Kentucky wines are becoming more popular as they bring home honors from national and international competitions, and consumers have more opportunities to taste them.
■ Sample a variety of Kentucky wines at the second annual Vintage Kentucky: A Toast to Henry Clay on Sept. 4.
The event, from 1 to 7 p.m., will be on the grounds of Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, 120 Sycamore Road. Tickets are $25 and include 10 tasting vouchers and a logo-etched commemorative wine glass. The jazz concert at 5 p.m. is free, and guests may bring blankets and picnics. Participating wineries are: Chrisman, Elk Creek, Generation Hill, Horseshoe Bend, Prodigy, and Purple Toad.
Tickets are available at Wines on Vine, Chrisman Mill in Hamburg, The Museum Shop at Ashland, Thursday Night Live and Smileypete.com. Call (859) 425-2590.
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■ Two Kentucky wineries earned gold medals at the Indy International Wine Competition Aug. 3 through 5 in West Lafayette. Jean Farris Winery of Lexington and Wight-Meyer Winery of Shepherdsville were honored for their petite sirahs.
Also scoring at Indy International were Purple Toad in Paducah, six medals; Acres of Land in Richmond, Elk Creek in Owenton and River Valley in Carrollton, two each; and Black Barn in Lexington, Grimes Mill in Lexington, Talon Winery in Lexington, Wildside in Versailles and Reid's Livery in Alvaton, one each. Go to Indyinternational.org.
About 3,000 wines from throughout the United States and 15 countries were judged at the event.Funnel cakes, lemon shake-ups, and cotton candy have competition for your food dollar at this year's Kentucky State Fair.
New at the fair is the deep-fried chocolate-nut-bourbon pie. The traditional Kentucky pie that's famous at Derbytime is dipped in funnel cake batter and fried. You'll also want to experience fried Kool-Aid. It was created by Charlie "Chicken" Boghosian and introduced to fair-goers at the San Diego Fair. It's a combination of funnel cake batter and cherry Kool-Aid powder that dissolves as it is heated.
Last year's surprise hit, the Krispy Kreme burger, is back.
Less adventuresome diners can find traditional breakfast foods, hot deli favorites, and classics such as spaghetti and salad in South Wing C. For fine dining and gourmet desserts, The Saddlebred Café is open with a full-service bar.
The 107th Kentucky State Fair runs through Aug. 28 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. go to Kystatefair.org.
Granola becomes business
Sandra Marlowe's homemade granola has been a part of her family's life since 1976 when she created it.
Earlier this year, the family decided to market the granola and introduced it to the public at Lexington's Fourth of July festival. Son Caton stepped up to direct the commercial kitchen operation of Marlowe Granola. He was the perfect choice because he had attended culinary school and then graduated from the University of Kentucky in business management.
The granola is available in two varieties, fruit and nut, and no-fruit-no-nut, and is sold at Della's Restaurant, Only in Kentucky shop and at Marlowegranola.com. It's $7 for a 12-ounce package.
Popping out a picnic
If you haven't planned a menu for Friday and Saturday's Picnic with the Pops, you can let South-Van Events cook for you. Call (859) 233-3736 or go to Southvanevents.com. Orders can be delivered or picked up by 5 p.m. Friday or Saturday. South-Van is at 753 East Seventh Street.
The Lexington Philharmonic's two Pops performances will be at 8:30 p.m. both days at The Meadow at Keene Barn, Keeneland. General admission is $15. Call the Lexington Center ticket office at (859) 233-3535 or go to Lexpops.com.