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Hudson-Berkshire Wine & Food Festival this weekend

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Plenty of events are on the Memorial Day weekend schedule, so it takes some effort to stand out in the crowd. One that does is the 2nd annual Hudson-Berkshire Wine & Food Festival, scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham.

Most such events feature wineries. This one has a mix of wine/beer/spirits/cider producers who are members of the sponsoring Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail -- Brookview Station Winery, Chatham Brewery, Hudson-Chatham Winery, Furnace Brook Winery, Harvest Spirits and newcomer Hudson Valley Distillers. They will be available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Foods and beverages will be for sale, along with samplings of those items and gourmet cheeses, baked goods and grass-fed meat. Demonstrations also are planned for home brewing and cheese making.

Johnny Ciao (left), who mixes food with music, is the guest star of the event. Ciao, who bills himself as a "culinary rocker," deals with culinary entertainment events, cookbooks and cooking for personalities. His improbable bio is available online.

Admission, which covers a souvenir tasting glass and unlimited samples of wine, beer, cider and spirits, is $25 per person. Tickets still are available online. Parking is free. The fairgrounds is located at Routes 66 and 203. From the Capital Region, take I-90 Exit 12, go south on Route 9 to Route 203 in Valatie, then follow signs to Chatham.

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