Cecil County Food & Wine Festival celebrates sixth year
NORTH EAST — The hot weather didn’t stop people from coming out to North East Community Park on Saturday to enjoy the multitude of wine, food and music at the annual Cecil Coun- ty Food & Wine Festival.
The event celebrated its sixth year with a variety of wine from 13 wineries across the state. But the event is not just a chance for people to try new wine, stock up on wine bottles and socialize, it also doubles as a fundraiser. For the second year in a row, a percent of the proceeds will go toward the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cecil County.
Derek DeWitt, interim executive director for the
Boys & Girls Clubs of Cecil County, said the donation is a great example of community support. He said the club is grateful for the donation and “every bit helps.”
“Community support is the life support of Boys & Girls Clubs,” DeWitt said.
The first stop at the festival for 21-year-old Sarah Kozak and her friend Amanda Combie, 22, was Turkey Point Vineyard, based in North East.
Kozak said they both tried the Rose, Vidal Blanc and Late Harvest Vidal and enjoyed the rose the most.
“It’s the perfect combination of sweet and dry,” Kozak said.
Combei said that Saturday’s event was her second wine festival, after attending a similar festival in Hunt Valley earlier this year. She said she preferred the Vidal Blanc of the three wines sampled at the tent.
“It’s sweeter. It’s really refreshing on a day when it’s really hot,” Combei said.
She said she looks forward to sampling wines from local businesses because she will support these local wineries by purchasing their wine.
Harford County resident Jackie Barry said she enjoyed Dove Valley Vineyard’s Perky Peaches. She said it was sweet, but not overly sweet.
Janel Griffith, of Dove Valley, said Perky Peaches is a new release for the winery and it has received positive feedback. She described it as “semi-sweet” and full of peaches. Griffith has even heard comments that people can actually smell peaches in the wine.
Sisters Holly Zakreski, of Elkton, and her sister Sharon Bayless, who lives in Pennsylvania, said not only have they found new wines they like, they have also purchased a few bottles.
Zakreski said she came to the event “to have fun, to relax and to have fun.”
Bayless said she came to the event to spend time with Zakreski and also to drink wine.
The duo purchased Orange Crush Merlot from Solomons Island Winery as well as Olney Winery’s Blackberry Merlot and Pink Grapefruit Blush.
“It was so much sweeter than any merlot I’ve ever had,” Zakreski said.
Bayless agreed with Zakreski’s opinion on the wine.
“It wasn’t overly sweet,” Bayless said. “It was just sweet for a merlot.”
Zakreski said the Pink Grapefruit Blush tasted exactly like grapefruit.
During the festival, people also set up lawn chairs and enjoyed looking at the water and staying cool in the shade. Food offerings at the festival included Crave Eatery as well as vendors selling sweet treats such as kettle corn and shaved ice. Business vendors were also on hand.
Margaret Brown of Turkey Point Vineyard pours Sarah Kozak a glass of wine while Amanda Combei tries her wine sample.
Hope Campbell and Jessica Park pose with their samples of hard apple cider from Great Shoals Winery on Saturday afternoon.
Hope Campbell, of Anne Arundel County, and Perryville resident Jessica Park try hard apple cider samples from Great Shoals Winery on Saturday afternoon.