Autumn festivals in Ukraine: food, wine and cossacks

The air gets colder, but we still have great festivals coming up. The kind that will warm our blood - with lively traditions, national dishes and lots of wine.  Ah, wine! There is sun in every sip. Cheer up! Here is some festivals we await to toast to autumn!

Kyiv Food and Wine Festival 2019 
October 5-6

Amateurs and true connoisseurs gather in Kyiv to taste wine from big and small Ukrainian wineries, as well as Old World and New World winemakers. Ukraine has a long history of making wine, going back couple thousand years. But the wine culture is quite new - which means fresh, exciting and passionate. Attendees will spend the weekend learning the history of Ukrainian wine, local varieties of grapes and old traditions that developed over time. And of course tasting novelties and hits. Experts will choose the best Ukrainian wines in different categories. Feeling lucky? Take part in the Oyster battle and try to win a case of oysters and a case of sparkling wine. There is more: wine yoga with a glass of your favorite drink, wine art, jazz music... The privilege costs only $8-16, so mark this weekend in your schedule as "wine days". The festival will be held in the National Expocenter (Natsionalnyy Ekspotsentr Ukrainy at Glushkova, 1, Kyiv).

Saint Martin`s Day in Mukachevo
October 11

One of the most beloved saints in Western Ukraine, St.Martin became a patron of Mukachevo and his day is celebrated here at least since XIV century. After the high mass in the St.Martin`s Cathedral (the main catholic church in Mukachevo), a holiday fair opens near the town hall. Here you will find the best winemakers of Zakarpattya (Transcarpathian Region), beekepers and bakers - Mukachevo is known for it`s delicious pastries. Food stands offer also more substantial food, such as baked potatos and shashlik (kebab). Guests of the city will see the festive procession with lights and candles and a theater performance that tells the legend of St.Martin. Peremoha park will become a field for a knight tournament and the shooting from medieval cannons.

Wine Fest Frumushika-Nova
October 12

A wine festival in a picturesque Bessarabian village Frumushika-Nova  offers terroir wines, regional cuisine and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. You can try something unique and authentic, made by small wineries of Odessa region. Treat yourself to traditional appetizers and lamb, grilled on the open fire. Buy locally made souvenirs or take part in master-classes to make a powerful house talisman. Dance on grapes and try to win a prize. When the wine in you will be asking for some music, «PERNATIZ» band will create the soundtrack to this evening. The fest is free of charge. 

Pokrova on Khortytsia
October 14

The Intercession of the Holy Virgin or, in Ukraine, Pokrova is one of the most important Orthodox church fetes. Virgin Mary was considered as a patroness of cossacks. Thus, the Ukrainian cossacks festival on Khortytsia always takes place this day, on October 14th. Folk music groups, Ukrainian bards, bandura players and bands from Zaporizhia will take over the main stage. There will be of course cossack fighting, tournaments and competitions, historic reenacting, national handicrafts, master-classes on Petrykivka painting style, leather embossing and letterpress printing. And no shortage of traditional snacks in food court near the history museum. Khortizya National Reserve is an island on Dnipro river in the city of Zaporizhia. The entrance and most of the activities are free of charge, but you might need to pay for some cossack performances.

Lviv Cheese and Wine Festival
October 18-20

Another festival for gourmets and wine lovers will be held in Lviv near the beautiful Potocki palace. Lviv Cheese and Wine Festival is an effort to put the spotlight on the local wine and culinary professionals. Local cheeses, brie, camamber, roquefort, parmesan... Regional organic produce... This is a heaven for foodies. Guests can enjoy cheese fondue, risotto, ukrainian appetizers and traditional dishes as well as partake in the master classes in cooking them. The second day of the festival is the Lviv Cheescake day. Lviv Cheesecake is a favorite dessert of the city and the love is well deserved. Usually this day the giant cheesecake is made to treat all the guests of the festival. 

Ukrainian winemakers will try to surpass themselves and offer you not only traditional but also berry wine. You can become a winemaker too - if you`ll help to stomp grapes in a big barrel to make a festival wine. And if you`ll notice an artist making quick drawings of people - he is using wine too. The ticket to Lviv Cheese and Wine fest costs $4 and you get the festival`s glass with it.

Transcarpathian Beaujolais  
November 21-24

Finally... something to get waisted! Just joking. But you get the idea. Beaujolais nouveau is a red wine made to celebrate the end of the harvest - it`s a "young" wine made in only few weeks after harvesting grapes. It is light but has a guileful character and makes you happy, laughing and adventurous in just a few sips. The festivities will start at 8 p.m. on November the 21th in the downtown. The city`s maire opens the first barrel of wine on Korzo street and the evening follows with fire show and a medieval tournament. The main festivities start on Saturday though. If you buy a special festival glass, you can taste wines for free and take part in a vote to choose the most popular wine. Don`t forget to eat well! Transcarpathian cuisine, influenced by European neighbors, offers interesting and spicy dishes. This year Transcarpathian Beaujolais (Zakarpattya Beaujolais) in Uzhorod will be held for 12th time.

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