Posted on | September 24, 2013
Written by | Cara McIlwaine
The annual New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine is back for another weekend, bringing global culinary icons, winemakers and spirits producers together with the public for some fantastic fun. More than 120 diverse events are set to take place across New York City from October 17th-20th. As in years past, all of the net proceeds go to great charitable causes.
“From inception, the main objective of this festival was to raise money for our benefitting charities, Share Our Strength and The Food Bank for New York City,” notes Rosalinda Secondini, Director of Special Events at Southern Wine & Spirits of New York. “We are always trying to exceed the previous year’s goal and I am proud to say that we have already exceeded 2012!”
Last year, more than 60,000 people attended NYC Wine & Food Festival events. As in years past, there are several signature events that appeal to members of the trade as well as consumers.
Grand New Home
The flagship location of NYCW&FF is known as the Culinary Campus and attendees from last year may note something different. With a relocation to midtown west, Secondini says, “We have a wonderful new home, allowing us to host all signature events on two magnificent piers, Pier 92 and 94 near west 55th street.”
The Grand Tasting, held Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival, is always one of the most anticipated. On Friday, October 18th, the Southern Wine & Spirits Trade Tasting presented by Beverage Media (Trade Day) is an exclusive event for Southern Wine & Spirits of New York accounts. Trade Day kicks off the Grand Tasting. This trade-only event will feature “more sponsor build-outs and 81 wine and spirits tables, new brand launches and brand flavor extensions” says Secondini. In addition to all of the fabulous wine and spirits brands available for sampling, guests have the opportunity to sample a variety of foods and interact with food personalities. Members of the trade will also be able to order directly from BeverageMedia.com kiosks strategically located around the tasting floor.
The festival offers Southern Wine & Spirits’ wine and spirits brands “the ultimate marketing platform for brand exposure to thousands of attendees,” says Secondini. But brands can also take advantage of “a vast array of social media publicity throughout the four days, which resonates beyond the event. I also look forward to seeing the post-festival sales increases for our participating wine and spirits brands,” she says.
Taste New York
A very special addition this year, the Taste NY Pavilion, will be featured at Trade Day and the Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite. Building on Governor Cuomo’s initiatives to promote NY State agriculture, beer, wine and spirits, Taste NY presents a look at some of the fine wine and spirits bounty the state has to offer. Many local NY State wineries will have an unprecedented opportunity to showcase their wines for the Grand Tasting attendees.
That’s not the only event that will put a spotlight on NY State products. Governor Cuomo will be hosting the Taste NY Brunch on Saturday, October 19th at Pier 61 The Lighthouse with top chefs from across the Empire State. Roughly 25% of New York State’s land is dedicated to agricultur. Attendees will experience a menu of the best from farmers, butchers, brewers, winemakers and distillers from all over New York.
A key part of making NYCW&FF successful year after year is hav ing the right team behind the scenes, which includes Southern Wine & Spirits multimedia specialist Chris McCormack and festival product database specialist Viviana Barcia. They make a huge contribu tion to the broader NYCW&FF team, led by Executive Director and Founder Lee Schrager as well as John Trumble, Associate Director, Production; and Annie Washburn, Associate Director, Sponsorship.
Secondini is also very proud of how the culinary community comes together each fall. “The entire festival is made up of ‘fundraisers,’ from the celebrity chefs who donate their time, to the hundreds of volunteers who work the events throughout the four days and especially all the wine and spirits supplier sponsors who donate money and their wine and spirits product as well. Without their generosity and involvement there would not be a festival,” she says, “I’m honored to be a very special part of the greatest fundraising festival in the Northeast!” As Southern Wine & Spir its is the exclusive provider of wines and spirits for the festival, “I am so fortunate to work for this great distributor,” she adds.
The food-related charities that benefit from the New York City Wine & Food Festival are Share Our Strength, the national non-profit committed to combating childhood hunger; and Food Bank for New York City, which helps feed hungry people across New York City’s five boroughs. Already, funds raised from net proceeds are on pace to exceed last year, which brought in over $1 million.