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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 :)

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

Oh I’d have to go for the curry and risotto- WOW!!
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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!
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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)

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5 Heather October 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

What’s great event! It really is amazing what blogging can offer to you!
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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. :)
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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:)
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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
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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

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

SOunds like a ton of fun! Congrats on becoming an official celeb :)
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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.
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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

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

Those desserts look SO good! YUMM.
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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
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20 Courtney October 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

LOL!

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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

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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…

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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.

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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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