Thousands of wine-and-food lovers gathered at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, in White Plains, New York, over the weekend of June 6, 2013–June 9, 2013, for the third annual Westchester Magazine Wine & Food Weekend. The four-day festival was a culinary extravaganza, featuring bites from more than 100 local restaurants and 275 wine selections to sip on.
A highlight of the event—The Grand Tasting—was held on Saturday and Sunday in the lavish Grand Ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton, and featured upscale food-and-wine pairings. Home-made pasta dishes were prepared by local favorites like Tarry Lodge, Serafina and Meritage Restaurant, while the popular pepper-crusted hangar steak was provided by BLT Steak. As for the pours, wines such as Quintessa Rutherford Cabernet blend and Pio Cesare’s Barolo Ornato impressed the guests.
Other outstanding wines served over the weekend—most of which was provided by Zachys Wine and Liquor shop in Scarsdale, New York—included Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc, Faust and Napanook Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, Château de Beaucastel’s 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as the entire line of Caymus wines, including the 2010 Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon. On the sparkling side, various top-quality Champagnes were poured from producers such as Taittinger, GH. Mumm and Louis Roderer.
Other standout dishes served at various events included Filet Mignon with a spicy horseradish sauce from Ruth’s Chris Steak House, sesame-crusted seared tuna from Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish, tangy short rib sliders from Thyme, and a serious sushi spread provided by Haiku. For the sweet-toothed, Chocolation served chocolate-covered potato chips—a smashing hit—and the gluten-free dessert snacks from Cathy’s Biscotti’s were a favorite.
The much-anticipated event of the weekend was Saturday night’s Winemaker’s Dinner and awards ceremony—a six-course wine-pairing evening prepared by Westchester’s all-star chefs. The 2013 Food Award went to the Livanos Family, owners of Moderne Barn, Oceana, Molyvos and City Limits Diner, and the 2013 Wine Award was presented to Adam Strum, Founder and Chairman of Wine Enthusiast Companies.
During his humble acceptance speech, Strum attributed much of his success to “the 3 Ws” in his life: his wife and co-founder of Wine Enthusiast Companies, Sybil Strum, his passion for wine, and his passion for being part of the Westchester community.
Peter Kelly, executive chef/owner of The Xaviars Restaurant Group, summed up his success best: “Adam has turned more people onto wine in the world than anyone.”