A new tasting event in Derry invites you to eat, drink and be merry as you explore the best local food, wine, beer and spirits for the holiday season. The Holiday Food and Drink Extravaganza, hosted by the Derry Rotary Club, takes place Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Derry and will feature over 30 vendors.
“We wanted to do something different for a fundraiser that we hadn’t done before,” said Eddie Leon, co-chair of the rotary club and manager at La Carreta Mexican Restaurant, which is sponsoring and participating in the tasting. “People are already talking about Christmas, and come November, you’re getting into Thanksgiving, so we thought it’d be a good opportunity for people to have [a tasting event] right before the holidays.”
The vendors will include restaurants, breweries and wine producers from Derry and beyond, plus some national brands like Samuel Adams, Jack Daniel’s and Jameson Irish Whiskey. The restaurants run the gamut from diners and taverns to Greek, Mexican and Italian eateries. Samples may be signature or existing items on their menus, or new items created for the tasting.
Upon checking in, guests will receive a wine glass to use for sampling. They can meander freely throughout the expo-style event to talk with the vendors and try their products.
In addition to serving samples, many restaurants will be selling gift cards at discounted prices.
“We’re encouraging them to do that. It’s something unique about the event,” Leon said. “If you’re attending, it’s a good opportunity to shop for the holidays and get a deal on some gift certificates.”
Guests also have the option to purchase VIP tickets, which will grant them a special gift bag and access to an exclusive VIP room with a raw bar and high-end wines, beers and spirits that aren’t featured in the general admission area.
Leon said the tasting is a chance for people to sample restaurants and products before committing to an entire meal or expensive bottle of wine.
“They can go and taste new things they haven’t had before and make up their mind from there,” he said, “and they can do it for a good price and a good cause.”