It may be the time of year for pumpkins and apple cider, but you can get a taste of all four seasons at the Granite YMCA’s Seasonal Sips event on Thursday, Oct. 27, in Manchester. The 10th annual tasting will feature 12 local restaurants and 14 wine and beer vendors, divided into winter, spring, summer and fall themed rooms in the Falls Event Center.
“We try to come up with something different, something new and unique each year to tie everything together,” Development Coordinator Jessica Riendeau said. “Instead of just being [about] sampling food and wine, the ambience is important as well.”
Guests can meander freely throughout the four rooms, each of which will be decorated to celebrate a different season, and sample the various beverages and restaurant dishes. Restaurants are primarily from downtown Manchester and beverage vendors from southern New Hampshire. Many will bring seasonally inspired fare such as salsa from Margarita’s and Peachez fruit wine from Zorvino Vineyards for summer, and Grumpy Pumpkin Ale from Stark Brewing and pumpkin tortellacci with apple cider cream from The Common Man for fall. Other featured samples will include a beef, pork and guanciale polpetti (meatballs) from Campo Enoteca, Asian steak tips from Hooked and Ignite, chicken and sausage gumbo from Firefly and a Garden Creek meritage from Dunn Wine Brokers.
“Most of [the samples] are things you’d find on the restaurant’s menu, but with a twist so that they’re more of an appetizer size,” Riendeau said. “It helps the restaurants reach a demographic that may have never eaten at their establishment before, and it gives people the opportunity to say, ‘That was good food … and now I want to come to your restaurant and order a full meal or lunch.’”
New at the event this year, there will also be a wine pull where, for $15, guests can take their pick from a selection of concealed wine bottles valued at $15 and up.
Finally, each room will have silent auction tables with items like restaurant gift certificates, sporting event tickets, adventure outings, spa packages and more.
Proceeds from the event will benefit youth programs in the greater Manchester area.
“There will be good food, good wine, good beer, but the most important part of the event is being able to give back and help kids in the community,” Riendeau said.