail reception on Thursday, January 16th from 5:30-7pm, featuring hors d’oeuvres by Mazzone Hospitality, wine by Sonoma-Cutrer and champagne by Korbel.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as both Friday and Saturday are chock full of culinary events.

The Grand Tasting on Friday, January 17th and 18th will feature a plethora of wines for tasting, in addition to a variety of educational seminars, including a New York State craft beer pavilion, where you can sample local beverages. Also taking place is the Rising Star Chef Pavilion where Sean Cominsky of Druthers, Aneesa Waheed of Tara Kitchen and Lauren Ciaglo of 15 Church will give cooking demonstrations. Mike Spain of Sperry’s, Steve Kerzner of Yono’s, and Devin Ziemann of Johnny’s Restaurant, will be the featured Chefs for Saturday’s Grand Tasting. (4-8pm, both Friday and Saturday)

Also on Saturday, January 18th will be the Adirondack Appliance Signature Chef Invitational where 2013’s winner Giovanni S. Morina will compete against Brian Bowden, Courtney Withey of Aperitivo, Ryan Huneau of The Malozzi Family and Marla Ortega from Illium Café & Wine Bar.

The festival comes to a close on Saturday at 6pm with a Grand Gala reception and 6 Course Dinner featuring an elaborate six course meal created by the festival’s 2014 Signature Chef Team with a theme of childhood favorites. The George Boone Blues Band will provide live music. Unfortunately, tickets for the Gala are already sold out, so better luck next year!

So bring a hearty appetite and a clean palate…you never know what culinary treats await you…

For more information, times and ticket prices, visit

–By The Free George Staff.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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