Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor. It was a lot of fun. There was wine tasting, beer tasting, liquor tasting and food. Lots and lots of food. Plus, I got to hang out with Carla and Ariane from Top Chef Season 5.
The National Harbor was the perfect back drop for this event. It also didn’t hurt that the event was located on the pier. The location was awesome.
With your entrance fee, you get a souvenir wine glass for sampling and two glasses of Stella Artois.
They had thousands of glasses which you also were able to take with you. Not sure if you were supposed to, but everyone had their two glasses when they left.
But this wasn’t a beer event it was wine. I visited all of the booths but one that really stuck was a local winery. Tarara Winery in Leesburg, Virginia. They explained the wines and gave me plenty of free samples.
The Charval was my favorite wine of the day. It was wonderful. The Charval is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. It had light fruity notes with a well balanced hit of acidity throughout. I am going to head over to their winery this summer. Plus, they said that their winery is dog friendly. Tucker is excited.
Along with the wine vendors there was a huge assortment of food and kitchen vendors at the festival. One group that I ran into was a group of guys from Pork Barrel BBQ. They are a bunch of guys that worked on the hill in DC and decided to give barbecue a chance. They have come up with a unique rub that is well balanced with just a kick of spice. They are going to be competing in the National Capital Barbecue Battle. Stop by their site and wish them luck. I think that they have a great rub and wish them the best. It is always good to meet other people passionate about barbecue.
The other vendor that was awesome was the Pepper Schlepper. He offered every single type of hot sauce that you could imagine. I love spicy stuff so this was right up my alley. You can order any hot sauce that you can think of from their website http://www.pepperschlepper.com.
The food was a plenty this year at the festival. I stopped by the Hard Times Cafe stand to taste all of the varieties of chili. My favorite is the Terlingua Red. It is their competition chili. I can see why it wins awards. It is awesome.
Along with the wine and food tasting there were cooking demonstrations and a the country fair cooking competition. After watching the Top Chef cooking demonstration, I ran into Carla Hall and Ariane Duarte at the county fair tent. They were the judges for Saturday’s competition.
It was really cool. Ariane and Carla were sneaking me samples of the goods. I must say, the competition was quite fierce. I got to try a couple bites of some extremely decadent cupcakes. I didn’t stay for the winner but I was hoping for the strawberry banana cupcakes. Delicious.
Carla and Ariane were the nicest people in the world. Heck, they shared their cupcakes with me. You don’t see that too often. I am going to have to take a road trip to Montclair, N.J. to try eat at Ariane’s restaurant CulinAriane.
Overall the Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor was a blast. It is open today Sunday, June 7 from Noon-6PM. If you don’t have plans for today, I recommend that you hop in your car and head on over to the National Harbor. Click here for more information http://www.foodandwinenh.com.