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Colonial Williamsburg is calling all foodies to this weekend’s third annual Taste Tradition festival.
More than a dozen events make up the weekend itinerary, including wine tastings, a bacon-themed breakfast and even a prohibition-style speakeasy lounge.
Many of the events also boast a local flair, with farm-raised meats, seafood from local waters, produce from gardens in the historic area and Virginia-based wineries and breweries.
For guests wishing to experience absolutely everything Taste Tradition has to offer, Colonial Williamsburg and the Williamsburg Lodge are offering several weekend packages, which include a mixture of seminars, tasting experiences and exclusive events in addition to two-nights-stay at the hotel.
Among the offerings exclusive to weekend package-purchasers is Brew N’ Cue, a new event that will feature four teams, each composed of a chef, a pitmaster and a brewmaster, competing in a head-to-head competition to prepare the best beer-and-barbecue-inspired meal. The audience will be the judge in this mouthwatering contest.
The purchase of a weekend package also entitles guests access to a special welcome reception Friday night and a warehouse sale featuring many of the festival’s showcase wines.
For those preferring to take an a la carte approach to the weekend, there are also many events that do no require the purchase of a package deal.
A Bushels and Barrels celebration in the historic area behind the courthouse will give guests a chance to taste the Revolutionary City and interact with costumed historical interpreters.
Stop by the Regency Room Terrace to partake in a timeless southern tradition: an after-dinner glass of bourbon and a cigar. Sip, Smoke and Savor will provide guests with an elegant selection of fine bourbon and cigars to taste and luxuriate in as a nightcap to the first day of the festival.
Several lectures will take place throughout the weekend, beginning with the Gardener and the Juicer Tasting Seminar on Saturday morning. Colonial Williamsburg Executive Chef Rhys Lewis will be showcasing a number of dishes that use garden-fresh juices, pressed from plants picked straight from the vegetable patch.
Next up, Colonial Williamsburg Head Pastry Chef Rodney Diehl and Royal Cup Coffee Expert Tom Brockenbrough will come together for the the Barista and the Baker Tasting Seminar, where they will pair some delicious breakfast pastries with unique coffees.
The South African Tasting Seminar, led by wine expert Bartholomew Broadbent, will explore the rich history of South African Wines, including the winemaking process used there that dates back to the 1600s.
Codorníu Winery ambassador Tal Ambrose will lead the Discovering Cava Tasting Seminar. Codorníu, located in Barcelona, is the world’s oldest producer of Cava sparkling wine, making Ambrose the international authority on this subject.
On Saturday afternoon you can catch the Vintage Vino Tasting Seminar, which will feature antique vintages from a 15th century underground cellar in Rioja Alta, Spain’s most famous wine region.
For those looking for a more diverse tasting experience, the official Tasting Room will be open from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The Tasting Room will offer nibbles and sips of some of the finest wines, beers, spirits and cheeses in the industry, as well as live demonstrations and opportunities to interact with the makers of these distinguished products.
If you like a little bit of history with your dinner, check out the Jefferson, Henry and Mrs. Washington Wine Dinner. This four-course dinner, preceded by a special chef’s reception, will feature some famous historical dinner guests holding forth on such topics as food, drink and politics.
Night owls may enjoy a visit to the Speakeasy Lounge, a hidden hot spot of nightlife and prohibition-era drinks. The location is a secret, so you will have to purchase a ticket to find out the party.
Start Sunday morning off right with the What’s Shakin’ with Bacon Breakfast. This tribute to all things bacon will include everything from candied bacon to bacon buttercream to bacon Bloody Marys. If you can’t imagine a better meal than bacon-wrapped-bacon, this is the place to be.
The Cocktail Adventures Tasting Seminar will give guests a chance to try their hands at making their own historic-garden-inspired cocktails. Allison Evanow, founder of Square One Organic Vodka, will be sharing her recipes so you can make a delicious and refreshing cocktail in your own home.
If you want to enjoy one more glass of wine before you call it a weekend, stop by the Portuguese Wine Revolution Tasting Seminar on Sunday afternoon. You will have a chance to learn about and sample the unique and delightful wines of Portugal, widely considered some of Europe’s “best kept secrets.”
All Taste Tradition weekend events required ticketed admission. More information about the event can be found here.