In September, Wine Fest PA, hosted its first-ever event in State College, the State College Wine ’n Shine Pierogi Fest, at the Ramada Conference Center. Now, the company returns to Centre County to host another festival, the State College Wine ’n Shine Taco Palooza, on Sunday, Jan. 12, again at the Ramada, 1450 S. Atherton St.
“The fall event was so exciting and very well-received,” says Dottie Miller, who with her husband, Bob, operates Wine Fest PA and more than 40 events a year through their event production company Clicker Shows. “We hosted approximately 800 guests at the last event and expect more to attend Jan. 12. People were excited to see new wineries come to the area, with a huge variety of different wine for guests to sample…We had such a well-received turnout and reaction to the first event, we decided to make it a bi-annual event, [in the] fall and winter.”
Ticket holders will enjoy the opportunity to browse offerings from a handful of Pennsylvania wineries and distilleries, trying a variety of products and finding their favorites, available for purchase. Shopping vendors offer a range of related products at the event.
Wineries and distilleries set to appear at Sunday’s palooza include Bee Kind Winery, Big Spring Spirits, Blushy Run Winery, Hungry Run Wine Cellars, Juniata Valley Winery, KingView Mead, Wine O’Clock Somewhere Winery and Woody Lodge Winery.
“It’s a great day out for tasting wine and spirits,” adds Miller.
Those who attended the State College Wine ’n Shine Pierogi Fest in September will find new offerings to enjoy on Sunday.
“The wine industry always has new changes and new flavors of wine,” Miller says. “We will be featuring two new types of wine this time. From Hungry Run Winery, we will be featuring their new dessert fruit wines that are fortified with brandy. Also from Wine o’ Clock Somewhere, [we’ll be] featuring new slush wine, which is wine in a bag, ready to freeze and serve, for the wine enthusiast looking for a sweet slushy wine in a variety of different flavors.”
For those more interested in the taco aspect of the event more than the wine ’n shine, the menu includes soft and hard beef and chicken tacos with all the toppings, chicken tortilla soup, beans, rice, chips and salsa and churros.
Miller offers a few tips for attendees: “Dress comfortably. Come early; wineries can only transport a limited amount of wine and sometimes run out of the most popular types. Take your time and taste all the different wineries, as there are many unique types of wine from each winery.
"We also provide a free bottle check service, meaning any wine or whiskey product purchased…will be checked and waiting up front at the entrance when [you’re] done tasting. This way, the guests don’t need to carry heavy packages, and their hands are free to eat and taste more wine.”
Tickets start at $10 and are available online at localwineevents.com. Attendees are admitted in two groups, one at 11:30 a.m. and one at 1 p.m., with the event lasting until 4:30 p.m. A stemless tasting glass is included in the ticket purchase. Designated drivers who do not plan to taste at the event receive a reduced ticket price of $5. VIP tickets for $15 include admission for the entire event and a stemmed tasting glass. Food purchases are separate.