The Utica Zoo's 'Wine in the Wilderness' is coming up this weekend, and we want to help you make the most out of it. Here are the top things we think you should see and do at this year's event.

1 - Find the Prospect Falls Winery Booth and Sample a Brand New Creation: Prospect Falls Winery has created "Luscious Lynx Peach Chardonnay" specifically for this year's Wine in the Wilderness. Get a sample, and if you like it maybe pick up a bottle or two. $2 from each bottle sold of this wine, goes right back to the Utica Zoo.

2 - Get a Wine Slushie and Make Your Way Over to the Lions: Ashley Lynn Winery will once again be at the event this year, serving up awesome wine slushies. Grab one and head towards the lion exhibit. There's just something really cool about enjoying an adult beverage and watching these gigantic cats. Some years they seem more active with everyone around at a later time. Maybe they will again this year.

3 - Get Something From Saranac: Although there are tons and TONS of different wineries at this event, Saranac is always there with some goodies. And it's tradition. You have to stop by the Saranac booth and at least get a sample of one of their delicious craft beers. Fingers crossed they serve up their "Blueberry Blonde Ale," a fantastic creation that tastes how summer feels.

4 - Take a Break and "Jam Out": One of the cool things about Wine in the Wilderness (besides trying a whole bunch of new beverages), is the free entertainment. Take a little break from sampling and make your way to the stage area. Simple Props will be putting on a show, so you can stop by and get your dance on, sing along, or just sit a picnic table or in the grass and enjoy the music.

5 - Check Out All the Goodies in the Vendor Area: There's quite a list of vendors that will be on-site, and you never know what you're going to find. Last year, we found a wonderful place that made hand-painted wine glasses. Another place was selling chocolate dipped treats, including chocolate dipped bacon (which was AMAZING). There's food and snacks, collectibles, even treats for dogs and puppies. Even if you don't end up purchasing anything, it's still fun to browse.

6 - Text or Call Your Friends and Meet Up: You're probably already going with your significant other or a friend or two, but you should see what everyone else is up to as well. If you know a coworker is going, maybe shoot them a text. Meet up by the stage or by one of the animal exhibits and catch up. See what wine they liked the best, and make sure if you haven't gotten a chance to try it yet, you do before the event is over. You don't want to hear everyone raving about a wine that you didn't get a chance to sample.

7 - Take Another Break and Grab a Bite: Wine in the Wilderness will have some free snacks and treats for you to enjoy while you're sampling. Make sure you take advantage of these. You don't want to sample three or four wines and be out for the night. There will be sausage and peppers, tomato pie, assorted cheeses, and other goodies, all for free. If you're still hungry or need something more filling, there will be food vendors on hand, including the Holy Smoques food truck, with items available for purchase.

***BONUS THING TO EXPERIENCE: Grab a sample of wine from a winery you've never heard of or just haven't gotten a chance to try ever, and make your way to the Red Panda exhibit. You'll get to experience something new, and the Red Pandas are just the cutest. That's probably where you'll find me for the majority of the night at this year's Wine in the Wilderness.

Wine in the Wilderness is THIS Saturday, June 2nd and goes from 6pm to 9pm at the Utica Zoo. Tickets are still available and are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. If you're a Utica Zoo member, tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. You can also get designated driver tickets if you're not sampling, but still going to the event. Those tickets are $20 each. Your ticket includes admission into the zoo, sampling from many different New York State Wineries, live music, free food, and access to the vendors. The first 2,000 attendees through the gate will also get a special commemorative Utica Zoo wine glass. You can see the full list of vendors and wineries, get more details on the event, and even purchase your tickets by visiting: UticaZoo.org/Wine

 


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