Fine wines, craft beer, live music, food from some of the best restaurants on the Outer Banks, and all of this enjoyed while taking in an expansive view of the Roanoke and Pamlico sounds. What better way to enjoy a fall Saturday afternoon?
That’s what’s in store for those attending the second annual Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, in Manteo. The autumnal festivities are hosted by the Roanoke Island Historical Association.
For those from a house divided where one partner is a wine connoisseur, and the other a beer fan, this festival has them covered; selections have expanded from last year’s event so that all beverages will offer a broad choice. Five Outer Banks breweries and several more from North Carolina will be represented in the craft beer garden section. Wines will be determined by specific food pairings.
“For what will be our second Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival we’ve really expanded choices for attendees, especially the beer garden because the popularity of craft beer has grown so exponentially in the last few years. Just think about the fact that there are at least five craft breweries in the Outer Banks alone,” says Bill Coleman, chief executive officer of The Lost Colony and the Roanoke Island Historical Association.
He says the fundraising event’s goal is to: “present restaurants that focus on locally-sourced and fresh foods that represent the culinary heritage of the Outer Banks. Restaurant partners will be offering small plates of their chosen specialties often suggesting a wine or beer that complements the dish.”
The festival opens on Friday, Sept. 28, with a gala Vintner’s Dinner. The evening will feature local seafood prepared by guest chefs Josh Decarolis, chef of Mother & Sons Trattoria, and Phil Bey, chef de cuisine from Saint James. The chefs, who both hail from Durham, N.C.’s dynamic restaurant scene, will be assisted by Chef Sam McGann and his team from the Blue Point in Duck. Tickets, if still available, are $150.
However, the festival’s main event promising big fun is the Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 29th. It opens at 1 p.m. for VIP ($85) ticket holders and at 2 p.m. for General Admission ($60). The event closes at 5 p.m.
The Saturday afternoon Grand Tasting will be held in the Sound Stage Theatre, where the Lost Colony’s historic drama is performed. The event proceeds will benefit theater operations and some of the cast will be in costume at the tasting event.
“This is really great exposure for the restaurants to be a part of this incredible event. It’s a great opportunity for them to reach new people,” says Cindy McGann, a volunteer for the Lost Colony festival. "Seminars give attendees an education in what they’re drinking and they can sample delicious foods from restaurants they might want to visit later.”
Food selections at the Grand Tasting Saturday afternoon will be prepared by chefs from almost a dozen notable Outer Banks restaurants, including Argyles, Lone Cedar Café, Blue Water Grill, Café Lachine, The Dunes, Ortega’z, Pamlico Jack’s, Pigman’s Bar-B-Que, and Ten ‘O Six Bistro.
Three Saturday afternoon seminars (each is $20) are also offered at the Lost Colony Wine and Culinary festival:
• Uncovering the Mystery of Sparkling Wine: Learn the difference between sparkling wine, champagne, cava and prosecco. Simon Kaufmann, Blue Point beverage director and certified sommelier, will offer an in-depth session what makes each unique as attendees sample five different bubblies. Starts at 1 p.m.
• Wines and Hard Cider from the Russian River Valley by Virginia Dare Winery: Learn about California’s Russian River Valley where grapes for Virginia Dare Winery’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Reserve wines are grown. The area’s vineyards, originally planted by Russian traders, produce many fabulous wines as well as Gravenstein apples used to make Virginia Dare’s hard cider. Starts at 2:30 p.m.
• Taking the Mystery Out of the Craft Beer Aisle: It can be confusing to shop for craft beer. John Minnich, proprietor and beermonger for TRiO in Kitty Hawk, will explain the basics of beer styles. To better understand the difference session participants will do some tasting and explore the flavor profiles of various craft beer types. Starts at 4 p.m.
The festival welcomes both drinkers and non-drinkers, offering a discounted Grand Tasting ticket ($30) for designated drivers who may only sample the food. All attendees must be 21 or older. Babies, pets and children are not allowed.
For more information or to buy Grand Tasting and seminar tickets go to TLCwinefest.com or call (252) 473-2127.