Long Island wines, home brews will compete at Long Island’s ‘County Fair’

The Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Commercial wines from Long Island and homebrewed beers will be judged along side pies, pickles, guinea pigs and needlepoint this year at the annual Long Island Fair.

The fair, Sept. 27-30 at the Old Bethpage Restoration, is one of the oldest county fairs in the nation – the first was held in 1842. This year it will include a Long Island wine competition for the second time, and, for the first time, a home beer, mead and cider making competition. There also will be a competition for the best beer labels.

Long Island’s first homegrown commercial wine competition at last year’s fair didn’t get any entrants, because of the organizers’ failure to distribute information in a timely fashion, said Kerri Kiker, assistant fair manager. This year, she said, she hopes things will be different.

The Long Island Fair is the only county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties and is the official New York State fair for those counties. The Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau & Suffolk Counties, one of the oldest agricultural societies in the United States, sponsors it.

Entry forms for the wine and beer contests are due by Aug. 31 and products must be delivered in person or via UPS from Sept. 17-24.  Forms and guidelines can be found in the fair’s Premium Book, which is available online.  ‘

‘The wine competition is open to commercial wines made on Long Island, said Kerri Kiker, assistant fair manager.  Wines will be judged by industry experts for presentation; color and clarity; bouquet, flavor, balance and quality. The first prizewinner will receive $150, second $100 and third, $50.

So far, no wines have been entered, said Lisa Loiopioci, the wine competition’s organizer. She cited the newness of contest and the current busy time at East End wineries as  factors. Nevertheless, She said organizers will be flexible about the entry deadline.

Wine competition entrants are limited to two entries per class: red dessert, white dessert fruit wines; pink wines, merlot, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and white wines. Wines entered must be commercially available and bear government approved labels showing a New York State AVA. Four bottles of each entered wine must be dropped off or sent via UPS between Sept.17 -24 to the Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

For more information, phone the fair office on Mondays or Wednesdays at (516) 572-8406.

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