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Tips For The New York City Wine & Food Festival's Grand Tasting
Plus a discount code for Broken Palate subscribers
The New York Wine & Food Festival returns from October 13 to 16 with dozens of parties, dinners, and brunches, many hosted by celebrity chefs like Scott Conant, Carla Hall, and Molly Yeh.
The pinnacle of the weekend is the festival's Grand Tasting. Held Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16, it’s a massive event filled with wine, spirits, cocktails, food, and chef demonstrations.
If you’re looking for the latest trends in spirits, get inside dish on new restaurants opening, or just day drink, the Grand Tasting is for you. The afternoon, however, can be overwhelming.
The event venue, Hudson River Park's Pier 76, is massive — covering about a city block of square footage. In other words, you’re going to need a game plan. Here are the best tips and tricks to make sure your day is the best ever:
Dress for success
This cannot be stressed enough: There’s a time and a place to wear your Manolos and this is not one of them. You’re going to be on your feet all day. On the one hand, it’s a marvel that you can get your steps in and your drink on at the same time, but if you don’t wear the right shoes, you’re going to regret it. A pair of white sneakers or a colorful pair of Converse are stylish and comfortable.
Alternately, if it’s a brisk autumn day, remember you’re going to be lugging that jacket around. A wrap can be easily tucked away, but you’re stuck wearing that down jacket (there are no lockers to stash your belongings).
Don’t bring a big bag to the Grand Tasting. Festival goers must bring a bag no larger than 6.5 inches wide .A clear tote no larger than 12 inches, along with any carrier for necessary medical equipment will also be allowed. Grand Tasting attendees receive a tote for swag anyway, so pack only your essentials — your ID, a credit card, lip balm, and your phone are the bare essentials. I like to add dental floss, a band aid, a cell phone charging cord, an extra battery for my phone, and a Tide stick (trust me on this).
The name of the festival literally has the word “wine” in it. That means you’re probably going to go hard — after all, who can pass by a pour of wine or a new bourbon? The key is to drink plenty of water. The festival provides unlimited hydration, so take advantage of the water and drink up before, during, and after you imbibe.
Have a strategy
The Grand Tasting can be overwhelming, so have a game plan in mind. First off, check the schedule to see which celebrity chef demos you want to see — and get to the stage early. If Andrew Zimmern is your favorite, set your phone to give you a notification about 30 minutes before so you have enough time to get there. Also, make a plan for the tastings. Do you go to the back of the venue and work your way to the front? Tackle the perimeter first? There are no wrong ways, but figuring out what’s best for you in advance goes a long way.
Take your Food Network-obsessed teen to see their favorite chefs
The NYCWFF Grand Tasting is a 21-and-over event, meaning that Food Network-obsessed teens had to wait to see their favorite celebs cook and kibbitz with their fans. This year, however, the festival is offering a “Culinary Demonstrations Only” pass that allows fans of any age to watch all the culinary demonstrations. The pass costs $99 per day, with different celebrities taking the stage each afternoon. This pass does not allow access to any other part of the Grand Tasting.
Use the Broken Palate Discount Code
If you’re going to the Grand Tasting on Sunday, October 16, Broken Palate’s got you covered. Just use code BP20 at check out for a 20 percent discount on your Grand Tasting ticket (this offer is good for the Sunday noon to 5 p.m. ticket only). Oh, and if you spot us — be sure to say hi and raise a glass!