And craft beer, and small batch spirits too? From intimate wine dinners at stunning Island homes, to the Great Beer Challenge, to Oysters & Bubbles, to the Grand Tasting and more, the MV Wine Fest has truly become one of the main shoulder season events on Martha’s Vineyard.
For me, signs of MV Wine Fest time, means that Spring is here. Time to put away all my sweaters and fleece, and unearth Summer clothes, and get ready for the first big event of 2016.
The festival has continued to grow this four day event – adding new wineries, new events, and more fun. With the events selling out, I think the love affair with the MV Wine Fest is apparent. Whether you like bubbles, or cocktails, beer, or wine, there is an event for you. I should also add that there is some seriously good food at some of these as well.
What I love about the MV Wine Fest is how easy you can make an entire weekend out of it. Perfect to bring friends and/or family too, and I was lucky enough to do just that!
The Great Beer Challenge
This is the first year I have gone to the Great Beer Challenge. I thought it would be the perfect event to share with my husband – a big fan of beer.
The event was held at Isola in Edgartown. On the patio, we made beer history with three amazing breweries, Peak Organic, Brooklyn Brewery, and Offshore Ale Company. Each brewery offered three different beers, which we as guest consumers, discussed and rated. Also, a special guest was there – the new Washashore Buddha Pale Ale.
Events like this are really fun, becoming so social. We were at a table with Phil and Alleyne Hughs (owners of Wheel Happy Bikes), and they were so much fun to talk beer with. As each beer was served, the brewery rep or owner in Peak Organic and Offshore’s case, gave a few words about the beer style and what made it special.
It was nice to feel knowledgeable about the different styles we were drinking. It was also nice to have some delicious appetizers from Isola being passed as well, the arancini balls were soooo good.
We all voted quite differently, since beer style is so personal, and I can’t tell you what others voted for but one of my top new beers is definitely Peak Organic’s Summer Ale. Also, I can tell you that I was really happy about the winning beer, which was………… the Nutbrown Ale from Offshore Ale!
Whoohoo- a hometown hero made right before our eyes. Owner, Phil McAndrews, was more than happy with his win. Of course I am a little partial to Offshore Ale myself, but it felt really good to see that so many others enjoy it as well!
Breakfast & Bubbles – the Most Important Meal of the Day
One of the great things about the MV Wine Fest is that it is a fundraiser — this year for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Culinary Department — and the entire menu at Saturday morning’s Breakfast & Bubbles was created and made by our future chefs, the students in the MVRHS Culinary Department.
The morning was gorgeous, bright and sunny. A perfect day to begin with a great breakfast and champagne. My friend Cameron and I arrived at a beautiful private home in Edgartown, which Point B helped secure, and were greeted warmly.
Inside, we were seated the perfect table, in the kitchen, where we could watch the young, talented chefs. They worked together so well and created some amazing dishes. I had the Praline and Pecan French toast with fresh fruit and bacon — of course.
Cameron had the Hashbrown Crust Quiche which she too really enjoyed. In addition, we were provided with perfect mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. It was really nice to have a relaxing gourmet breakfast with friends in such a stunning location. We felt pampered, well taken care of and had such a great time.
Luckily, it ended early enough for me to prepare for the Grand Tasting
The Main Event
The Grand Tasting was held in the Kelley House parking lot for the second year. Centrally located, it feels tucked away, but Main Street Edgartown is just steps away. A perfect location.
The perfect weather continued, as did the MV Wine Fest’s momentum. With a sold out Grand Tasting, all of Edgartown was a buzz. It truly felt like Summer. The town was busy, people watching was great, and the thrill of season could be felt.
I always love when you first enter the tent at the this event. Vendors are busy with last minute prep, and the knowledge that you’re going to learn a thing or two about new beverages, and have a great time – just makes me happy.
Whether beer, wine, or spirits, the people at this event know their product. They know how to work with you to find what your new drink of the Summer is going to be.
With a number of new wineries represented along with favorites, every step led to a new discovery whether good or not so much a favorite.
My friend Catherine and I were delighted to speak with reps. Both of us have such different wine preferences, but otherwise, we’re on the same page. I loved introducing her to Charlie at Bully Boy – one of my favorites year after year along the Old Ispwich Greenhead Spiced Rum!
How about the great Lila wines? The Sauvignon Blanc was quite tasty and seemed perfect for the beach. The fact that it’s in a colorful can makes it a great addition to Summer outings.
In between wines, you ran into friends, and talked about wine with them. It was so much fun. In addition to seeing a lot of recognizable faces, there are a lot people who come to Martha’s Vineyard just for this festival, so you get to make new friend or two.
In the end, Catherine and I agreed on what our new Summer wine would be — Dragon, a delicious and refreshing white!
Ok – I am done wine-ing. No not really. I have to say that this event is such a great addition to May on Martha’s Vineyard. The weekend was really fun. I only did three events, can’t imagine how much fun so many others had.
Be sure to get your tickets early next year so you don’t miss any of the fun – cheers to the MV Wine Fest.
If you post any pics from the weekend’s festivities, don’t forget to add #mvwinefest!
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