The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is one such. It has a number of events on the schedule to help shake off the winter doldrums.
• “Say Cheese” — Saturday-Sunday, March 26-27, visitors will receive a wine glass and wine glass lanyard at their first winery visited, then travel along the trail for an experience of pairings of wine and/or hard cider from the particular winery and samples from a Finger Lakes Cheese Trail cheesery. The event will be coupled with “Say Cheese” packages at various hotels and inns in Ithaca. Each package includes accommodations, transportation for two and two tickets to the tasting event.
• “Spring Barrel Tasting” — Saturday, April 9, both Cayuga Ridge Estate and Hosmer Winery will hold tastings with their winemakers. They will be offering visitors samples of their 2010 harvest wines from the barrel or tank, plus the current vintages. Each wine will be paired with a light food.
• “April Barrel Dinner” — Thursday, April 14, King Ferry Winery will offer food by Catering of Ithaca paired with its own wines, served in the renovated barrel room. Reservations are required by Friday, April 1.
• “Jazz Appreciation Month Wine Dinner” — Saturday, April 16, Knapp Vineyards will serve music-inspired foods. Examples: “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” features sourdough bread and “Cry Me a River” represents a salmon dish, while “Georgia on My Mind” dictates a peachy entree. Reservations required.
• “Easter Brunches” — Easter Sunday, April 24, will see three winery brunches — at Knapp Vineyards, Sheldrake Point Vineyard & Simply Red Lakeside Bistro, and Americana Vineyards & Winery’s Crystal Lake Cafe Brunch.
• “19th annual Wine & Herb Festival” — Friday-Saturday, April 29-May 1 and Friday-Sunday (Mother’s Day), May 6-8, ticket-holders will receive a wine glass and a potted plant of either an herb or vegetable grown by Dickman Farms of Auburn, a plant carrier and a garden plan with growing hints. This year’s plants include big bertha pepper, boxwood basil, Cajun belle (hot pepper), Cherokee purple tomato, cilantro, fern leaf dill, Napa grape tomato, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, Thai basil, thyme, white lavender and yellow sweet onion.
Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.