I love that Martha’s Vineyard has so much to do during the so-called shoulder season. I say that because it’s always fun to come to the Island no matter what time of year.
However, I must admit that in recent years, more things have been added to the list of fun events.
One that has become a favorite of mine is the Martha’s Vineyard Wine Festival that’s held in May. This year it was from May 8th through May 10th, and it was a lot of fun.
This year I took my husband, and made it a date afternoon, and since it was Mother’s Day weekend, it was perfect.
While there are wine dinners and other related wine events around town, the Grand Tasting is held at the Rod and Gun Club, so you get to enjoy spectacular views of Sengekontacket Pond and State Beach. With 60 wine and spirit vendors, and over 400 wines to taste, you were certain to find a new favorite wine or cocktail.
This wine festival is all about the wine — with a little addition of spirits and beer. When you walk through the tent, you are greeted by smiling, knowledgeable, wine and beverage representatives. People are happy to tell you about their products, and why they are worth buying.
With such a huge selection to choose from and sample, I found that I learned a lot about different wines and more. I couldn’t believe the enthusiasm so many vendors had for their products. There were a couple of stand-outs for me.
Let me start with my favorite. During the Winter months, I will enjoy a Côtes du Rhône. An easy to drink red wine, a combination of Syrah and Grenache, I find it to be a nice change.
However, I learned about a Côtes du Rhône rose. Soon as I saw it, I had to try it. The Belleruche Côtes du Rhône from M. Chapoutier did not disappoint. Mostly Grenache with Syrah and Cinsault, it was a rose to dream about, a little more body, bright, and all around perfect for warmer weather.
I am not a professional wine enthusiast but I feel like I can get by, and I loved meeting this wine. It turns out that Côtes du Rhône roses and whites are rarer, a bit tougher to find. I did fall in love a little and had to end the event with another splash. Sadly no one Island carries this wine. Yet.
Tired of ordering Pino Grigio and Sav Blanc? Well, you might want to try Loca Linda Torrontes. This wine from Argentina is quite drinkable.
Never heard of a Torrontes? It’s the number one varietal in Argentina, and for a reason, as it is the number one seller in that country. It’s crisp and light, and is sunshine in a glass. I think you could pair it with anything and anywhere we wanted to have fun.
Though mostly filled with wines, the MV Wine Festival did have a couple of other options, such as spirits and beers.
Have you ever heard of Bully Boy Distillers? I know I had not. So, turns out that Bully Boy is Boston’s first resurgence of distillers in centuries.
Also, I learned that Boston was a huge distillery back in the days when it was a huge port, and rum was the liquor of choice.
Bully Boy is the concept of two brothers, Will and Dave Willis. The brothers were inspired by the history of the farm that’s been in their family for four generations.
The farm has a past with spirits during prohibition, and it made the boys want to do something unique. Just as craft beers became popular, and changed how we think about beer in the 90’s, it is Bully Boy’s goal to do the same with spirits.
I think it’s great that Bully Boy and a number of other distillers are bringing back a part of Boston’s history. Next time I visit the city, I might need to take a tour. When you buy it, you’re buying something locally made, and we all like that, supporting a small business and getting a good product.
So, I could go on and on about all the things I discovered at the MV Wine Fest, like the Brooklyn Brewery, Sorachi Ace which is made with a hybrid hop from Japan. It tastes unlike any other beer I’ve had. Or about new Moscato in a can, that I found perfect for wine spritzers at the beach (yes I know it’s such a mom drink).
However, I think it’s best if you mark your calendar for next Spring’s festival, and enjoy the Grand Tasting and find a thing or two that inspires you.
But, I also need to mention that in addition to the beverages, there were also a number of restaurants there with some amazing bites to eat. Sweet Life Cafe has the most amazing deviled eggs I’ve ever had. With shrimp and truffle oil, they were so good. I ate about eight of them. Also, Atlantic had some delicious Salmon Tataki with yuzu, ponzu and caviar. Yum.
Also, there were a number of silent auction items, amazing bottles of wine and more, that you could bid on. Those monies and more went to the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, a charity that Point B Realty also supports.
The MV Wine Festival was a combination of locals and visitors. With that, there was a nice balance of friends you knew, and a lot of people that you didn’t know, but we were all there to have fun and learn a thing or two.
I had such a good time, and love having a whole new list of things to try over the Summer months.
MV Wine Fest organizers, John Cliff, Angela Vezzose, Melissa Norton Vincent, Marnely Rodriguez-Murray, and Nathan Briggs put together a great series of events including the Grand Tasting and a number of wine dinners at restaurants on the Island. I can’t wait for next year’s, and what I’ll discover then! The goodie bags were awesome too.
If you want a peak at last year’s inaugural MV Wine Festival, check out A Grand Success – The Grand Tasting of the Martha’s Vineyard Wine Festival.
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