EASTON - As a part of the fifth annual Fall Harvest Festival, the event will feature its inaugural home winemaking contest at the Talbot Ag and Education Center.

There will be an educational exhibit from noon to 2 p.m. where visitors can learn first-hand how wine is made at home. Long-time home winemaker and event chairman Ron Sasiela said, "Experienced oenologists will be available to answer such questions as, how long does it take to make wine? I get headaches from the sulfites in wine; if I make my own wine can I leave them out? What does it cost to make wine at home? What law allows the head of the household to make wine tax-free?"

The exhibit will have charts that show the sharp growth of the Maryland grape and wine industry and its positive effect on employment.

The homemade wine contest will begin at 2 p.m. and will be modeled after several popular TV reality shows such as the chef competitions on the Food Network and "Dancing with the Stars." The blind-tasted bottles will challenge the panel of three experienced wine tasters to decide which entry will take "best of show," as well as place in five categories.

In order to properly prepare for the Oct. 21 event, contestants are required to review the contest rules and register their entries by Oct. 14. The contest rules are posted on the festival's website talbotagceter.org.

In order to encourage more contestants and because they do not currently have a wine contest at their fairs, the festival board has opened the contest to entries from the three counties that border Talbot: Caroline, Queen Anne's and Dorchester.

For more information and registration, contact the chairman at homewinecontest@talbotcountyfair.org.

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