The Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival, just wrapped up its 9th year. The four day feast, honored wine, farms, chefs, and the Island.
With numerous events, there was something for everyone. The festival’s signature kick-off event, Fresh Off the Farm, was one that was perfect for Islanders and visitors. I know I always learn a thing or two about the the Vineyard. Also, it makes for a really fun, different date night on the Island.
If you missed this year’s, hopefully you’ll save the date for next year’s festival. I can only imagine what all the events will be for the 10th Annual.
Fresh Off the Farm is held at the iconic Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Hall, a large rustic wooden structure that is an amazing fit for this event.
Walk through the doors, and you’re immediately greeted by the music of Island fav, Good Night Louise. Their fun, bluesy rock vibe helps get the party going.
Then you’re faced with a big decision. Do you go right or do you go left — the hall was lined with local food purveyors and of course wine stations.
We decided on right, and started with dessert, which is always a sign of a fun time. Tina Miller, one of the owners of Rosewater Market & Takeaway in Edgartown, was serving up Rhode Island Macon Apple Crisp with fresh, vanilla whipped cream, a wonderful Fall treat. Rosewater is well known for its amazing desserts, year round.
After wine, I immediately hightailed it to Allen Farm. They were serving up deviled local eggs. I am a sucker for deviled eggs, and these were 100% to my liking. I have to admit that I might have had perhaps 10 of these little tasty bites.
In between sampling local fair, we stopped at the wine stations. These were new to me, having missed the event the last couple of years. I loved the new set up, the vintner, the wines, all clearly labeled and easy for assessing what you wanted to sample.
Of course, there had to be a little Rosé wine tasting early on, especially when I ran into fellow Point B’er Melanie Rainkow Prescott and her husband, Nick. I like having a glass of Rosé with these two, Nick has a lot of fun with his “brose.”
Alternating between new wines and fresh local bites was so fun. All of the wine reps were so knowledgeable and offered so much information.
Last year, I had fallen for a wine at the festival that I forgot all about, Coho Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Luckily I’ve rediscovered it, just in time for cooler nights.
After a great sample of Coho, one has to stop at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Culinary Department, one of the non-profits of the evening, to try their dish. This year it was chili with cornbread. It was really good. Actually some of the best cornbread I’ve had in a while.
Jack O’Malley and the team really make food fun for the high school students, and give them a great way to find a potential career. Love this!
Then it was off to their neighbor. I was pleasantly surprised to see Shacksbury at Fresh Off the Farm. However, there are a number of similarities between cider and wine. Also, the gluten free movement has really elevated the cider community.
I am familiar with their original cider, but was not aware of all the additional flavors offered. Shacksbury is very dry and quite different from other ciders. It was nice to try a number of new (to me ones) and find a new favorite. I liked the semi-dry a lot.
This small company has a very different take on cider, they believe cider can, and should, be daring and complex. From gnarled trees on New England farmsteads to Old World orchards in England and Spain, our cider will change the way you think about this amazing fruit.
In addition to the purveyors I mentioned, there were so many more – Morning Glory Farm, North Tabor Farm, Personal Chef, Marta Azzullini, The Terrace at the Charlotte Inn, Pie Chicks, The Port Hunter, and more!
With all of the amazing vendors and seeing so many great friends and making new ones, it really made for a truly special evening.
My favorite drink of the night was Island Cocktail’s Prosecco. Island Cocktail is a wonderful new addition to the Vineyard beverage scene. Founders, Doriana Klumick and Kate Code Foster have created this brilliant company which creates a custom beverage experience for your party, no matter how big or small, featuring cocktails catered to your event. Plus, the presentation and attention to detail was amazing. The lovely Brooke Avakian was there as part of the team too.
Their Prosecco featured concord grape juice from Morning Glory Farm, garnished with candied grapes, the belle of the ball for me. They also featured a Begonia Sangria, garnished with citrus fruits and cranberries also from Morning Glory Farm. Love that both drinks had locally sourced ingredients from Martha’s Vineyard, fresh off our farms.
Another great discovery was SMOAK – Islander Tim Laursen had worked with Everette Whitening and Local Smoke for a number of years. Now, he’s off on his own, creating amazing food for Island events, whether big or small, for roughly $40 a person. This price point is really good for the whole shebang so to say. If you’re interested, email Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A celebration of local and international flavors all under one roof – bravo Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival – as someone who lives here, I learned new things and had great food and wine. I imagine for visitors is was a pleasure for all their senses. A wonderful was to celebrate!
You can learn more about the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival, on its website. Don’t forget to “Like” Point B Realty on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.