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Toast of Brooklyn in Bedford Stuyvesant

Brooklyn wine tour

Brooklyn Daily

Wine-lovers and foodies rejoice! A festival of savory eats and gourmet wines will soon make a plaza in Bedford-Stuyvesant feel like wine country.

The upcoming two-day Toast of Brooklyn festival will feature diverse cuisine from borough restaurants and up to 50 winemakers showcasing various wines from around the world.

“We’re doing a major push to promote New York state wines,” said Edmon Braithwaite, the vice chairman of the Bedford-Stuyvestant Gateway Business Improvement District, which is organizing the event that will take place outdoors on the Restoration Plaza’s western square on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14.

Attendees will get to taste crafted wines from at least 10 New York distributors including the Brooklyn Winery and Brooklyn Oneology, both in Williamsburg, as well as dozens of other wineries spotlighting wines from South Africa, Chile, and Australia.

Fare from eateries in Fort Greene such as Madiba Restaurant, Walter’s, Blue Moon, newly opened Milk River in Prospect Heights, and South Desserts in Bedford-Stuyvestant will be on the menu. There will also be food vendors serving up finger foods like cold cuts, olives, cheeses, and fruits that pair perfectly with wine.

“We’re looking to promote local restaurants and local businesses and show people that they don’t have to go to Manhattan to have a tremendous dining experience and that they don’t have to go Downtown to have a great dinner,” said Braithwaite.

Braithwaite is also the founder of the festival. It was originally called “Toast to Bed-Stuy” when it premiered in 2009 and has never been held outdoors before.

Local restaurateurs and winemakers alike said that they cannot wait to showcase their cuisine and spirits at the elegant culinary cluster, which also doubles as a fundraiser for the neighborhood Business Improvement District.

“I’m very excited — Brooklyn is on the map right now,” said Mark Henegan, the owner of the South African-style Madiba Restaurant, who will be dishing out fare like ostrich Carpaccio and a dish called “bunny chow,” which consists of a hollowed out piece of bread filled with curry.

Vintners from the Brooklyn Winery will be pouring their 2012 Chardonnay and 2012 Riesling, both made in stainless steel tanks with grapes from the Finger Lakes upstate.

“We’re really excited to be apart of this wonderful culinary event,” said Brooklyn Winery co-founder John Stires.

The festival will kick off with a special VIP reception ceremony honoring South African political activist and global icon Nelson Mandela. His daughter Makaziwe Mandela and granddaughter Tukwini Mandela will be taking part in the festivities and pouring glasses from their line of House of Mandela Wines.

The event will also feature artwork from Queens abstract painter Danny Simmons Jr. and live jazz music.

Toast of Brooklyn Wine and Food Festival at Bedford-Stuyvestant’s Restoration Plaza’s western courtyard (1368 Fulton St. between New York and Brooklyn avenues in Bedford Stuyvestant, www.toastofbrooklyn.com). VIP tickets for Sept. 13 and Sept. 14, $75, one-day admission, $40.

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