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My Judging Debut

by Courtney on October 16, 2011

On Friday evening, I told you guys that I was going to be participating as a “celebrity” judge but I never really gave you all anymore details!

The 2nd Annual HalloWine Festival was held at the Altamont Vineyard & Winery, located in Altamont, NY.


The event was held outside at the vineyard, in large, festively decorated tents, with plenty of food and wine to go ‘round.



Eventually, we were seated and introduced to the crowd for the evening. It still made me chuckle to see my name listed amongst some of the others around me.


Like I said before, I don’t know how well my credentials matched up with those around me, but it was still an honor just to be there anyways and make my “judging debut!” Winking smile


I honestly wish I had saved my program for the evening, because I can’t remember many specifics about the various food pairings that were served and asked to judge. What I do remember is that we were given three main dishes to try, all prepared by Yono’s, a restaurant located in Albany, blending Indonesian cuisine with French presentations, and classical continental cuisine. I have never visited Yono’s before, but after the food I tried that evening, I’m definitely planning a trip soon!

The first dish was a noodle dish (please take note of my extremely unspecific details) which was paired with the winery’s Riesling.


The noodles were absolutely amazing, and the complimented the Riesling so nicely. This was actually my top pick for the night.


The second dish was some sort of curry chicken which was served with a deliciously creamy risotto and paired with a wine that I can’t remember but definitely did not knock my socks off. I did like the risotto in this dish, and the flavor of the chicken was really good, too.


The third dish was a beef selection, which was good, but again, nothing spectacular. It was paired with a red wine (again, not sure which one it was) that was pretty good, too.


Lastly, we were given three different desserts to judge from the Chocolate Mill. All three desserts tasted amazing, but the chocolate cake stole the show for me. Absolutely delicious.


Honestly, the event was fun but slightly disorganized, so I wasn’t totally sure what was going on at different times. It really didn’t matter though, since I had a great time catching up with Kristi.


If you’re local, you may recognize Kristi as the blogger behind On The Edge. Kristi and I go way back, about 15 years, from when we used to model together. I’m really hoping we get a chance to talk more soon, because we had a great time!


Yesterday, after having my lazy morning and afternoon, I headed out for the evening to spend time with these amazing ladies. What began as a casual dinner out turned into a late night out dancing, and was an absolute blast. It totally brought me back to the ‘ol college days!


Now this afternoon, Jay and I are heading to a birthday party for a special little guy who’s turning one! I’ll catch ya’ll later! Smile

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Faith October 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Wow! That tent looked so cute decorated for fall. Sounds like a fun way to spend your time – taste testing wine and foods :)


2 Maria@La_Piattini October 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Oh I’d have to go for the curry and risotto- WOW!!
Maria@La_Piattini recently posted..Pumpkin Pancakes


3 khushboo October 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm

What a fun event!…and u totally deserved to be there, sometime overly professional judges have taste buds that are too refined. I’m not so sure I would trust their opinions as I would yours!
khushboo recently posted..*Insert* witty title


4 sarah@spinach and spice October 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

What fun! Good food, good friends, good wine… makes for a great night!
sarah@spinach and spice recently posted..Spreading the Love (Grown Foods)


5 Heather October 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

What’s great event! It really is amazing what blogging can offer to you!
Heather recently posted..Quick Update


6 Pamela October 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm

HalloWine Fest sounds like a blast! I wish we had something like that in my area! I love all of the fall decorations. :)
Pamela recently posted..Football Fashion


7 Chelcie of Chelcie's Food Files October 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Sounds like you had a lot of fun! those desserts look so yummy:)
Chelcie of Chelcie’s Food Files recently posted..Family Photo Album


8 Lena October 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I love the look of those tents, very festive. I’ve always wanted to treat myself to a nice dinner and wine pairing, so its so cool you got to judge one. Impromptu girls nights are always great, too
Lena recently posted..Pumped Up Kicks


9 Kristen @ notsodomesticated October 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Yum I would have loved judging just for the amazing desserts!! Looks like you had a great time!
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Whatcha Reading Weekend #4


10 Mallory @ It's Only Life October 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm

what a fun evening! ive always wanted to be the food judge or something, like on iron chef… haha
Mallory @ It’s Only Life recently posted..Vitalicious Giveaway!


11 Brittany October 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm

That sounds like so much fun to be a judge! What a great experience. Have fun at the birthday party :)
Brittany recently posted..Sleeping In Wins


12 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake October 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Looks like a fun evening! Maybe next year they’ll be a little more organized? Either way, you can’t go wrong when there’s food & wine involved! :-)
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..Recipe Roundup, Part 2


13 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm

What a fun opportunity!! I’d be all about this – good wine and good food sounds right up my alley! I love your scarf by the way!
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Best Run In Awhile


14 Sweet and Savvy October 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

SOunds like a ton of fun! Congrats on becoming an official celeb :)
Sweet and Savvy recently posted..Fiction Friday


15 Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine October 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm

HalloWine? That is so cute! I am anxious to go to another wine tasting.
Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine recently posted..Recipe Overload


16 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles October 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm

That is still sooooo exciting! I’m glad it was such a success- that chocolate cake and wine just make any evening perfect! WOW!!! :)
Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles recently posted..Mini Pumpkin Muffins > Regular Pumpkin Muffins


17 katie Carso October 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I have to say, that would be pretty cool to do! How awesome they even had you featured in the pamphlet !

Happy Sunday! : )
katie Carso recently posted..10 ways { beauty } recipes


18 Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Those desserts look SO good! YUMM.
Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Focus On: Lunges


19 Jess @ Jess Go Bananas October 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm

That’s is sooo cool!
Pshh…you’re totally a celeb! You and Jay’s name could be Couray! lol
Jess @ Jess Go Bananas recently posted..Slippery When Bent


20 Courtney October 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm



21 Claire October 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm

You are such a beauty!! Congrats, celebrity ;-) Looks like it was lots of fun!
Claire recently posted..Lets Come Home: Homecoming 2011


22 Hope October 17, 2011 at 8:07 am

That looks like such an awesome event! So cool that you were a judge! :) I am jealous of your hair. It’s so pretty!
Hope recently posted..An Easy Chili Kind Of Night…


23 Shannon October 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Those chocolate desserts look so delicious! Now I really want chocolate cake. Yum!

I haven’t read your blog in a while; I used to read in January or February- way back when but then school overwhelmed me and I cut back on my blog intake. I need to back to STSL! It’s such a great blog.


24 Courtney October 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Thanks so much, Shannon! So glad to have you back reading. Welcome! :)


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