Five Things I Learned From The Fifth Annual MV Wine Fest Grand Tasting On Martha’s Vineyard

Oh how I love The MV Wine Fest — how it kicks off the season on Martha’s Vineyard with four days of numerous fun events.

The Martha's Vineyard Wine Festival Grand TastingOne tasty event that I never miss is the Grand Tasting. Yes, I mention it every year, but every year, it is one of the events I never miss. Part of the reason is that I am always learning something new. Some new product, some new Island artists, some new wine.

It is usually here that I find my wines to bring to potlucks and the beach all Summer long.

Grand Tasting At The MV Wine Festival Edgartown

This year’s event did not let me down. Though the weather did, our sports were not dampened. For this year’s event, my friend Skylar and I, explored the MV Wine Fest tents behind the Kelley House in Edgartown from corner to corner. Though I found many new and exciting things, here are my top 5 (also kinda catchy since it’s the 5th year).

Number 5

That’s my Jam…..what you may ask? Well, That’s My Jam. Turns out there is a beer/tea hybrid called That’s My Jam. It’s made with craft beer and organic tea by Owl’s Brew Radler, from New York New York.

I guess it’s like a shandy. It was interesting, a little sweet, but I could see it making an appearance at the beach, maybe once or twice over the Summer (I liked the Blondie too). Also it’s a great alternative for non-beer fans, since it is a little sweet.That's My Jam Owls Brew Ridler Beer Tea The MV Wine Festival Grand Tasting Edgartown

Number 4

Chillier Summer nights call for a Dark N Stormy in my world. At the festival, I discovered the fabulous  Llanllyr Mixers Source Fiery Ginger Beer. Yum! With a little more zing than traditional, like Goslings, this paired with a good dark rum would definitely help create a more tasty beverage.

Source Fiery Ginger Beer Mixer Grand Tasting MV Wine FestWhat I should also mention is that Llanllyr has a whole line of carefully crafted mixers, all made with natural ingredients. The flavors of their mixers are a step up from the usual ginger beer and tonics. Cheers to this find!

Number 3

Our friends at Wash Ashore Beer, Vineyard born, Maine brewed, now have all three of their craft beers available on Island, and in cans.

Wash AshoreThe Buddha (the pale ale), the Maya Mae (the IPA), and Boy Meets Girl (the Summer Ale). Each can and beer has been inspired by the partners, John Clift, Joe Monteiro, and Chad and Michelle Verdi.

What’s each one’s story? Well, you’ll have buy some Wash Ashore and check it out on the cans. Each one will make you smile.

Number 2

Ok, I have been on a Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc wine kick for the last two Summers. I felt like I wanted to expand a bit and maybe reintroduce a, gulp, Chardonnay. But oh the trick to find one that is not too oaky, not to pricey, and balanced.

MV Wine Fest Grand Tasting Robert Oatley Margaret River Chardonnay AustraliaAt the MV Wine Fest, I found just that. The Robert Oatley Chardonnay, 2014, was so lovely to drink. This wine from Australia offered balanced notes of vanilla and citrus, just light enough to please the palate, and with enough body to be a Chardonnay.

Number 1

My number one find at the MV Wine Fest was Proud Pour. Founded by Berlin Kelly, and her partner, Brian Thurber, are doing something really good with wine. Not only are they adorable, but they are passionate about making a difference.

Proud Pour founders Berlin Kelly and Brian Thurber The Martha's Vineyard Wine Festival

Berlin came up with the concept, drinking wine one night in her Brooklyn apartment, thinking about the sad state of our environment. Why not take something that brings so many people happiness and do some good with it. Welcome Proud Pour, still new to the market, but growing and growing (for good reason).

Proud PourProud Pour offers two varieties. Let’s talk about the one that has ties to Martha’s Vineyard first. With every bottle of The Oyster, their North Coast Sauvignon Blanc, 100 wild oysters are restored to local waters. By local, I mean right here on Martha’s Vineyard.

Martha's VIneyard Shellfish GroupProud Pour has a relationship with the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, placing hundreds of wild oysters back in the water from people buying their wine. How cool is that?!? There are other restoration projects that can be found on the east coast, but I love that they chose this Island to be one of them.

If the light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc is not your style. Proud Pour offers a Pinot Noir as well. This balanced, light red is helping to save bees. With every bottle, you are given a packet of wild flower seeds that appeal to bees specifically in your region (no crazy evasive species, think Honey Nut Cheerios) for you to plant, to help encourage the bee population.

Proud PourAlso, when you buy a bottle, 875 wildflowers are planted on farms to help promote natural habitat for bees. This is something to buzz about.

In a time when there is so much bad news to be heard about in the world, it’s nice to do something good, just by buying wine, which you wanted to do anyway. As Berlin and Brian say, “Cheers to Change.” Look for their wines in local package stores and restaurants.

As the photo below says, Uncork Joy! Thanks for another great weekend of fun MV Wine Fest! I can’t wait to see what great events you bring us next year.

MV wine fest

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