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Strollers Take In Annual Downtown Food, Wine Experience
Windy conditions and the brisk autumn air didn't seem to put a damper on the spirits of those attending Escalon's annual Harvest Wine and Food Experience downtown on Thursday.

Booths were set up on Main Street to offer a variety of wines, hors d'oeuvres, information, opportunity drawing items and more. Vintners from around the Central Valley region came to pour their specialties, with some beer also served up at the corner where the former Bakery now houses Sipma Insurance. To the delight of baseball fans, a TV on the corner also had the Giants-Phillies playoff game available for viewing and the site was also serving up hot dogs to go along with the beer.

A trio of representatives from Escalon Premier Brands was center stage on Main, utilizing their products to cook up a pasta bowl for sampling. Chefs for the evening were Sandy Cummings, Zach Sequeira and Yolanda Ochoa.

"We have ground tomatoes, tomato paste, ready to serve tomatoes," spokesman Joel Adams noted of the products Premier Brands offers. "All 100 percent vine ripened, fresh picked, from the Central Valley."

Local resident Todd Anderson was trying his luck at the Treasure Chest, with keys available at $5 apiece and many of them unlocking the chest for a chance at a treasure. He purchased a few keys and was certain he got more than his money's worth, with prizes including an oil change, 10 gallons of gas and a bottle of wine and wine book.

"It's really nice," he said of the overall downtown event. "Very good."

Another booth offered Sangria and a handful of classic cars were brought in for a mini car show.

All The Rage salon hosted a table outside their business and representative April Heard had a plate displaying hors d'oeuvres served on rosemary sprigs.

Eric Price of the local Ground Zero analysis firm was enjoying the variety of wines available for tasting.

"This is the best zinfandel I've tasted," he noted as he raised a glass. "I like tasting the different varieties, some from vineyards over 100 years old, it's exceptional."

Among those pouring wine for the evening was Ernesto Lazzereschi of Oak Ridge Winery.

"Any time I'm asked to do a tasting, I normally accept," he said, noting that it's a good way to introduce the product to a new audience.

Gary Grant of Escalon, who is with Frog's Tooth Vineyard outside Copperopolis, said their tasting room is in Murphys but he was glad to be pouring wine for the local event.

Serving as one of the coordinators for the event this year was Annie Gallagher, who said she was pleased with the turnout, and thanked the City of Escalon for its assistance in putting on the event, which required closure of a portion of Main Street on Thursday evening.

"I think it's turning out okay," she said. "Most people seem to be enjoying themselves."