What it is
: On Saturday, Longwood will host its first Wine & Jazz Festival with musicians, wines from 22 Pennsylvania vineyards, and talks by wine experts such as Eric Asimov, wine columnist for the New York Times, and Eric Miller, owner of Chaddsford Winery.
Why I like it: Wine & Jazz. Together, the words conjure up images of a smoky bistro where a pianist, a saxman, and a bass player are doing their souped-up versions of standards while a female vocalist does her best imitation of Ella Fitzgerald and a waiter refills your glass with the house red.
Well, that's so 1950s. Smoky bistros seem to have been outlawed in most of North America. How about listening to the music amid the flowers, plants, and exquisitely manicured grounds of Longwood Gardens?
All that jazz: The live music will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a tent area across from Longwood's meadow. Among the musicians will be the ArpeggioJazz Ensemble, led by bassist Warren Oree, which plays a mix of jazz, Brazilian, African, blues and hip-hop; Latin Fiesta, with its Latin jazz; jazz pianist Eric Mintel; sax player Lynn Riley; and singer Denise King.
The wine: Twenty-two (count 'em) Pennsylvania wineries will be giving out free samples, including several locals such as Chaddsford Winery, Folly Hill, Kreutz Creek Vineyard, Stargazers Vineyard and Twinbrook Winery.
John Weygandtof Stargazers says they all will be giving out free one-ounce samples, and selling wine by the glass and the bottle. Stargazers will be featuring a wine called Traditional, a sparkling mix of pinot noir and chardonnay made the champagne way.
The wine experts: It's a triple-header. At 1 p.m., Miller, of Chaddsford, will talk about starting and running a vineyard in the soil of Southeastern Pennsylvania. At 2, Jason Whiteside, wine director at Cosimo's Restaurant in Malvern, will tell how to select from wine lines in restaurant and wine bars. At 4 p.m., Asimov will talk about "Living in an Era of Great Wines."
That's not all. At noon, and again at 3 p.m., experts from Longwood's Terrace Restaurant will discuss how to pair food and wine.
What it costs: Special tickets are required for the festival. Tickets cost $30 each, and include Gardens admission and a souvenir glass. Tickets for designated drivers are $20, including Gardens admission. Special rates are available for groups and Longwood Frequent Visitor Passholders.
Where: Longwood is off Route 1 at Route 52 near Kennett Square.
When: The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the gardens are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information: Go to www.longwoodgardens.org. There's a list of all the wineries and musicians scheduled to participate.
- Bill Raftery